Okay, well firstly, I am rubbish at keeping up to date with this blogging thing even when on leave. Secondly, a valid excuse - Beautiful B's sister died on the 24th of January and Beautiful B's daddy died on the 28th of January. Yes, you read that right so I am not going to repeat it....
Beautiful B's daddy is not Hubby and Beautiful B's sister is not my daughter. Beautiful B's daddy (my first husband) had 2 little girls and the eldest, Mia, passed away suddenly. Tom, Beautiful B's daddy passed away due to a long standing illness 4 days after. Normally I don't fully name people on here but its a little memorial to then both so I am going to because one day Beautiful B will read this and she would want them to be named.
I can't even begin to describe what it was like. The day was going normally on the 24th of January, which just happened to be Tom's birthday and then Beautiful B got a phone call and the next minute she collapsed on the floor and started screaming. It took me 25 minutes to get her off that floor and I will never ever forget her cries - they haunt me in my sleep - to hear such pain and suffering in your baby girl....
We still don't know what poor Mia died of, we know she had a genetic disorder, all the girls do but we don't know if it she died as a result of it or not. Beautiful B is blessed in a small way, knowing that she did not suffer and just fell asleep.
I will never forget Tom having to be helped up off the floor that day as he said goodbye to his little girl. I will never forget Beautiful B saying goodbye and her hand moving back and forth to touch little Mia's arm.
Mia was such a happy little girl - every single time I saw her she was smiling and laughing. She had beautiful blonde hair and looked so much like Beautiful B when she was little it was almost scary. Both of them were such daddy's girls.
Then the unthinkable happened, Beautiful B called me at 6.01am on the 28th and told me her daddy was in hospital and she was scared. My words "I am on my way" and the phone went down and within 3 minutes I was cursing the car as I was desperately trying to defrost the inside of the windscreen to get to my baby as fast as I could.
I will never forget hearing her cry as the nurse walked me into the resusitation room or me thinking "Shit, the resusitation room!" I will never forget the way my ex-husband looked on that bed, the one who gave me Beautiful B, the one I have loved, argued with, hugged, laughed with, cried with, cried over and who has always held a tiny piece of my heart, even during our worst arguments, because he gave me my baby. I will never forget speaking to him before they took him to theatre, the way he looked at me.
I will never forget the wait, the private discussion with the A & E doctor, the understanding of how grave the situation was, of understanding that the ITU consultant was telling the family in a roundabout way that chances of him pulling through this were slim, of the conversation I had with those wonderful surgeons that tried to save his life when they told me there was nothing more they could do - off passing that message onto others in the family.
I will never forget the way Beautiful B left his side only twice that day, of how I sat and stroked her back while she laid her head on her daddys arm and chest for 8 hours saying goodbye, of how very brave she was to say goodbye to him after he passed.
I will never forget being completely stunned by the whole thing, but going into coping mode by helping his family as much as I possibly could because they, after all, were grieving so much more than me, of feeling grateful that he was no longer going to suffer both physically and emotionally as he has done for the past few years, of feeling grateful that Beautiful B was not going to have to sit with her daddy for days and that he would pass peacefully.
I will never forget and will be forever grateful that Beautiful B got to have a conversation with her daddy before he went to surgery - as awful as it was for her to see him like that, she will forever hold that conversation in her heart and is comforted that she got to say goodbye, even though she did not know that was what they were doing at that time.
I will never forget the night that Beautiful B came home and told me that her daddy was dying and how I never even questioned it - he wouldn't have told her were it not true but I am comforted that because he knew, he let down all the walls he had built to protect her and they grew so much closer in those last weeks.
I am comforted in knowing that although Beautiful B has lost her daddy, it was the best outcome for him - no-one should have to live knowing they only have a few months themselves but have to grieve their child in that time. I am so glad he did not suffer that.
It has been a long 3 weeks - a double funeral is the most surreal thing I have ever experienced and far too traumatic an experience for the family and far too long a procedure but a double funeral was required - the family could not have coped with two in such a short time. The family is distraught but I am comforted that although such a massive blow, they are grieving for both together rather than separately and for a much longer extended period of time.
I do not know what I feel. I didn't on the 29th of January and still do not today. I know I am grieving but it is a weird feeling. Tom will always hold a piece of my heart but we had both moved on but I am not grieving for him as I would a friend nor as a partner - maybe this is what it feels like to grieve for an ex-husband and the daddy of your baby. I know I hurt, I know the funeral was truly awful, I know that the rock in my chest as his coffin was carried into church and past Beautiful B and I was tremendous.
What I do know is that I cried for the pain Beautiful B is suffering, for the loss his family are suffering and for the knowledge that I will never see him again, for missed opportunities, for the guilt I feel at shouting at him when I should have been shouting at his girlfriend as it was her behaviour towards Beautiful B that I was angry at, for knowing that Tom knew that I was angry at her and not him and for knowing that he knew that he held a tiny piece of my heart.
What I do know is that he died too soon but that he is no longer suffering and that he had to die to stop the suffering - for that, we all must suffer and in some ways I would rather we suffer than he. I do know that his last wish was that his 3 daughters were buried with him - Mia was buried with her daddy and will forever be held in his arms - Beautiful B now has a plot next to her daddy for her and his other daughter EM so his last wish will be granted. I do know that I will forever be in the debt of some very special people who loved Tom for granting his last wish.
I do know that Hubby has been outstanding, as ever, through all of this. He has given me the space I needed to grieve, been there when I needed him, been patient when it was needed but most of all he understands the pain Beautiful B is going through as he feels it each and every day at the loss of his own father. I cannot understand that pain and I am grateful every day that she has someone she can go to who can listen and understand.
I am grateful for R, Beautiful B's boyfriend who also understands her pain as he lost his mum 3 years ago. I am grateful to R who has shouldered so much of the burden, being there during the times when we cannot. He is such a wonderful person and I hope they stand the test of time - if they do I know she will forever be looked after. I have spent the last 5 years telling Beautiful B she needs a man just like Hubby and she has one. Hubby will never replace her daddy, he has never wanted or tried to but he has bought Beautiful B up in a way that her daddy approved of and helped shape her, with her daddy and I, into someone that all 3 of us are so very very proud of.