Every October, for the last few years, I’ve felt like I’ve been cast adrift.
While I still go through the motions of daily life, it’s as if someone untied the rope and I am gradually floating away from the world and everything in it.
I know it’s because of the anniversary of my first pregnancy loss. The devasting day that changed everything, certainly me, forever. But it’s more than that.
Almost like a perfect storm.
The excitement of September and the first signs of autumn seem to fade and the reality of cold, dark mornings, leading into wet, dull days and ending with early, often uninspiring, sunsets, seem to gang up and add to my overwhelming feeling of sadness.
But not this year.
This year, it’s the strangest thing.
If anything, I feel more connected to the world, to him, our Oscar, than ever. It’s like I’ve some how been plugged into the planet and everything is appearing in glorious technicolour.
Oh the sadness is still there. Even after five years, I still feel like there is someone missing from my life, from my side. That little boy to walk to school, hand in swinging hand, to take to the park in search of conkers or to moan at for jumping in puddles in his trainers.
While I still think of him often – and even more so this month because not only is it the anniversary but it coincides with Baby Loss Awareness Week when so many more people are sharing their stories – it’s not the same.
There is no less rain but often there follows the brightest of rainbows and I search for them now. (Incidentally, this appeared as we were getting ready to take some flowers to the woodland burial ground.)
Some days can still feel dull but it’s the chance to turn on the lamp and blanket the livingroom in a warm, cosy glow.
And whereas before I would almost welcome the darkness of a sunset where the clouds are doing their best to try and close the show, now I look for the glimmer of light fighting its way through – and often it’s there.
It’s a nice, entirely unexpected, feeling, this mental shift. It’s like I’ve had an eye test and been given new glasses enabling me to see a beauty in even the dullest of things.
I know that “time is a great healer” and counselling played a massive role in helping me cope with my grief. Of course, caring for Freya also keeps me busy but I really think our little woodland adventure is behind this new positivity this year.
Before we went my head was in the same old place. I was dreading October and ready to write the month off, as I have done since 2011.
Taking time out, even for a couple of days, being surrounded by the woods and able to sit outside and just breathe, seems to have anchored me.
I’ve always known the importance of the natural world, especially the benefits to health, but this is the first time I’ve been able to stand back and really feel, deep down, its healing capacity.
Maybe that’s because while we are often outdoors, we are normally doing something. There is no time to just be – and that’s what I want to do more of.
I’m not saying that if you go and sit outside for an hour it will cure all your hurts and ills. I wish it could. We all have different stories and this is one page in mine. Who is to say if I will stay this positive for the rest of the month – there are only so many times even I can enjoy being soaked by the rain.
I thought it was worth sharing though because last year I couldn’t write anything about the anniversary, I just didn’t have it in me (I simply posted a photo). This year is different. It almost feels like a gift.
Baby Loss Awareness week ends on Saturday with a global Wave of Light. Please join us in lighting a candle at 7pm and leave it burning for at least an hour to remember all the babies who have died too soon.