If you’re a regular reader you’ll know about Harry. Harry was my first pregnancy, my first baby and my first introduction to proper grief.
Losing Harry has changed me in so many ways; it’s altered my views on life, my personality, and my relationships. It’s made me look at the world differently and probably not in ways you would expect! It’s made me want to change how I behave and what kind of person I am.
I believe these changes are permanent. I believe I am not and will never be the person I was before I had him. Here are the 8 ways losing my baby has changed me…
My Relationship is Stronger
Luckily for me and Mr. W our sadness only brought us closer; unfortunately for a lot of people that is not the case. After losing Harry we experienced a whole new level of “sad”. Sadness I have never and hope to never experience again; but if any good can be pulled from a heartbreaking situation then it’s that we grew even closer than I would have imagined possible for two people to be.
I always felt I had to be my own “rock” before but I’ve learnt that I don’t have to be strong all the time and that’s a wonderful feeling. I have this amazing person to fall back on and, frankly, I don’t think I’d be a functioning human again if it wasn’t for him! He truly is the most special person in the world to me.
“Love isn’t who you see yourself with, it’s who you can’t see yourself without”– Unknown
I’m More Thankful
There’s always someone out there who has it worse than you- Full stop. In a situation like what we experienced, it would have been easy for us to fall into that cycle of “Why me? Why us? Poor me! No one understands! The world hates me! What did we do to deserve this?!” but we didn’t. It’s been tough, it’s still tough, and it will always be tough- but- people have it worse, A LOT worse.
What do I have? Well, I have a stable happy marriage; me, my husband, family and friends have our health, I have a home, my husband and I have jobs, we make money, we live well, we have friends and family in abundance, we have another baby on the way. I am thankful for what I have because it’s far more than what a lot of people have. When all is said and done; I’m still one of the lucky ones.
“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough.”– Oprah Winfrey
I’m More Mature
I’ve aged; emotionally, mentally and probably physically. I was lucky enough, before this, to never have experienced what I would call true sadness. So it’s probably not a surprise that once I found myself dealing with premature labour, postmortems and baby funerals at the age of 23; I grew up. I wasn’t prepared for what happened; the thought had never crossed my mind that something like that would happen to me- it always happens to someone else right?
Grief definitely ages you. I’ve grown up a lot in a short space of time.
“You will lose someone you can’t live without, your heart will be badly broken and the bad news is you will never completely get over the loss of your beloved. But this is also good news. They live forever in you broken heart that doesn’t seal back up. And you’ve come through. It’s like having a broken leg that never heals perfectly- that still hurts whenever the weather gets cold, but you learn to dance with the limp.”– Anne Lamott.
I Hate Negativity
I was never a massive fan of pessimistic, gloomy people before having Harry, but I’ve noticed recently that I’m even more adverse to those “My life is so hard! Poor me” -people. I’ve always found negative people a real drain and do now more than ever. I’ve started to notice how often people moan about stupid little things of no consequence and I find it so frustrating!
There are people out there with genuine problems, genuine worries, genuine tragedies going on in their lives and most of the time they find the strength to solider on and even muster up a smile and kind word for someone else going through a hard time. So the fact that the worst thing that’s happened you this week is that you had to wait 10 minutes in a queue at the post office is of no significance to me.
“If you keep telling the same sad story, you will keep living the same sad life”– Jean Houston
I’m More Emotional
I’ve always been quite emotionally stunted where my own feelings are concerned. I hate seeing others upset and immediately what to comfort someone whose down, but when it comes to me I would rather anything than cry or be sad in front of another human. It would have been a rarity for anyone to see me cry before.
I haven’t done a complete U-Turn and turned into the sort of person who gets teary daily, but I’m definitely more in tuned with my emotions. I still don’t see myself being one of those people who cries regularly- there’s nothing wrong with these people it’s just not for me- but I’m more comfortable now with the idea that it’s ok to cry and feel sad from time to time, and that’s a big change.
“Unexpressed emotions will never die. They are buried alive and will come forth later in uglier ways.”– Sigmund Freud
I Value My Friends & Family More
I love my friends and family more; of course, I’ve always loved my friends and family but when something terrible happens it makes you realise who is truly there for you.
I don’t know what I would have done in the days, weeks and months after having Harry if I didn’t have such good friends and family. The best thing is they all knew exactly what to say. I can honestly say that none of my friends upset me by saying something accidentally insensitive (I wish the same could be said for everyone else but unfortunately the truth is far from it!) it’s something I will never forget and will be eternally thankful for.
“A true friend sees the first tear, catches the second and stops the third”– Angelique
I’m More Positive
After living in unbearable sadness and negativity for a large part of a year I have come out the other side with the realisation that it’s an unawful and draining way to live. I think the more positive you are, the more chance you have of positive things happening to you- this is my karmic side emerging! People like optimistic people, and happiness and positivity (like negativity and sadness!) are infectious. Would you rather be the bearer of misery and gloom or the bringer of smiles and laughter? Not a hard choice for me really.
“There are two ways of looking at the world, one as if everything is a miracle, and second, as if nothing is.”– Albert Einstein
I’m Becoming a Better Person
I honestly believe these changes have made and are making me into a better person. I’ve learnt I can overcome harsh challenges in my life. I’ve learnt how strong I am. I’ve learnt how strong my relationship with my husband is. I know how great my friends and family are. I’ve learnt to value what I have. I’ve learnt its ok to lean on someone. I’ve grown up. I’ve realized life isn’t worth wasting your time with negativity.
Time does not heal. Time does not make the pain disappear. Time does not make you forget. But as time goes on you get stronger and can deal with the pain differently. I will always be a different person now but that person is a better version of who I was before. Hopefully all the things I’ve learnt from this experience will go some way to making me a better mum, wife, friend, daughter and person.
Maybe that was Harry’s gift to me. Maybe that was the purpose of his very short but very significant life. Maybe that’s why he will always be in my heart and never forgotten.