A Million Little Things

8:25 am

Florence feels distant to me lately, it's as though she's just out of sight, a glimmer of her in the corner of my eye in a sunbeam,but when I try to find her she's gone.
Maybe I'm starting to accept she is gone? Maybe I've always thought she might be coming back?
I'm not at all sure of anything, except I think this current numbness may well be temporary. I certainly hope so, because I don't want to feel this way forever, I think I prefer the constant tears to this.

A wise person said to me recently that everything I'm feeling is normal, that maybe some of my grief was put on hold while I prepared for Ernest's birth, and again while I dealt with all of his feeding issues.
I think that's certainly possible.

Life doesn't stand still though, each time I think I might be catching up with the now, dragging myself kicking and screaming from July 2009, I find that life is still moving on.
Ernest is 9 months now, he's moving on to older babyhood. He's crawling and pulling himself up, and developing a sense of humour. He loves his Daddy and puts his arms out to him as soon as he's home from work. He's just so alive and wonderful.

I was shopping in the supermarket a week ago. I'd left Woody and the older children arguing over a dessert for dinner, and gone to find shampoo, with Ernest tucked in the sling.
An elderly lady approached us, and commented on what a beautiful baby Ernest is. She asked me if he was my first, and I replied no, that he was my sixth. She asked me if I was catholic, I'm not, but she said she was, though only had one child, then she corrected herself and said she had three, but she had lost two. My heart skipped a beat, and I wanted to say I understood, and my baby was gone too, but she did what I try to do, and she moved the conversation on before I had the chance. I guess she'd had a lot more practice than me.
We chatted for a while, and as we parted she said how much she'd enjoyed chatting, and that Ernest was far too much of an old fashioned name for such a beautiful baby.
I know I'll almost probably never see her again, I know it was just a random polite chat in the supermarket, but I feel guilty that I didn't validate her lost children, I didn't even say I was sorry.
I told her, I'd enjoyed our chat too, and I hoped she'd have a nice evening. I hope she did.

And this is how it is, a million small things,but there's no happy ending, no neatly tied up package. I think maybe I've been waiting for a time when all the grief is done and I'm just accepting.
She's been gone 21 months, and I'm still struggling with forever.
I'll always grieve, maybe sometimes harder than others, maybe accepting that is what I need to do.

Bittersweet Tears on 365 Project

I've been archiving all my posts about Florence, slowly going through them. I want to protect those thoughts, put them somewhere safe. I want to put Florence somewhere safe, a pocket inside my heart.

Like many babyloss mamas who blog I feel like a stuck record. Going through my older posts I realise I've repeated myself even more than I suspected I had. I don't know how much longer I can go on doing that here in this space, and still feel I'm keeping Florence safe.

My recent experiences have taught me, that outside of my bubble, actually the *vast majority don't give a shit, and want me to STFU already. To most people Florence was not a person, but "just a baby", and I'm all cured now having Ernest here.
Some people might even think I'm not grateful for what I do have, that I'm wallowing...it has been suggested.

I'm not going to remove my posts from this blog, I'm just putting them somewhere safe too, and pondering what to do next.

*I'm very aware that some of what I'm saying here might hurt and upset those of you reading that do give a shit, and do understand, that's not my intention at all. You are not included in that "vast majority".

Don't be shy, say hello!


  1. (((hugs))) as always Jeanette.
    There is no end to grief, it never leaves us, just somtimes it's all encomapssing and sometimes it slips away like the tide, but it's always there.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and emotions so eloquntly - you don't have to justify yourself here ;-)

  2. I just wanted to say that you are amazing - I don't know you at all in the real world but i stumbled along your blog ages ago and am unable to stop reading.
    Your love for all of your children is so blindingly obvious and your commitment to feeding Ernest leaves me in awe of you.
    I am sorry that you have had such a tough time with others peoples attitudes and I am sure that my words are of little comfort but because of you and your familys story I try to be a little more sensitive when talking to others.

  3. I think you and your blog are a testament to the reality of baby loss, that life goes on and it stops and starts all over the place, falling back, pulling ahead. I make no apology for the days when I write "we had a good day but it would have been better with Freddie in it" and you don't need to either. You have helped to pull me ahead this year, always just slightly ahead, giving me hope. I love you for it.

