Hearts & Flowers, Not So Much

It was of course hard to miss that yesterday was Valentine’s Day and it would be so easy to write a negative post about how rubbish it felt to not feel to be part of the world’s big gush of love. But some lovely friends, old and new, and kind family members worked their magic to make it all easily passable. So big love to them. To be honest, out of all the commercial ‘happy’ days in the year it is by no means the hardest…I’ll save that honour for the now rather irksome Mother’s Day and Father’s Day but that’s a whole other blog post.
So what does a widow do on Valentine’s Day? I spent an anti-Valentine’s Night Out with my new widow friend and we discussed, amongst other cheery things, children’s grief. I had switched my TV on for five minutes during the day yesterday and it just so happened to be blogging widower Benjamin Brooks-Dutton and Jeff Brazier on ITV’s This Morning talking about how to cope with young children coping with losing a parent. It left me thinking for the rest of the day about how I have spent the last year preoccupied with how my two-year-old Evie is coming to terms with life without her daddy and I haven’t spent half as much brain space wondering how it will be for Isla. Benjamin and Jeff were on the sofa discussing their children missing their mothers and I was bamboozled thinking yes Evie misses daddy because she remembers him. How will Isla, who was nine-weeks old when he died, feel when she realises she had less time with him, a few blurry shared photos with him and no real moments that she can conjure up in her head? I’ve had people say to me it will be easier for her to deal with as she’ll just grow up knowing that’s how it is, she has no daddy, it’s simply the status quo. But is this right? Surely it may be worse for her because she’ll know that Evie had more time with him?
My friend’s little girl wasn’t even born when her husband died and she’s had similar comments. How can we really know that its worse for our toddlers than for our babies? We can’t.
Now that I look back on our first year with Evie I admit, though I never would have done at the time as it was a sensitive topic, that she was a really hard work baby. But Colin adored every minute with her. I can remember the way he drank her in with a deep breath as he gently kissed her head goodnight, the way he proudly walked with her as she took her first steps and the way he over-worried about her as she careered around playgrounds. I then think to when I was pregnant with Isla as all these things were going on and how he told me he worried that he wouldn’t be able to love another human being the way he loved Evie. He shouldn’t have worried at all because on her arrival he fell instantly in love with Isla Baby. But it’s so wrong that he only had nine weeks to drink her in, isn’t it? If he could see her now he’d be overwhelmed by how loveable she is. She’s now walking. He’d be boring work colleagues with her feats. She looks like him. He’d be pretending that he felt sorry for her for being ‘so Campbell’ but inside he’d be fit to burst with the pride of it. She is easygoing. He’d be telling me that she’d taken after him in personality too. She charms rooms full of people. Again he’d secretly take that as a bit of a chip off the old block. I just so wish that he could be here so he could see it all, all the Islaness of her and then people wouldn’t be telling me that it’s going to be easier for Isla. It’s not. It’s just going to be different.
Happy Valentines chat, eh?! Actually, aside from quite a bit of widowness chat we did have a few giggles over a nice meal with wine…but I’m not sure our table topics would have been that popular with the loved up populace. Ach well.

4 Replies to “Hearts & Flowers, Not So Much”

  1. Hi there, you may have come across this already but there’s an amazing lady near Edinburgh who has produced a fantastic book called ‘Is Daddy Coming Back In A Minute?’ which could be helpful for your girls in coming to terms with their loss. She has a website of the same name or the book is available on amazon. I hope you find it helpful..

  2. Hello, I love your blog already and have only read one entry. My Mum was widowed just over 4 weeks ago and is a bit “lost in space” about the whole thing. People seem to want her to be visibly grieving but aged 90 she is happier to weep alone rather than in public. On Valentines Day we just spent the day together eating heart shaped chocolates and looking at old photos. As 54 year old daughter I miss my Dad very much, I burst into tears one day when I realised that I’d never have another argument with my Dad. Maybe I should get Mum to write a blog as I can see the therapeuticness, it may just help her to find herself. Thank you for coming into my world. Jo xxx

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