Grief

Eva’s third birthday

Eva’s third birthday

Eva’s birthday is coming up. April 6th. She would have been three. Every few months I play a thought experiment, and try to imagine both our lives if she was still here. I imagine the big things, her crawling, her hearing sound with cochlear implants, her and I living together… Read more

Two years since she died

Two years since she died

It’s hard to believe it has been almost 2 years since Eva died. Eva was only here for 10 and a half months, less than half the time she has already been gone, but I will feel her loss and the hole she left behind her for the rest of… Read more

Playing sliding doors

Playing sliding doors

It’s been 18 months since Eva died. Saying that number, 18 months feels cruel. She only lived to 10 months, and already she has been gone longer than she was here. To someone who meets me now, there’s no indication that I am Eva’s mother. No indication that I was… Read more

What didn’t happen

What didn’t happen

When Eva died, she had so many big things coming up. She was getting her hips and eye operated on. She was going to get a G-tube placed so she could finally have the tape off her face and the NG tube out of her nose. She was going to… Read more

No excuses: Imagine it

No excuses: Imagine it

“I can’t imagine what you are going through…” It’s a phrase that every parent who has lost a child has heard multiple times. It’s meant well. The speaker wants to let the griever know that they recognise the magnitude of this loss. They’re trying to validate the griever’s feelings by… Read more

Eva’s things

Eva’s things

I did some clearing today. The day after Eva died, we put all her clothes in bags and cleared her room out so it could be used for her when she came back from the funeral home. Mercifully, I didn’t have to do this task at the time. Ess and… Read more

Learning how to grieve

I’ve been thinking a lot about what grief looks like for different people. I’ve been thinking about when you see death on the news in foreign countries and the people, mothers, fathers, sisters, cry with their whole bodies. They throw themselves on the ground and wail and scream. Their grief… Read more

Two years ago – where the story started

Two years ago – where the story started

Two years ago I was going to sleep after a frustrating day of expecting labour, and getting not much. I had been induced at 8am that morning with prostaglandin gel. By 8pm that night the minor period-like pains had eased and I was looking at my first night in the… Read more

For my friend

A good friend lost her dad to cancer recently. She was 25. Too young to lose your dad. Of course there’s no age that makes that kind of epic loss ok, but at 25 you’re just really finding your feet as an adult. You need those people in your life.… Read more

I have a voice and I will roar

I have a voice and I will roar

There was a feeling that I don’t think I ever felt before Eva was born that I have come to know now. Before Eva was born I felt twitchy, anxious, like I wasn’t doing enough with my life. I always imagined that I would have written a novel by the… Read more

Eva memories – day 14

Eva memories – day 14

It’s the 24th of February. A year ago today, I had no idea that I had just over 24 hours left with my daughter. I put her to bed and went to bed myself. I woke up around 9.30pm to the sound of her coughing through the monitor and padded… Read more

Eva memories – day 13

Eva memories – day 13

Child birth often comes with so many expectations. It’s why we write a birthing plan. I had so few expectations. I was having Eva in a hospital, with a midwife. Before I knew I was going to be induced I assumed I would play it by ear. I wanted all… Read more

Eva memories – day 12

Eva memories – day 12

When Eva got out of the hospital after she was born she was six weeks old. Still a wee thing, but those six weeks felt like a life time to me. So much had happened and changed. I thought of her as so much older than she was. I remember… Read more

Eva memories – day 11

Eva memories – day 11

Eva was due to have her hips operated on not long after she died. At three months old they realised she had hip dysplasia. I could have laughed I was so angry when the paediatrician told me that. “She’s had her hips checked before,” I told him. “She is seen… Read more

Eva memories – day 10

Eva memories – day 10

When Eva came home from hospital at six weeks old she took no time at all to realise if she fussed enough, I would hold her in my arms all day long. She liked to be held. That was an understatement. Jay and Ess referred to her as my little… Read more

Eva memory – day 8

Eva memory – day 8

I got really good at driving one handed when Eva was alive. Most of the time she liked the car, but when she was a bit clogged up or sick she got pretty upset. I eventually got a mirror so I could see her, because the sound of her crying… Read more

