It goes against the grain of everything a diary should be when you decide to share the words within it. Secret. Confidential. Protected. For your eyes only.
This particular diary isn’t one I go back to often. After all, there’s no need. I know the words that reside within them. Little passages of time that will never change no matter how many times I wish I could rewrite them.
But the other day, I picked up this diary – my 2016 diary – and opened the pages to November. The month my life changed forever. And I read the words of the story I know so well. The one I live every day. And I realised that there is nothing within this diary that I haven’t already shared with you. Evalyn’s story and our journey since is one that I will forever continue to share.
Which is why I’ve decided to share my diary with you now. Word for word. Exactly the words I wrote at the time. Because this is yet another part of our story, be it at its rawest. These are the words that I wrote when my body was still sore from having birthed her and we were only days passed our last goodbye. These are the words that I wish I could have read when I held onto my husband at the hospital and cried what’s going to happen? How are we going to get through this?
So, I thought I’d share these words now. Not only to share with you a bit more of Evalyn and us as a family but also in the hope that these words may bring comfort to those of you who are riding the hardest of waves. To those of you who are also asking what’s going to happen? How are we going to get through this?
The truth is, all we can do is try. All we can do is try and navigate our own paths. Let the waves crash over us with the hope that tomorrow will be better.
One day – and diary entry – at a time. . . . . . . .
Sunday 6th November
We’ve had a lovely family day. It feels like a long time since we’ve had a day to just do, well, whatever we’ve wanted. No plans. No scheduled shopping trips. Just me, Nick, Ieuan (and bump).
We spent our morning at the woods. We wrapped up warm against the Autumn chill and Ieuan took his bicycle and enjoyed riding along the different pathways. There’s something beautiful about walking in the woods in Autumn; the colours of the leaves. Reds and golden browns. The dry, crisp leaves that line the ground like a blanket. It was lovely to walk hand in hand with Nick and to enjoy the peacefulness of it all. Sometimes it’s nice to take an hour or two and reconnect with nature. Just to escape from lifes hectic schedule.
On our way home, we stopped off at a country pub for lunch. When Nick went to the bar to pay, an elderly lady who had been sitting at a nearby table approached me. She told me what a delightful boy she thought Ieuan was. She had been observing him as she ate and said that he was incredibly well behaved and that we should be proud. We really are.
We pride ourselves in the four-year-old Ieuan is now and everything we put into helping him become the amazing person he will hopefully be in the future. It’s lovely when somebody else, especially a kind-hearted stranger, can see that too
Monday 7th November
And so begins another week of maternity leave. Of waiting and wondering. Another friend had their baby on Saturday. A beautiful baby and home the same day! It convinces me more that I’ll be the one who has a difficult labour. Everyone who has had their baby before me this year has had what I would describe as my ‘perfect birth scenario’.
It makes me want our baby here so much. I know I have two more weeks before our due date (and technically another four weeks if I’m late) but I honestly wouldn’t mind if the baby came early.
There’s only so many times I can clean the house…… or walk into town . . . . I’m starting my third novel today!!
Tuesday 8th November – Wednesday 9th November
My God. I never thought for one moment that I would be writing these words. But I need to write it down. I need to write it down and remember . . . .
On the 8th November at 21:21 our little girl, Evalyn, was stillborn.
And it hurts.
My God, it hurts.
I woke up in the early hours on Tuesday and I just knew something wasn’t right. I hadn’t felt her kicking and we rang the hospital who asked us to go down to be checked.
I will never forget the doctors words, his face, when he told us your baby’s heart has stopped beating. All I could do was keep screaming NO NO NO and all Nick could do was hold me. And all we could do together was cry.
There’s been so many tears. So much grief. Questions. Why us? Why has this happened?
The maternity ward were amazing. I had to be induced, but thankfully labour was quick. And more thankfully, I had the natural birth that I had always hoped to have. Nick and my mum were by my side. Nick has been amazing. Although broken, his strength has made me feel that little bit stronger too. I think we have carried eachother through. It was painful. I was torn between wanting it to all be over and yet, not wanting to push her from my body. I wanted to keep her inside of me forever . . . . .
