This month and particularly this week have been quite the struggle. Frankly, I didn't want to accept that I wasn't coping well with life, but as we know, life has a way of telling you everything, even what you don't want to hear. A friend at work and I crossed our cables and understood different things before a meeting and when we sat down to talk about it I, quite literally, had a meltdown. So after quickly talking to her whilst she was being awesome and telling me that she can help with things, it was back to being locked in the big bathroom crying for a while and then hiding in places where nobody can see me to finish the work I had to do. The weekend hasn't been any different, especially in the mornings. I'm typing this on my phone, in bed on Sunday at 6am because I have been awake (again) with a head full of struggling thoughts that won't quit.
My mom arrived on Friday and after not seeing her for ten months all I needed really was a hug from her to feel that everything is as ok as it can be. The issue is, that lasts as long as she's actually hugging me and I can't quiet my mind even then! When we get our day going I seem to function quite well; but then after the work fiasco I must force myself to slowdown and accept that I am walking on very thin ice and no amount of saying "I can do this" will help.
Unfortunately, doing the activities for Olivia's calendar hasn't helped me personally as much as I had been counting on. Besides a few days where Pierre and I mostly laughed at each other, my actual activities have been received with very mixed emotions. I'm sharing pictures of a few of them on my Instagram and in this post (I think here you need to click to see the next picture). Don't get me wrong, I love making the world feel special, I LOVE feeding people so a lot of homeless people are benefiting from random acts of kindness and, in general, I love spreading joy. Based on that, I thought I was going to run excitedly to the calendar every morning and check what the activity was and plan my day around it. The thing is, I am in autopilot lately. I was telling Pierre that I think we survived last year because institutions and people around us moved us through stages. What i mean is, the hospital had a goal: deliver a baby so they did what they had to do to make that happen. Then when we left, our friends had a goal: make sure they have food to eat, so they made that happen. The hospital and crematorium had a goal: make sure this baby gets a service and that the parents get what they need; and the amazing Natasha at Mortlake Crematorium made that happen. We just had to show up and do our part that was very specifically given to us. Don't get me wrong, showing up was hard enough and then having to plan your baby's service (aka, funeral) is something that I don't wish upon the worst people in the world. But, nobody expected us to think much, they just told us exactly what they needed from us moment by moment and that is everything we needed then. Sadly, that's how I'm feeling lately and how I walk to the calendar almost every morning, I have to do it and although I am happy when I'm actually doing it there is no excitement or less pain because I'm doing this, there's just the having to do something besides going to work, that gets me out of bed.
What consistently has made us smile is friends sharing their activities with us, when they send pictures or just a text telling us they've done something my life lights up. The idea that someone else is smiling and that other people are having brighter days or moments because of her calendar makes the two months we worked on this worth it. I might not run eagerly to the calendar each morning but I do run to my phone when my friends text and call and I do smile when they tell me they've done something. So, THANK YOU to everyone that has been taking part in Olivia's month so far, I know that not everyone shares or does every day, and that is ok, but just THANK YOU for doing something nice for the world and yourselves in the name of Olivia, or anyone else you're dedicating your actions to.
I've been wanting to share some myself but the little dark cloud that's following me lately is only getting bigger and I need to stop subconsciously acting like it's not there or that I'm dealing with it well. The reality is I'm having a really bad time and I need all the help I can get to get through this month. How can you help? I have no idea! That's the thing, I have no clue how anyone can help besides asking God to please move time forward so I can skip the 16? Or maybe can I please have someone that can read my mind and speaks for me during the next week or for as long as I need i? Unfortunately none of those things are possible and I can't ignore the dates that are coming and trying to do so only makes it worst. For the mind reader part, I do think I can count on some people to anticipate certain things for me at work and at home and I'm asking for their help tomorrow, so we'll see.
It's crazy that I wake up every morning and the thoughts are all around the same thing, the day Olivia died. Why can't my brain somehow focus on the joy and peace I felt when I first held her? Or Pierre's face looking at her when he held her? Those are the memories I live for! I know it's important to deal with things and not hide the bad with forced good, but I hate that I can't go to a happy place when I wake up like I used to. It takes me a good 3 hours to stop going through the worst days of my life until I'm numb for a bit and then I'm just functioning. Yesterday for example, I woke up at 6am and had a crap morning until Pierre and my Mami woke up. Then we had a great day with some of our best friends and we even did our O's and visited Olivia's bench. Yesterday was a great day... but it took me a while to get there and here I am, back in the crap again...
The last time Pierre's mum and Jacques came to London in their car to bring us things was the 5th of June, the day after the only party Olivia will ever physically attend, her amazing babyshower. Mamie, Pierre's EPIC grandmother came along and I showed them all of Olivia's presents and her room and we had such a great time preparing everything and walking around Bishops Park. Let me have a parenthesis here to say that I have been very very lucky on the in laws side of things, Pierre's family is amazing. He has an awesome support system (mostly commanded by strong women) that all love each other a lot and aren't afraid to show it (everyone in their own ways, like Mamie's millions of cakes!). Olivia is talked about all the time and not with a sad tone or caveats around her. Caro, her Tata, sends us messages when she gets winks and we know she talks to Paul (our nephew Godson and Olivia's twin cousin as he was born 2 months before her!) about her all the time. Christine, Pierre's mum, messages us almost every day with loving words, emojis or little videos from her window showing us the weather and telling us about her plans for the day. She's an amazing artist and she made for us a beautiful sunflower painting that is in our bedroom for us to see every morning. Pierre's mum was also the first familiar face I saw after Olivia died and the first person who, face to face, told me not to forget that I am still her mum and that we are very much parents now.
Well, the last time I saw them all (minus Caro as she was taking care of a recently arrived Paul), we were all in London eagerly awaiting Olivia's arrival and planning all the things that we would do when she arrived. The last thing I said to them as they were leaving on June 5 2016 was: Next time you come we will be three!!!!
Those words were on repeat when Christine arrived on the 17th of June and later when her and Caro returned on the 1st of August for Olivia's service. There were no three, at least not physically, and I hate my self for being that person that excitedly counts down everything.
Today Jacques and Christine are coming back for the first time together in the car since that day. We have a day of eating ahead of us and I am so excited to see them because I truly believe that thanks to them, my mum and Pierre we will have another great day. I just can't stop thinking about my words, how they will never ever be a tangible truth but how denying that is just wrong. Because, in a way we are very much 3, you just can't see our third musketeer.