  4. This is YOUR blog and you can write what the hell you want. If there is anyone who thinks that they can bugger off quite frankly!
    It's all about you and if this is what you need to write then please do. We want to support you and hug you from afar.
    Do what works for you and sod everyone else.
    Love M xxxx

  5. No one needs to read your blog, if they don't like it they should go elsewhere. I don't read your blog because I have lost a baby or child but because you make gorgeous lovely things and have a wonderful family. Florence is part of that and I don't think you are repeating yourself, because Florence never changes and grows as she should have there are no new memories- just you living with the grief and gap in your family. Keep on talking about what you feel like talking about- Ernest, Florence, sewing... keep being so strong.

  6. Hi
    Just wanted to say congratulations and let you know that your gorgeous blog has been nominated in the MAD Blog Awards for UK parent blogs.
    If you’d like to find out more about the awards and the prizes on offer, then head over to www.the-mads.com.
    We will be publishing details of all the nominees in all the categories on Monday morning, and nominations are open until 5pm that day – so if you’d like to take part, make sure you encourage all your friends, family and readers to keep nominating!
    Best of luck and well done on your nomination.
    The MAD Blog Awards

  7. Hello lovely lady, I just wanted to say, you gave me a little jolt reading this post. I only started reading your blog after Florence was gone, so in a way, she has always been someone in your past to me, although I understand how much she will always be in your present. When you said 21 months it was then that I stopped for a moment, and realised how little time has actually went by. I think having Ernest is partly the reason the time-line has been blurred. Maybe thats why you get the feeling people expect you to 'be better' by now. In the grand scheme of it that is no time at all and frankly I think you are amazing for coping with one day at a time as you do. I don't know if I would be nearly as together as you are, even if it is mostly on the outside some days.

  8. Hi Jeanette
    I haven't commented for ages but I still read every post. You know what? Who Gives A F*** (sorry) about those people who who want you to STFU??? I'm sorry but no one has to read a blog do they? Honey you can only feel what YOU feel. No one can tell you how to feel or what to feel or when to feel it. You are using this blog to put your thoughts and feelings somewhere. Carry on. Those of us who want to will still read and send you love.

    My eldest brother died age 1 day almost 50 years ago. My mum rarely talks about him but I know she still feels the grief. Although he died well before I was born I think of him every July 13th and I gave James his name as his second name. No idea why I am sharing that with you now... I suppose to let you know he is still a part of our family and he is still loved 50 years on.

    Take care Jeanette xxx

  9. Same here, well said. I too have been archiving but not re-reading, not brave enough for that yet. Ive felt the urge to write more to him lately, and I have begun to settle myself to the idea that no one really wants to read what I have to say anymore, but I keep writing, and I think you should too.


  10. I think you should keep writing and write what you feel. Anyone who thinks Florence is "just a baby" and that you are "wallowing" or "should have moved on"...well their opinions are umimportant, unneccessary and they shouldn't be reading/cannot call themselves your friends. Ok? Florence is Florence and she always will be. She was real and living and beautiful and Your Baby. She will always be Special and Valid and Important and remembered and Loved. Keep talking about her and about you and your grief and life and how it all feels. It can only help in some way XXX and we love to listen :-)

  11. you did a lovely thing in the supermarket - you let an old woman remember. You listened long enough for her to get the words out there, to say them aloud.

    Repeat yourself all you like hon.


  12. I have never thought you wallowing. I have never thought you ungrateful. Loss is loss. And I agree with SO many of the other comments posted on this entry. xxx always.

  13. just wanted to echo everyone else - this is your special place to let out your thoughts with your friends listening - we all hear you and want to know how you are feeling. I've spent the last few days with 1000s of Christians at a conference and you kept coming into my thoughts and prayers - it was as if God was telling me you were feeling particularly frustrated with others not understanding your feelings about Florence. We understand and care - please continue to share and know that we are thinking/praying and thinking about you and your lovely family.