I have never had a darker moment. A more surreal moment. Me and Nick held eachother and cried for her. Our little Evalyn. They took her to the next room straight away at our request. It wasn’t because we didn’t want to see her. But in my head I just wanted her cleaned and dressed. We wanted her little body to be wrapped and snuggly.
She was 5lb 6.
We asked to see her at 1am when we were ready. They wheeled her in in her little cot. They had dressed her in her little baby grow and wrapped her up under a blanket.
She was so beautiful. So tiny. So perfect.
We love her so much.
I stroked her little hand, told her we were so sorry we couldn’t take her home but that she will always be a part of us . . . .
The night was sleepless. Long. We cried constantly. The hospital staff were so caring and made Nick a bed up next to my own so that we could sleep – or attempt to sleep – next to eachother. We spent those hours in shock. Talking about Evalyn and how much we loved her. How perfect she was. We held eachothers hands. Held eachother. I kept thinking of her tiny body in the room next door. How can life be so cruel? How could she be moving inside of me one minute and be so cold and still in the real world the next? How could any of this be happenning? How could our beautiful girl be taken from us.
I have never known a darker, colder night . . . . . . .
When you barely sleep, it’s hard to distinguish when one day becomes the next. I think between myself and Nick, we probably had about three hours sleep. All I could think about is how Nick and I had some important decisions ahead of us that had to be made and what if I couldn’t function enough in order to make them?
For a change of scenery, me and Nick walked across to the ‘family’ room to make a cup of tea – we found it quite ironic and humourous when Nick noticed the brand of bread they had put in there for patients – Mothers Pride!! Someone wasn’t obvously thinking!!
My dad came to the hospital mid-morning. He went into the room next door to see Evalyn. Me and Nick had almost told ourselves in our heads that our 1am time with Evalyn was enough. But when my dad came back and told me he thought she was beautiful, I knew that I wanted to see her again. I needed to be with her more than anything in the world . . . .
She was still lying all snuggly in the tiny moses basket, a little rabbit baby rattle by her side. I pulled back the blanket so I could see her tiny body. That perfect little body that me and Nick had made with love and nurtured for so long. We stood next to her and eachother and cried. I felt like I could have stayed in that little room forever. She looked so much like Ieuan when he was a baby. Little puckered lips, a cute little button nose, long fingers like Ieuan’s and my own. The darkest brown hair that maybe one day would have grown lighter just like her brothers did. We’ll never know the colour of her eyes. Those beautiful sleeping eyelids will hold that secret forever but I like to think that they were blue so that’s what I imagine. Little blue eyes and rosy cheeks. That’s the Evalyn I like to picture. . . . .
The paperwork didn’t seem real.As the post mortem consultant went through the different options with us, the words may as well have been in an exotic language. It’s the paperwork you never expect to go through after the birth of your baby. These are not the decisions that parents should be making – especially when grieving and on no sleep. But we’ve opted for a full post mortem and even with the little bit of hindsight that I have now, I’m still glad that this is the decision we have made. The results take longer to come back – up to twelve weeks. They may come back with answers, they may not. The consultant said that looking at my notes, he can’t see any reasons that stand out. Even looking at Evalyn, physically there is no definite explanation. He said that 50% of the time, parents may never know why these things happen. Sometimes life gives and takes away and tests us for reasons we’ll never fully understand . . . . . .
We had a blessing for Evalyn at 1 o’ clock on Wednesday afternoon. The hospital chaplain, a lovely lady with a sympathetic face, conducted it.
They brought Evalyn back in to us and my mum held her and sat next to me on the bed and I stroked her little hand as the chaplain recited The Lords Prayer. I sobbed. Nick sobbed. My parents sobbed. That wasn’t how it should have been. Those should have been happy tears. Celebratory tears.
Afterwards, my mum handed Evalyn to me.
My first cuddle. And my only cuddle.