Eva memories – day 7

Eva memories – day 7

This memory feels a bit general, but it’s inspired by a message I got from my good friend Ess, Eva’s honorary aunty that we lived with together. She had listened to the latest podcast and she sent me the loveliest comment. She said “I can remember you saying to me… Read more

Eva memory – day 6

Eva memory – day 6

Eva and I had one summer together. It was fantastic. Eva was so healthy and making such huge strides in her development. I was confident and calm and really thought I could do it. During that summer we drove up to the Taranaki for a friend’s wedding. I stayed with… Read more

Eva memory – day 5

Eva memory – day 5

I missed yesterday’s memory. I was so busy editing the next podcast that I forgot. It got to be 9pm and my brain was tired. I looked at Eva’s photos and said sorry, I’ll make it up tomorrow. Today’s memory is about realising that communication with Eva wasn’t something I… Read more

Memories of Eva day 3

Memories of Eva day 3

I had a fairly relaxed attitude when it came to Eva’s physio work outs. I had a lot of equipment, I mean a lot, where I was supposed to put her into all sort of positions to strengthen her neck and core. I did use them, but not as much… Read more

Memories of Eva Day 2

Memories of Eva Day 2

In lots of ways, Eva was a lucky girl. She didn’t have any siblings of her own, but it seemed she was always surrounded by friends. As I’ve mentioned before we lived with my very good friends Ess and Jay and their son Em. Em was only four months older… Read more

Anniversaries

Anniversaries

Eva died February 25th 2015. This makes her anniversary, three weeks away. It’s no surprise that anniversaries for events like this are hard for those left behind. Anniversaries, birthdays, Christmas, any event of importance where the marked absence of that person feels carved in neon lights. For me, the hard… Read more

Almost a year now

Almost a year now

I’ve been back in the country for a little over a week. In that time I took two days to do nothing. Absolutely nothing. I watched TV. I went for a run/walk. I slept. A lot. I cooked for myself. I tried not to think about the impending school year… Read more

Almost a year now

Almost a year now

I’ve been back in the country for a little over a week. In that time I took two days to do nothing. Absolutely nothing. I watched TV. I went for a run/walk. I slept. A lot. I cooked for myself. I tried not to think about the impending school year… Read more

i fear no fate

i fear no fate

This trip has felt at once exciting and terrifying; exhausting and invigorating.  I have been inspired and anxious, panicky and confident. I have sat for hours in airport terminals and train stations, and slept on planes, trains, air mattresses and couches. I have felt a deep sense of connection with… Read more

Grief is – Emily Rapp and Big Sur

Grief is – Emily Rapp and Big Sur

I’ve been reading Emily Rapp’s book, The Still Point of the Turning World on this trip. I started reading it not long after Eva died but never finished it. I have only finished one book since Eva was born. Wild, by Cheryl Strayed.  Rapp’s book is about her son Ronan… Read more

A bit of an indulgence

A bit of an indulgence

I’ve found myself showing the various little kids that I’ve stayed with on this trip videos of Eva. Often they have spotted her photo and pointed at the screen and said, “baby” so I take that as my cue. Or else I’m trying to distract them. Or sometimes I just… Read more

My flame burns the brightest 

My flame burns the brightest 

I have shared so much about my life with Eva, my readers, and anyone else, could understandably think I don’t value privacy at all. I share Eva with the world, so you could assume I don’t feel protective of her memory. It’s something I have thought a lot about as… Read more

A New Year, moving forward not moving on

A New Year, moving forward not moving on

The end of 2015 is approaching.  I feel conflicted about how to view it and moving forward. I’m sure some people would think I would want to put the last two years behind me. 2014 and 2015 have without a doubt been the hardest years of my life. I have… Read more

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas, everyone. This was my Christmas last year. I’m glad I got one with Eva, even if it was the only one. This year is very different, but I’ll be thinking about that little chicken licken all day long.   Read more

I won't sit in the waiting place

I won't sit in the waiting place

When you lose someone you love, there are some dates and days that are harder than others. Anniversaries, birthdays, family gatherings, Christmas. They all take on a different meaning. We remember the Christmases we got to enjoy with the people we have lost, and we know that we won’t have… Read more

