It's just what you do.

I happened upon a post on Glow that touched the nerve of how I felt this weekend. This bit in particular, written by Kate.

“Christ, but some days I feel completely insane with the fucking rage.

Then I go to sleep. Then I get up again, and shower, and scramble eggs, and try again. Because that’s just what you do.”

It sums it up, that one bald line. 2 years out and I can not count the months now, the way once I refused to count the weeks and days. Two years on.

Yesterday I referred to my ‘younger three’ and realised afterward that not only do I have a younger three, but I had neither counted nor made allowances for Freddie inside of that. Probably because I knew that person knew, didn’t need telling.

But still.

I made jam, went walking, raged about the irritating injustice of something that makes me want to poke someones eyes out, sat through a boring day waiting for auditions to happen, tidied a room which was supposed to be Freddie’s but will shortly be Bene’s, was pleased with the result, made a pile of stuff I probably have the energy to eBay instead of dumping at the tip, helped Max (in a motivational sense) clean the carpets of all the muck and grime that has accumulated on our carpets in 3 years of worry and pain and pregnancy and rage and grief and not being able to summon the energy to think about the idea that a clean carpet might matter even a bit.

Clean carpets made me happy. It made us all happy. The house filled with hope and optimism and all that dirt and grime and weary grief trodden into our carpets became, quite literally, water under the bridge.

I can’t imagine how I came so far.

I can imagine how I came so far, because I know I knew that one day loss would not consume each day. I know I knew that would hurt in an unmendable place in my heart. Grief and loss makes the very valves of your heart pause and judder, clanking with grim, barely sufficient motion to get through the day. Healing though, healing is the bite that never fully mends. A tricky poke at my psyche each day: hey, you got over it, look, you survived. Were you faking? Did it matter? Was your grief all a matter of weakness and convention?


Some day I am, indeed, consumed with rage. Rage at the waste, the guilt, the pain that loss, those 11 days, my desire caused us all. Rage that my girls see this new brother cough and it crosses all their minds, each time, that he could die, that he might not be permanent. I hate that knowledge that they have, though I own it might be useful.

Some days, it’s weariness. Still dead? Still lost? Still passed on, away, not kept, not with us, not able to stay? Still that horrible, terrible, dreadful, sad ‘thing’ that happened to us.

Anything but our baby who died. Anything but the 2 year old who should have crouched over rock pools and sea and sand and frogs and ponds and ducks and geese.

Some days disbelief.

Some days acceptance.



Some days, like yesterday, after a good weekend of happy things, creative, optimistic, planning ahead, making, doing, cleaning, changing, I find myself surprised by a new thought. Cradling Bene on my lap, bottle drunk, tv playing, hand on his head and gently rocking him to sleep… I never rocked Freddie to sleep. He hardly knew what it was to be held and hugged, loved and just part of the room, part of what was going on. He never heard a tv playing in the background, was never juggled while tea was eaten, drink was drunk, phone was browsed. I never lay in a bed and just looked at him, happy, relaxed.

He lived his whole life without a cuddle that was just happy. He never just lay on my lap. He never had a bottle or a breastfeed even though he lived a whole life.


I think all those things, then I go and clean the kitchen, make some toast and jam, work out what furniture to move to where. Because that, as she so rightly said, is just what you do.

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  1. Claire Rigby says

    The social worker asked me how many children you have today and I answered and then immediately corrected myself and felt bad. Particularly after I spent all week calling Bene, Freddie, when talking to Charlie. There is a Freddie sized space in that black & white photo. I cannot believe it has been two years. Lots of love and hugs xx

  2. says

    You always capture so much of how it is here too, in a way I never seem to be able.
    Just today I paused for a second from guiding children around a park and thought “It’s forever, the rest of my life is measured with years without her and all she could have been”, and then I carried on, changed a nappy or two and just carried on.
    I’m afraid of the rage, it still hasn’t really hit me, three years and I’ve still yet to go through that so called stage of grief, I really don’t want to be around when it finally hits.x

  3. says

    Yep, the rage and the wanting to scream and howl is still there, but somehow now we just do what we do.

    I can see where Freddie would be standing, pulling on Fran’s leg because she’s supposed to be paying attention to him, the big boy, not that baby brother who can’t do any fun stuff yet.

  4. emma says

    How do you always manage to articulate what I’m thinking too? Maybe I need a blog to try and put it in words. I was just outside hanging out the washing and stopped and had an internal ranty rage about the lack of little girly clothes and swear words and then I came in and hugged my rainbow and uttered a prayer of thanks for the blessing of him but I could still roar out a massive invective at the injustice of it all. Then I went on fb and my cover photo is three pairs of special feet and I really mean to change it because it is always stabby as there should be another pair…and now I’ll get ready for a busy afternoon of drama and brownies and fish suppers and head out to pick the kids up from school… because it is just what you do. I have just re-read all of that and clearly I am lacking punctuation in rantiness today. Ah well, will just hit “submit” anyway xxx

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