My heart was already broken but I think that was the moment when it shattered completely. Her body was so small and cold.My instinct was to grab a blanket to wrap around her and keep her warm but then I realised it wouldn’t make a difference. My Evalyn. Our Evalyn was already gone.
I handed her to Nick afterwards. He held her, his tears falling on her little baby grow. The hardest thing in that moment was knowing that this would be the only image of Nick and Evalyn that I would have. A crying father cradling his stillborn daughter. There would be no ‘daddy and daughter’ moments after that cuddle. There will be no more kicking his back through my tummy on those early mornings when I rolled over to his side of the bed. There would be no early morning milk feeds or cuddles on the sofa. There would be no bedtime stories, no nursery drop-offs, no first day of school. There will never be a day when he will walk her down the aisle – that one really hurts.
At our request, the hospital discharged us on Wednesday afternoon shortly after we held Evalyn’s blessing. I didn’t want to leave her, but we were also craving Ieuan who hadn’t seen us for 48 hours and didn’t know why.
That is the moment we said Goodbye to Evalyn. I moved her moses basket over to me on the bed and I leant over and stroked her face, played with her little fingers in my own, kissed her head and stroked her soft hair. Nick did the same. We told her that we would always love her. That we were lucky to have had her for such a short amount of time. That she was beautiful. That she made us so proud beyond any words. That she will always be in our hearts.
Our beautiful, Evalyn . . . . . . .
By Wednesday evening, we’d gone through the motions of having a stillborn baby. We’d had our hearts punctured by the first blow of learning Evalyn was gone. We’d gone through labour, the pain both physically and emotionally of knowing that there would be no happy ending. I’d had parts of me stitched back together. We’d arranged a post mortem, had a blessing, said goodbye and walked out of a maternity ward without a baby to show for it.
But we still hadn’t told Ieuan.
He stayed at my parents on Wednesday night so that me and Nick could have our first night at home together, but we went around after school to tell him. He knew something had happened, although I really think he thought we were coming home with the baby. He came down the stairs, his little face looking at us both expectantly. Nick told him to come into the living room and have a little chat with us. Nick picked him up and sat him on his knee.
“You know the baby?” Nick said, the tears forming in his eyes and escaping down his cheeks, “Well, the baby has died and gone to Heaven and it’s very sad and we’re very sorry because we know that you were really excited to be a big brother.”
And Ieuan looked at Nick. He looked at me. And then he looked at my bump that wasn’t there. And he burst out crying. He flung his arms around Nick. He clung to him so tightly and sobbed his little heart out. And there was nothing that me or Nick could do for him. We couldn’t magic this away for him. And that’s what crushed me inside.
Ieuan was beyond excited to be a big brother. He had watched everyone before us have their babies and now it was our time. We were meant to be next. He was meant to get his baby. He wanted to show his baby all of his teddy bears. He wanted to show the baby his toy cars and his room. He was going to help me choose what the baby was going to wear each day and me and the baby were going to pick him up from school. We were going to have our first Christmas as a family of four.
And now he was sitting, crying on the sofa. I felt like we’d promised him the best toy ever and taken it away from him at the last moment. I felt so angry at life. Give me and Nick the grief. Why did life have to do this to Ieuan too? His beautiful, innocent soul had done nothing to deserve this.
We told him that the baby was a little girl and that her name was Evalyn. And that she loved him very much and that he is still a big brother, it’s just that is little sister is watching over him. There was a little teddy bear in Evalyn’s memory box which the hospital gave to us (although we are yet to go through it ourseleves). My mum took it out of the memory box so that we could give it to Ieuan from his sister. We gave it to her so that she could have a cuddle with it too so that, in our heads and our hearts, it will be a teddy that both of our children have loved and cuddled. We called the teddy ‘Ela’ and gave it to Ieuan and told him that Evalyn had wanted him to have it. He cuddled the teddy so tightly. All I could think was that all my beautiful boy wanted was his baby sister and all we could give him was a little teddy bear.
