These eyes... are sad eyes. It’s June.. June is an arsehole because it’s the month my first son was due.. July is the biggest arsehole because that is the month he died. It has taken me a long time to be able to even say that “D” word.. to accept it. He is .. was my perfect boy he didn’t deserve to be described in such an awful way.

That’s when my anxiety started .. it spiralled from there on. 

Life after loss became a massive continuous journey of coping with every day things but just in this new darker light.. shade even.

I became almost obsessed.. who am I kidding scrap the “almost” I was obsessed with becoming pregnant again because my arms felt so empty. I knew so literally how it felt to have a broken heart and just constantly questioned how I was still carrying on each day without my boy. I desperately wanted another baby, thinking and hoping or even convincing myself that another baby would fix all this awful anxiety I felt.

In all this time of trying I hit many obstacles of infertility.. loss of periods.. retained product.. phantom pregnancy. It was cruel it was dark and I tried so so hard to keep my head above those dark clouds.

Life after loss is not beautiful it’s not healing.. it’s ugly and progressive and some days are ok some even “great” others are awful and heartbreaking and some days I don’t even now very nearly 9 years on recognise myself as it takes over me. Year after year.. i feel like even if I was on a desert island, stranded in the middle of nowhere with no concept of time I would still be able to tell you when June and July is because it consumes me without warning.

Writing would help, I would keep diaries. I have stacks of them.. day by day letters to him. Where I could be as raw as I liked about how I was feeling with no warning or explanation. I could also write letters with all those things I could never get a chance to say now. All those things that helped me feel like a mum, a real mum of a child here not there. All the things so cruelly taken away from me.

One day those letters I would write became letters not just to him but to his daddy because within that first hard 18 months he was taken from me too...

how was I going to carry on .. I was 26 now a widow and a mother of an angel. I was just getting to grips with this anxiety, the panic attacks this gripping grief that absolutely now consumed me.. I was very much a mental mother .. heck I was a mental widow. 

I didn’t belong in any one group of grief anymore I wasn’t old enough to be a widow surely .. I still wore converse for Christ sake.

Now what .. now what do I do. My arms are still empty.. my obsession for wanting another baby became obsolete so much so that I know grieved all the children I could no longer even wish for.

In some ways I felt relief .. relief of the pressure of all the problems being with me. The pressure of filling my arms.. the pressure with being a mum in any other way.

Now I could just sit, still alive but hardly breathing. Without my whole world. My whole family were now somewhere else. Worlds apart.

My anxiety hit new levels .. I lost so much weight. I struggled with bulimia. Anorexia. I gave up. I wanted to be where they are. Why wouldn’t I..

I couldn’t walk I gained drop foot in my gait and needing walking sticks and at times a wheel chair. I was weak. I wanted to be. When people looked at me they cried because of how awful I looked. I liked that too because for as long as I looked so badly, so much like a little girl lost and broken they could literally see my hurt. They could see the pain I could so rawly feel.

I didn’t want to get better... I didn’t want to eat because it was an easier way to go.. people would say I died of a broken heart. They wouldn’t call me selfish for taking my life. They would surely understand. But even then in the reality of it all.. as they all went home to their own families and left me all alone in an empty house that was so silent it was almost too loud to bare.. I would sit and worry about hurting the people left behind. The pain I felt wouldn’t disappear when I did it would just move on to someone else. They would then carry this pain in their hearts because of me. I couldn’t do that

I decided to change it .. as coldly as abruptly as I write this is how I changed my mind. I decided that no one could judge my love, my loss or my pain based on my appearance. They don’t know, I don’t want them to.

I came home to my mum, I promised my dad I wouldn’t take my life. I promised to eat. I promised to be better. I promised to live a life for them, my husband and son, one they couldn’t.

That is what I did .. today my struggles are still as real as those days. Now i still struggle with life after loss but I do it with my husband and my two boys by my side. I am a mum to an angel and to two very beautiful rainbow boys. I have a husband who understands because I have life another a chance. 

Life after loss, pregnancy after loss, Love after loss.. I still struggle with these daily but I also conquer them too. I still have panic attacks I still struggle without my Heaven Husband and My Heaven Son, I still carry that hurt and pain in my heart so heavy but I also live my life to the fullest for them. I make sure that as I believe they’re watching me from where ever they are that they do that with love, pride and a smile as they see me tackle anything I know that will make them giggle. I do it for them and I do it for my family but most of all I do it for me. I am mental.. but I am also fierce and no matter what you are forced to face in your life know that even on your darkest days you have that same fire in your heart and you will find it, just give yourself a little time. Embers left glowing can still reignite a fire. 

Written by Leanne Foulkes


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