  14. Happy Easter Jeanette. I'm just catching up with posts, as like you say, time is passing by so quickly it seems. As you know ~I went private last summer when I started to feel a little exposed and vunerable. I think you (as always) are an amazingly strong woman. I think you help many others by being open and sharing yourself an and your babies. I always feel honoured to be able to check in with you to catch up with how life is. I feel lucky to have met little Florance in bump form, but so so sad that we've never got to meet in the outside. I still am in tears- so we are all greiving together in our differant ways for your little girl.
    Just follow your independant spirit and look after yourself.
    Much Love AM

  15. I thought I commented on that last blog post. Just wanted to send you some love. I love your blog. I never think you are repetitive, but I am also a babylost mama, and I never tire of hearing about grief. Grief is relentless, punishing, impossible to explain, impossible to reconcile, absolutely inconsiderate of time, place, space. I need my blog to be repeating, to be present in it somewhere when I cannot be present in it everywhere. I think you are amazingly self-aware and kind. I get a lot from your honesty and sincerity to face the grief and all the other stuff tangentially related. Sending love, as always, my friend. xo

  16. There are lots of us out here still thinking of and remembering Florence even though we never met her earthside, but you knew her for 9 months so of course you're still thinking of her and talking about her. Please don't let the thoughtless comments of a couple of so-called professionals, or anyone else who might have said something similar, make you feel bad for continuing to do so.
    Debby x

  17. Grief is so sneaky, reminds me of my shadow...

    blessings to you as you continue to grieve your Florence and learn to live without her here.

  18. No wise words, just thinking of you.


  19. So many hugs to you... I know how it feels to seem as though everything you say and do is redundant.. even in the face of the fact that no one on the outside seems to validate any of it. It is like performing the same action over and over again in the hopes of a different outcome. Which by the way is the definition of insanity I believe. Ha. A perfect description of myself I think...
    Personally I think the repetition is what keeps us sane.. keeps us sound. So repeat away. I am here and hoping to read more of your beautiful thoughts.

  20. And I almost forgot... did you finally find the print!!? I am thrilled!! xo!

  21. We wouldn't be here reading if we didn't want to listen. Florence is one of your children, I wouldn't expect you to speak about her any less than any of your others x

  22. No wise words Jeanette, just hugs and thinking of you.
    x Souad

  23. Always here, always understanding, always remembering Florence. Even if you wrote the same post every single day, I'd still come and support you. Because I get it, I just do. (I really wish I didn't.)

  24. What wise words from your friend .....haven't anything wise to say only that I have loved reading all your posts; reading about your clever sewing and making skills, general life in a big family, seeing your little man grow and sharing your sadness all the while keeping life going for the family!

    You are amazing in all you do and you have helped me process my emotions by your honesty, thank you and keep talking. xxx

  25. I agree with all the otehrs, your blog is beautiful and moving and a window into your beautiful family and how Florence fits into it. I know you from BW but was only introduced to your blog just before Florence was born. I feel like I knew Florence in a way, I have never met you or her but we shared certain milestones of our pregnancies, you gave me valuable advice along the way and I cried with you... I still do. I never miss a blog, it would be a shame if you stopped including florence in it because of how an odd few people might view it. As PPs ahve said, they dont have to read it. Your love for your Florence and your family makes it a very special blog and your dedication to feeding Earnest is inspiring, please dont stop sharing...

  26. the vast majority are pratts if they think you should stfu!
    I talk about all my children, I refer to my lost pregnancies when I feel it is appropriate. You should talk about all your children too. I love how you have kept Florence alive in our minds (I hope I am using the right words) I wish I could share a cup of tea and a slice of cake with you irl so you can talk to me with spoken words instead.
    (((hugs)) I think you are an incredibly brave and amazing woman!

  27. I'm sorry to read that, you've experienced insensitive comments on you blog and no doubt in real life too; folks can be so cruel.

    Be of good courage as always and know that we in cyber land care!

    Hugs San x

  28. I always feel that my girl is just beyond my line of sight, that I could catch a glimpse of her if only I were slightly quicker. Strange feeling isn't it?

    Ernest is gorgeous. He looks so handsome in his photograph. Can't believe that he is nine months old now.

    I love the painting. x

  29. So many wise words here xxx


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