I keep telling myself that a four and a half year olds grief will be different from ours. Maybe with a bit less understanding of the whole situation, it will hurt a little less? Maybe he’ll ‘recover’ quicker than us? . . . . . .
The night came and everything hurt again. The numbness that had got us through the day was replaced by a greater pain. An intense loss. A crippling of my body and senses.
The house shouldn’t be this quiet and still. Evalyn’s cries should be waking us and we should be sleep deprived because it’s the fourth time we’ve been woken in an hour. Not sleep deprived because she’s not here and I’m too scared to sleep because waking up means waking to our new, sad reality.
At 3am, me and Nick woke and we cried. The same old questions. Why? Why our baby girl? Why is she not here? How can there be a reason for all of this?
We miss her.
My God. We miss her.
Thursday 10th November
Flowers . . . . everywhere. We have so many flowers around our house and we have no more room left should we receive another delivery. They’ve slowly started to make their way over to my parents house from our own and taking over their kitchen surfaces. I said to Nick about how ironic it is that people give you flowers when you’re in mourning. They give you something so beautiful for you to try and look after only for it to wilt and die. How bitterly ironic.
Our friend came round this morning. We all sat on the sofa and spoke about Evalyn and cried. Me and Nick don’t want to shut the world out. We want to talk about Evalyn. She has made such a huge imprint on our lives and we are so proud of her. She has shown us an inner strength that we never knew we had. And the support from our friends and family has shown us that love really is a driving force on the road to healing. Our circle of people have been amazing in picking us up again when we begin to crumble.
A midwife, Dana, came around in the afternoon to check on me. We weren’t expecting her but she was actually a welcome surprise. She specialises in baby bereavement and we spoke with her. We even cried with her. The tears that formed in her own eyes made her all the more human to speak to and made us feel less alone. Talking really is the best therapy. It’s just that sometimes you don’t realise it until after the conversation. Me and Nick have said that we will contact our local SANDS group in the upcoming weeks. They are a support group for parents who have lost a child. A part of me thinks it will be helpful to meet others who have not only gone through this but have also come out the other side and are still standing. We have to know that there is hope. Otherwise, how can we move forward?
Friday 11th November
We know that Ieuan will have questions. We want him to have questions. It’s just that some of them are a little harder to answer than others.
“Mummy? When will the baby come back from Heaven?”
I think that was the hardest one.
What do you say? Nothing we say can make it better for him. I told him that people who go to Heaven don’t come back but they live forever in our hearts and minds. Such a cliched response. How can she live on in his mind if he has no memories of her?
He’s been curious about my tummy. He’ll press it and ask, “Does that hurt, mum?”
He said he thought he could feel something but I had to tell him that it was probably just mummy’s tummy grumbling for food. There’s been a couple of times when he’s forgotten that Evalyn isn’t in there anymore and his teddies have ‘spoken’ to my tummy like they’ve done every day for the past months.
“Hello, baby,” Ieuan will say behind his Pooh Bear.
“O Ieu,” I said to him, “The baby’s not there anymore, is she?”
“O yeah,” he answered, “I forgot.”
I forced a smile. “But we still love mummy’s tummy, don’t we? Because that was Evalyn’s home but now Evalyn lives in the sky, doesn’t she?”
There’s also been alot of questions about Heaven.
“It can be anything you want it to be. If you want to ride your bike all day, you can. Or if you want to eat cake all day, then you can.,” I told him, “It can be anything that makes you happy.”
“Mummy, you’re lucky,” he told me, “You’re lucky because you’re older and you’ll get to see Evalyn before me.”
“O, Ieuan,” I held him close, “That’s not lucky. One day we’ll all be in Heaven together but we have to enjoy our lives first, don’t we?”
“I know. What angel wings will you have?”
“Silver. What about you?”
I watched him thinking. “Blue and green on my back and my front so that I can go super fast.”
“I think Evalyn will have pink and fluffy ones,” I said to him.
“Me too.” . . . .
He had a night of bad dreams. Nick ran into his room at the sound of his cries. He wouldn’t tell us what his dreams were, only that they were ‘scary’. Nick held him and told him to try and go back to sleep and have some nice dreams.
