Dealing with loss is not something that just magically happens. It doesn’t happen overnight. You don’t just wake up and think oh okay everything’s normal again now. It takes time. It hurts beyond belief. For myself I’ve been very lucky to have rarely lost many in my lifetime so far. Most of you know me from being from Manchester. Originally I was born in Shetland Isles and moved here as a toddler. I’m Scottish even with my Mancunian accent and ways.
The reason why this is relevant is that I moved to Manchester and lived in a couple of different homes over 6 months with my family until we settled in the home that I lived in up until last year. We had two houses at the side of us that burnt down well over a decade, so we only really had one neighbour. I won’t be mentioning her name, because believe me she would curse me if I did. My neighbour was not only my neighbour for 24 years of my almost 26 years of life. She was like a grandma to me. I grew up playing with her grandchildren in the back gardens. I went round for a drink and biscuits. Heck, she got to meet my daughter as soon as I got out of the car from the hospital, even before my brother did. She was family. Her family was family.
Over the past two nearly three weeks I’ve been a bit quiet on social media, my blog and just in general. My heart is broken. Dealing with grief and loss is something that I’ve only properly experienced less than a handful of. I don’t know how to bounce back and pretend everything’s okay when it isn’t. I’m struggling a little if I’m honest. I’m scared. I am scared of visiting my mum to be near my dear friend, and seeing her house next door and she’s not there. I’m terrified that Imogen will go running up the path and knock on her door like she always did and to go say hello and have a biscuit, because she’s now not there. Imogen doesn’t take to a lot of people no matter how many times she meets them, she would just rather not be around people, but she always made time for her. She would try and touch the ornaments, play with fridge magnets and play peekaboo behind the door. It always made my heart swell, just because of how shy Immy always is.
We were looking forward to next month, where we were planning on painting her and my mums joining fences and getting Imogen involved with the water based paint. Ice creams in the garden and inviting her around for a brew and to watch her play in the sunshine. The little things we already had planned. She even had it marked on her calender waiting for that week.
She gifted a dress to Imogen when she was first born. It was probably my favourite dress ever as it was beautiful and I managed to find it in an older size. I wanted to surprise her and get her to see her a bit bigger wearing the same dress. The day Immy finally fit the dress, she passed away. I know it was a coincidence but it makes me upset knowing she didn’t get to see the before and after pictures of almost 2 years apart. It was a little surprise we had planned.
Honestly, I’m sat writing this outpouring pieces of heart on here and I don’t know what it will achieve. I know that in reality, she would probably tell me off for talking about her on ‘that damn internet’ but I want to share this. I’m not one for words in person. I don’t really talk about my feelings other than with R and I still struggle to talk to him sometimes, I just tend to bottle everything up until I’m ready.* She was just an amazing, and very special woman in my life and as tragic, and heartbreaking this is for us right now, I want to celebrate her. I’m in that limbo faze. Where it just doesn’t feel real yet.
The fact that she adored our family, and how excited she was about me having my own family speaks volumes to me. I would see her every day at the edge of her sofa peering out the window in my final weeks of pregnancy and every time she heard the front door she would walk to the window and see if I had gone in the car with my bags. She was excited when I graduated. She was there when I had long blonde hair, and when I cut it off and when I dyed it grey pink and black and every other colour you can think of. Through every faze I ever had. There with us when eventful things were going on in the street and every nosey neighbour was out. She was family to me. She was like a Grandma to me and it hurts knowing she’s not with us anymore.
There’s not one way to deal with loss and grief. We all deal in our own ways and I’ve come to learn that I wear my heart on my sleeve. I try to remember the good times, and let everything out and cry because it’s okay.
I miss her.