When I read and hear of the experiences of women who have had their 1st and only child die, my heart just breaks a little bit more. When I had my miscarriage before having my first daughter Ella, I had the added grief of wondering if I ever would be a mother, I felt like a bit of a mother for carrying a child even for only a short while, but I had nothing to show for that time except empty arms. If it was Ava that died before having my children I know I would be in a completly different place.
Having 2 children who really needed me, forced me to get out of bed, get dressed and go about life as well as I could. I didn't want to go to playgroup with my son, I didn't want to take my daughter to school, I didn't want to go to church and I didn't want to go and do the grocery shopping. However, my son needed to see his friends and interact with other kids, my daughter has to go to school, I myself needed to go to church and we needed food to eat so I had to go shopping. In the early days my sister was staying with us so we were lucky she did a lot of the running around with the kids, made important phone calls, shopped, cooked etc, and when she went home my husband totally stepped up and did all of this. But I'm the mum and my kids needed me to be present, so I have done the best I could and done all of the usual "mum" things.
So I do think having kids has saved me from spiralling into a really dark place, instead of just a really sad place.
The hard thing about being right in the middle of your grief when you have other children to care for is that sometimes I feel like I can't fully grieve like I want to in peace. Sometimes I really, really want to scream, like a gut wrenching massive scream that the whole universe can hear. And a lot of the time I just want to cry and let the tears fall whenever and wherever as often as I like. I can't do this because I don't want my kids to be traumatised, they have already been through so much.
I wonder if anyone else feels like me? I know that everyone grieves differently, everyone feels loss differently so I can only speak for myself.