“I don’t know how to make good ones,” Ieuan answered.
I know how he feels.
Sunday 13th November
There was a moment when I felt Evalyn was with me. Really with me. Last Thursday. I sat down to write about her in this diary , my head bent over the pages and my back to the window, blocking out the world.
I heard the first patters of rain against the window, inviting me to glance over and look through the glass.
And there it was.
The most beautiful rainbow. A double rainbow. The colours so vibrant against the dark, grey sky. I walked over to the back door and cried, a little smile on my face. It was like Evalyn knew that I was thinking about her, writing about her and not wanting to ever let her go.
It’s ok, mum, that rainbow was saying. I’m still here. One way or another, I always will be.
“Hi, baby girl,” I whispered to the clouds.
It’s amazing how life can be so cruel and then show you again in a single moment something so simple and beautiful.
My little Evalyn rainbow.
Monday 14th November
The worst thing about registering Evalyn’s death was waiting in a reception where other couples were registering their newborns.
They get the paperwork and a baby.
We get the paperwork and a sympathetic smile.
It’s such a sad piece of paper. The words stillbirth written across it; cause unknown. Nick’s signature along the dotted line like we’ve literally signed her life away.
Evalyn. 8th November. 2016.
Her name and a date.
The only parts of her that we get to keep. Printed on a A4 piece of paper.
Tuesday 15th November
How quickly a week can pass by when you barely acknowledge it. But then you sit on the sofa and think ‘this time last week’ and you’re back in that room again; the flourescent glow of the hospital lights, the material of the bedsheets scratching against your skin, Evalyn in the next room.
I felt like my breath had been taken away again. I’d spent a week trying to slowly piece myself back together and there I was on the sofa, broken down in a heap. I know you have to go back to move forward but at that moment, the pain in my heart was unbearable. Why? Why? Why Evalyn? Why our baby girl?
Life was meant to be colourful.
That evening it felt suffocating.
Wednesday 16th November
The funeral directors. I was dreading it. My mum, who has decided and is adamant that she will conduct Evalyn’s service, came with us. I bet she never thought in a million years that she would be sitting down with her own colleagues to arrange her grandaughter’s funeral.
So many questions.
Do you need cars? What songs do you want? Do you want Evalyn to be brought in or do you want her already there? Do you want the pall bearers to wear pink ties? Do you want flowers?
In a way, none of it matters. I feel like me, Nick and Evalyn had our moment at the hospital when we held her, had our blessing and said our Goodbye. That was our moment. This just feels like another process from life’s Book Of Grief.
Yet at the same time, I don’t want to let her down.
We want a simple ceremony. In a way, a very sad way, what do you say about someone who never got the chance to truly live their life? The time when she was alive inside me is mine and hers. Hers and Nick’s. Evalyn’s and Ieuan’s. That time was ours.
We want her ceremony to focus on appreciating the small moments, appreciating what you have and celebrating that on a daily basis.
No funeral cars. We will make our own way there and Evalyn will be taken there by my parents- keep her with her family. Only some flowers on her little wicker casket. Some beautiful flowers just for her. We have asked everyone to donate their money instead to the hospital suite who looked after us. We need to find good cause in our grief.
Her funeral will be next Thursday. The 24th November at 10am.
Ieuan will be at school. We have made that decision for him that he will not be there. As far as his mind is aware, Evalyn is now in the sky. How can we take him and try to explain to him that she’s in that little wicker casket? I hope that one day he will understand. And when we get her ashes back, we will tell him that Evalyn has sent him down some ‘star dust’ for us all to sprinkle in a place that’s beautiful. And we will visit her often in our special place.
Friday 18th November
Filling time when it seems to have stopped is turning into a challenge.
How many cups of tea have me and Nick drunk between us this week? How many hours have we wasted following eachother around the house in circles? How many ‘odd jobs’ have we completed around the house in the hope that it will make the day just magically fly by?