New beginnings mean saying goodbye

New beginnings mean saying goodbye

In two sleeps I am getting on a plane and travelling to Minneapolis, Minnesota on a seven week journey around the USA to meet some wonderful women. I have been planning this trip since April this year. I started planning it when I discovered that my Mama’s facebook group had… Read more

No right way to grieve

No right way to grieve

Grief does funny things to almost every other emotion. It heightens some. Happiness feels bigger, brighter. Beautiful sights seem to radiate that beauty instead of merely being. Your favourite song warms you from the inside out. Rain on the roof makes you close your eyes in enjoyment. Sadness is deeper,… Read more

A club you never wanted to be part of

A club you never wanted to be part of

It’s hard to press publish on a blog where the majority of the posts are about grief. It’s hard because I’m writing what I’m feeling, but I don’t feel that way 24 hours a day, or even every day. I hesitate to press publish because I know it makes people… Read more

The gaping abyss

The gaping abyss

I live in an apartment. I come home and take the elevator up to the third floor. It’s not a fancy elevator. It’s one where you are keenly aware that you are in a metal box being transported between stories. This particular one has a gap between the elevator itself… Read more

To remember her

To remember her

I am house sitting for my old house family this weekend. They are taking a much needed holiday with their son and I am spending the weekend with their dog, not a bad way to spend a weekend. It’s the house where Eva and I lived together. It’s where we… Read more

The Platinum Fundraiser

The Platinum Fundraiser

I’ve written before about that platitude that special needs parents get told that they will meet “some of the most amazing people” through being their child’s parent. The first time I heard it I rolled my eyes and scoffed. What possible friendship could make this situation alright? I thought. It… Read more

Spring is in bloom

Spring is in bloom

It’s almost Spring. And after what has felt like a rough couple of weeks I got a couple of nice, Springtime surprises. The first was discovering that the kowhai plant that was sent to me by my cousins was flowering. I am terrible with plants. I either over water or… Read more

Eva's things

Eva's things

I picked up Eva’s things today. When she died, the coroner’s office took her bedding, her sheets, her blankets, anything in and around her cot, for testing. Most of it was replaceable. But there was one blanket, a crocheted woolen brown blanket, that I wanted back. I used it from… Read more

This vulnerable infant

This vulnerable infant

Eva’s post mortem arrived today. It’s been over five months since she died. A letter came with the full report, instructing me to open the document in the presence of a friend or family member. I didn’t take heed. Thankfully, Eva’s paediatrician had already told me the crux of it.… Read more

Why are there so many songs about rainbows?

Why are there so many songs about rainbows?

I started my second round of sign language classes today. We started off just about where we left off, talking about our families. There were three people from my earlier classes, but the rest of the class was new to me. And I “talked” about Eva. More than once. The… Read more

I'm in a unique position, and I know it

I'm in a unique position, and I know it

I’m in a unique position as a special needs mother. Eva died in one of the slightly easier stages of her life. I had got past the difficult first months. The time of adjustment and grief. I had accepted my girl for who she was, but as a baby the… Read more

What grief looks like for me

What grief looks like for me

Everyone knows what grief means. We grow up knowing that word. Some of us experience it at a young age. Maybe we lose a brother or a parent and have to swim through those choppy waters as a teenager or a child. Before Eva died I had experienced some forms… Read more

Coming home

Coming home

I'm visiting my parents this weekend. My sister and her partner are here too, with their puppy along for the ride. Read more

One month – 180 degrees yet again

Tomorrow marks one month since Eva died. One month since my life changed again. In the last year I have been spun 180 degrees time and time again. Each time I have staggered and then found my bearings. Sometimes it took longer to get back on the path than others.… Read more

i carry your heart

I almost feel bad pouring out these words of grief onto the keys each day. My usual worry about burdening others with my own pain flickers in the back of my mind. I know these words have made people cry. Part of me feels bad for that, and part of… Read more

Three weeks

It has been three weeks since Eva died. In some ways that night feels like a lifetime ago. In others I feel like I’m in it all the time. I don’t feel traumatised by it but occasionally I do find myself replaying scenes in my head. There are a few… Read more