12 weeks ago right now we were spending our last hour with our beautiful son. Throughout Bobby’s pregnancy I never knew what August would feel like; would he be here or would Bobby have passed – it felt like a time that would literally never come. It was hard to imagine what August would be like as I couldn’t imagine ourselves as grieving parents yet the thoughts of months of hospital I welcomed and feared; it was his only chance. So here we are in August and I can’t remember a lot of the last 12 weeks. It’s August and we know Bobby’s fate; August and we are here without him. It’s August and we are planning Christmas wondering how the hell we will manage. It’s August and today was an ok morning spent with wonderful friends in a really lovely food market. It’s August and I found myself really enjoying an outing with Lily and my adorable nephews this week; a change from just about surviving every other outing until now. It’s August and Des is gone off cycling, something he took up to help him cope with Bobby’s loss. It’s August and it’s nearly time for school for Lily; I’m both excited for her but terrified of that monster grief hitting me again like only it does so well. Bobby will never go to school. It’s August and I’m still oblivious at how being in the real world floors me when I least expect it; It’s like I am plodding in a swamp with a blind fold waiting to slip and fall unexpectedly. It’s August and I really wish I was deeply religious and knew where Bobby was. It’s August and we are surviving and I am so proud of our son. It’s August and I don’t know how we will get to Christmas; but we will, because Bobby leaves footprints all the time. Footprints of love and support; it still takes my breath away something a dear friend said to me during the week “I want to understand your pain more; I want to be better to support you”. She’s already a footprint yet continues to imprint more. A wedding of dear friends during the week; it was beautiful yet personally tough. Who knew my friend would validate my feelings so selflessly with no judgement.
Letters and cards continue to come. Some days I don’t know whether we’ll ever get over this and some days I know we will find our new normal; a steady new normal without the lashing I feel I get all too regularly right now. It’s August and Lily is still waking up at night and continues to process and understand. It’s August and I’m walking, training and dabbling with the real world. A good old friend and I cry and laugh our way around our 7k walk regularly; it has literally helped to move from one day to the next. I survive with an envelope which tells where I need to be. Who knew trauma, loss and grief could leave you unable to remember what day it is, what you are doing tomorrow and bedazzled if someone asks you are you free next week. We’re different, I’m no longer afraid of anything; I’ve seen the worst happen. I’m more honest than I have ever been – I don’t want anger in my life. I’m braver than I was before yet incredibly sad. It’s still day by day hour by hour and breath by breath. The future seems incredibly unclear but one thing that is certain is that Bobby’s footprints will guide us. And in the midst of it all, we have a feisty, smart and incredibly curious fortune cookie asking the most ridiculous questions every day that give you that chuckle you so badly need.