Nick was going to go back to work next week but what with next Tuesday being our origianl due date and Thursday being Evalyn’s funeral, he’s going to go back the following week instead.
Then how will I fill my time? How will I feel in an empty house trying to fill the hours? I should’ve been looking after my newborn daughter by then and instead I’ll be surrounded by silence. I know I can see friends, my parents, go shopping and try to carry on like life hasn’t dealt us a paralysing blow. But for how long?
Saturday 19th November
We took Ieuan to the skatepark today. Well, that was the plan. But then it rained.
We had pulled into a parking space along the seafront and continued to sit in the car whilst we waited to see if the wind and rain would reduce but it soon became apparent that it was here to stay.
A song was playing on the car stereo; True Colours. And as the rain fell down and the sun started to appear through the clouds, another beautiful rainbow appeared in the sky. My second ‘Evalyn rainbow; in two weeks. The first when I was writing about her and the second when True Colours (a song we are playing at her funeral) was playing in the car.
We sat and listened to the words. What a poignant moment. Me, Nick and Ieuan. Sat in the car, looking at a vibrant rainbow and thinking of Evalyn.
Beautiful, like a rainbow. Giving us strength and sparking our hope.
Tuesday 22nd November
Today would have been our due date.
How many times over the past 9 months have I wished to magically reach this date? Now I just wish that I could go back a few weeks and somehow make everything right.
Somewhere, in a parrallel universe, me and Nick would’ve woken up today so happy and excited and I probably would’ve spent the day walking around the house questioning every ache and twinge. Instead, we woke up to rain hammering against our window pane and a sadness in our hearts. It’s so hard not to let your mind wander to the ‘what if’ scenario. But I keep telling myself not to. There was never going to be a ‘what if’. This is a path that not even we could have predicted.
We spent most of the day trying to find distactions. This involved us getting in the car and driving last minute to do some Christmas shopping.
And do you know what we saw?
Five rainbows!! Five little ‘Evalyn rainbows’!!
I have never seen so many rainbows in one day. I have never seen so many rainbows as I’ve seen in two weeks. Those bright colours in the grey background in the sky show us hope. Those colours show me that Evalyn, in her own little way, is still here.
Wednesday 23rd November
Today we painted back over Evalyn’s room, turning the colour we’d put in there back to the white of this page. As much as it hurt, we just couldn’t have the room looking like some sort of half way place – full of the memories it could’ve made but empty of any future with Evalyn.
I thought that I would be alright. But each bit of paint that began to cover the mint and grey squares we’d painted weeks ago made it more painful. We had been so proud of the little room we had created for her. Finishing that room, in my mind, had meant that we would’ve been weeks away from meeting her and bringing her back home to it.
Everything was meant to be perfect.
I’ve cried so much today. I don’t even feel functional. I’ve either been lying in bed or lying on the sofa crying into the fabrics. I know that there will be days like this. They’ll probably be many more days like this.
I just long for the happy days ahead that I hope will seep back into our lives at some point.
Thursday 24th November
The day of Evalyn’s funeral.
A bitterly cold and windy day but, luckily, the rain held off and the sun even managed a few appearances.
Her service, conducted by my mum, was held at 10am. We met my parents at the funeral home. No hearses. Evalyn travelled to the crematorium in her tiny wicker casket held on my dad’s lap. Everything seemed so surreal. How could our little girl be inside that casket, cuddled up to her little teddy bears that she’d never got to play with?
We arrived at the crematorium and as we stood outside, I could see the faces of our friends peering through the windows. Stay strong for Evalyn, I told myself. Nick wanted to be the person to carry our little girl inside and my dad passed Evalyn’s wicker casket to him and we stood for a moment outside; Me, Nick and Evalyn. Our final moment together.
Nick carried her inside to the song True Colours. I couldn’t look at our friends as they followed behind us, but I could hear their tears. I sat between Nick and my dad and held onto them tightly.
But I never cried.
