Seasons of Grief

August was a hard month for my family and me.  I actively dreaded it.  I tried to brace myself for it, since it does arrive every damn year; but no matter how much I prepare, there are always a few sucker punches it throws my way. It was in August that I got so very sick, it was in August that the seizures became 24/7.  It was in August that a two day coma became a 6 week coma.  And it was August that we lost Thomas, that my body that was failing just could not support him as my organs failed. August will always be a hard month.

As we transition to a new month, it occurred to me that, really, my grief is seasonal and each season holds it’s own bittersweet joys and so very many sorrows.

Spring:  I was pregnant in the spring, not too many people knew but my family and I did and it was the most magical secret I have ever kept.  It was May when I showed Rob the pregnancy test and I watched my intelligent husband go silent in shock and just smile, this beautiful, goofy smile.  Spring, in my faith, represents new life…spring holds the now dreaded Mother’s Day.  What used to be a day of celebration has become one of the hardest days of the year.  It is a physical relief to me when it is over.  We planted daffodils, tulips and crocuses at Thomas’ grave.  Now when I see them pop up in gardens, I know my baby boy has his very own garden.

Summer:  I was not feeling so great by summer-time in my pregnancy.  I did not realize this was just a hint of what was to come.  I was uncomfortable that summer.  I was sick and getting sicker.  I was cranky! My poor husband could hardly open his mouth.  We also had exciting moments like announcing our pregnancy, ultrasounds – all of which Facebook ‘On this Day’ reminds me.  Now, I am generally uncomfortable in the summer…it’s divided in two parts “Thomas was still alive” and a fuzzier “I was very sick by this point”.  We have now reached the part of summer where I was in the hospital.  Facebook ‘On this Day’ is weirdly radio silent for 2012, as I was long past being capable of typing.  It’s eerie and bizarre.

Fall:  As the leaves change colours, the gardens stop blooming I was in the early days of intense grieving.  Just last night, I had a flashback dream to when I was told Thomas had died.  Every awful, heart wrenching, horrific emotion came flooding back to me.  I woke up broken-hearted, in my bed, feeling it all again.  October means Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, a sacred day for us.  A day of remembrance and advocacy; of breaking the silence and remembering out loss(es) with our people. Then, it’s Halloween.  Seriously, who would have known how awful Halloween could be? Social Media is flooded with adorable children; I can tell you that 5 year old boys normally get triple the amount of candy, I usually hand out.  I always wonder what costume he would have chosen..  A special day for our community but one with a heavy emotional hang over.  Thomas’ funeral was in November; a grey, rainy, cold, awful day.

Winter:  A time of festivities and celebrations.  A time that magnifies the void that has been left.  Christmas is not nearly as fun in my house as I know it should be.  It is a celebration where children bring the joy and the laughter – and my dogs do not fill that void in the least.  Winter time is when I’m frozen in grief; every year I hope it will be better.  January is when Thomas should have been born, it is a hard month.  I see the beautiful babies of the women I was pregnant with celebrating and I wonder what this years celebration would have been like.  So many questions, so much sorrow – I once thought it would be easier with time and to a certain degree, it is.  But it brings questions – would he have liked Spider Man?  Star Wars?  Candy Crush?  I can’t fathom the answers to these questions because he never got to develop his own unique personality.  And the lack of answers hurts me deeply.

Each season brings it’s own heartache and it’s own happy memory, I have many happy days and my laugh rings out often.  But never is there an “off”time, when my heart doesn’t hurt.  And I’m okay with that; I would rather mourn for the rest of my days, then been denied his love for the 22 weeks I was privileged to carry him and for the lifetime that I will love him.

What do the changing seasons mean for you?

Andrea Manning

Andrea Manning

Andrea Manning and her amazing husband, live in Ontario, Canada. They are owned by three miniature dachshunds. Andrea had severe health complications and lost their son, Thomas, in 2012, at 22 weeks.
Andrea Manning

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Andrea Manning and her amazing husband, live in Ontario, Canada. They are owned by three miniature dachshunds. Andrea had severe health complications and lost their son, Thomas, in 2012, at 22 weeks.

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