It’s stupid o’clock in the morning, and I’m downstairs, curled into the corner of my sofa, and surrounded by a mountain of blankets. Because just as my mind was drifting away I began to have some very clear thoughts, and it seemed important to get them down. To remember them in the morning.
I still find myself disappointed that I’ve been such an emotional wreck at times, to become so upset over things that were never intended that way, the utter hopelessness that you can still feel so fragile when so much in your life is so good. But then I really started to think about what I lost, and I think that maybe I’m on my tentative way to forgiving myself for wobbling from time to time.
Anyone who knows me, knows about my daughter, Freya. I’m always quite honest about her, but I do still feel frowned upon for talking about her. This has not been so much as hinted at by anyone around me, just my own awareness that talking about a very personal bereavement tends to upset our “stiff upper lips” sensibilities. But tonight I really began to think about her continuing part in my life, and just how present she really is.
I know that not a day goes past when I don’t think of her. Even doing the most mundane everyday tasks, such as food shopping, or collecting the kids from school, there’s always a small part of me wondering what it would have been like if I’d had all three of my children with me. If I see a family of a boy and two girls at the appropriate age gaps, I can’t help but feel an envious ache. Cannot help wondering if their parents know just how truly blessed they are.
If this leads you to believe that I can find no joy in my life without Freya, then you would be wrong. My love for Jake and Kizzy, pride at their achievements, and absolute joy for the privilege of being their mum is in no way diminished. Indeed, it is that depth of feeling for them that only heightens my loss. I love Freya just as fiercely but I don’t get to make those treasured memories with her. I don’t get to watch her grow up, but what hurts even more is that SHE doesn’t get to do this. Didn’t get to meet the family that already loved her so much, didn’t get to drive her mum to equal parts distraction and giggles, like my other two children do.
The pain does ease, time does definitely soothe the wounds. The chest crushing physical pain I felt the day I lost Freya has long since gone. Now it’s like a faint wounded echo to each beat of my heart. But that same heart is still quite capable of being filled with so much love, it can barely be contained within. Both Jake and Kizzy daily fill me with so much pride and love I sometimes feel like I will burst. And I love and treasure every minute I get to spend with them. I’m not saying I don’t occasionally want to throttle them when they’re in full on bicker (Jake) or whine (Kizzy) mode. I’m a mum, not superwoman.
But I am very aware of just how precious my time with them is, and for that I guess I can thank Freya. My time as the centre of their world is limited, so I’m draining every last minute I can from it. I’ll never be rich, I’m too busy spoiling them. I don’t ever want to regret not letting them try something, and find their own interests, and become the people they are going to be. I want them to have great experiences now, and great memories forever. But mostly I want them to know how incredibly special they are, and just how much they are loved. Because of them I have never, and will never, contemplated giving up. I don’t want to miss a thing. No matter how anxious I may be one day, I always know there are more smiles and happiness in my future. There will always be blue skies ahead.
Jacob David McMillan.Freya Beth McMillan. Kezia Hope McMillan.
To each of my three children, thank you. And I love you.