New Year, New Grief?
As contrived and obvious as the marketing around New Years is, it still manages to get under my skin. Every year I find myself attempting a “New Me” regime despite my scoffing and eye-rolling. The year after I lost my baby being no exception. Alex had been due on 29th December, I thought I would be a new mam that New Year and being a bereaved one instead was torture. As much as I longed to feel less empty, less drained, less of that raw, gnawing pain of grief, I also couldn’t bear to leave it behind. It felt like leaving Alex behind. While I know many who couldn’t wait to see the end of the year that caused them so much pain, for me the beginning of a new year felt like too big a shift. I hated the thought of saying "last year” to describe my pregnancy and loss because it felt like it was still happening, not that it was in the past.
I suppose like most people I expected my grief to proceed in a very predictable, linear way. I thought I would hit milestones at certain times, and heal in a specific time-frame. In fact, when I reached the date I thought I would be back to "normal" I was feeling worse, not better.
What I needed to recognise was that the New Year is just one more day. It is only one day longer in the grieving and healing journey. Time may be a factor in healing but one day, no matter which day it is, is not long enough for anything to change.
So whether you couldn't wait to get to the New Year, or you were dreading it, it's not a magic wand nor is it an obligation to feel “better”, move on or leave anything behind.
Keep going at your own pace. Even if that is just one cup at a time.