There were moments when my throat felt hot where I kept the tears locked inside and my nose wanted to run with the liquid my eyes held in. I was trying to be brave for Evalyn. For Nick. My parents. But I also knew that should I let one tear fall, they would never stop. I would have become that collapsed, grieving mother at her child’s funeral. I could’ve screamed at the top of my lungs but it wouldn’t have changed anything.
Evalyn was gone.
My mum did a beautiful service. I’ve asked her to put a copy of it into Evalyn’s memory box and maybe one day I’ll be able to read it again and read those words with a warm smile at the memory. I am so proud of my mum. I honestly don’t know how she found the strength. She gave her grandaughter the perfect goodbye.
As the service ended, me and Nick went to the front to say one last goodbye. Nick kissed her little casket, but I couldn’t bring myself to. But that’s ok. I told myself that I had had my moment back at the hospital. I had held her, taken her little hands in mine and kissed her forehead, feeling her skin against my own.
I traced the etching of her name with my fingers. Goodbye, my sweet Evalyn. And I held onto Nick as we walked away from her into the garden of the crematorium. The funeral director later told my mum that all of our friends had formed a line inside to take it in turn to say goodbye to Evalyn as they passed. He said that’s the first time he’s ever seen that happen and that means alot. She was loved by our friends alot too. She was our Evalyn. Me and Nick made her, but she’s stolen a piece of everyone else’s heart too.
We went to the pub afterwards for coffee, tea and cake and by 1pm it was over. Just. Like. That. The day I’d been dreading had passed by in a blink.
When we got back to the car we realised we’d recently missed calls from Ieuan’s school asking us to pick him up as he had a temperature and was feeling unwell. The school administrator said that he was feeling sorry for himself and ‘just needed some mummy and daddy cuddles.” And after what we had just gone through, that sounded like the best thing in the world – Ieuan cuddles.
I sat in the car thinking of the surreality of the day. Our daughters funeral in the morning followed by nursing our snotty, hot boy in the afternoon. But maybe that’s what we needed? Maybe it was a gentle reminder from Evalyn to say that life will carry on? I’m not there, mum and dad, but go and focus on Ieuan and give him lots of cuddles.
O, Evalyn. You have shown us a strength we never knew we had. I will always love you, more than you could ever know.
Friday 25th November
Everything feels too hard today.
Ieuan was off school with his cold and temperature and this morning, I felt like my world had crumbled all over again. That’s the thing about grief, it comes in waves. And some of them you jump over easily enough only to trip over the next one and plunge back into the water.
I spent a good hour sobbing into my pillow and just letting that feeling of being crushed take over my body. Then at 11am when I had no more tears left, I decided enough was enough and to get changed out of my pyjamas and try and get on with the day.
We went to go and collect Evalyn’s ashes this afternoon.
That crushed my heart all over again. I’d imagined bringing our baby home so many times. She would have been snuggled in her car seat. Ieuan would’ve bounded up to the front door all excited that his little sister was home . . .
But there I was, sitting in the car bringing our little girls ashes home in a little box.
I took them to her room when we got in.
She would have loved her room. I should have been placing her in her cot. Not placing her on the shelf. God. Life. Why? Why did you do this?
She can rest there in her room for a little bit. But in the upcoming weeks we will find a beautiful place to sprinkle her ‘star dust’.
Monday 28th November
Nick went back to work today, Ieuan went back to school and I’ve had my first real day by myself since Evalyn died.
I don’t think Nick really wanted to go back to work. He’s been off for three weeks so they’ll be lots to sort out, lots of clients to sort out and emails to sort through. He’ll probably be exhausted when he comes home but I’m hoping it will bring a regular routine and a slither of normality into his life.
Unlike me. No routine and alot of time to think.
But today has been ok. I haven’t yet collapsed into a sobbing, broken mess on the floor. I’ve checked my emails, re-painted my nails and done the washing up. I went for lunch with my mum and then we arranged to have some jewellery made using some of Evalyn’s ashes. My mum is having a ring and I’m having a silver pendant with a black stone. I’m also having a ‘e’ engraved onto it. That way I can wear it close to my heart and have a little part of her here with me.