My friend Jenny who blogs at The Fisch Tank recently linked to this well written post on Grief at Hopeful Parents. It accurately describes how as a specials needs mum you have to be prepared to have a certain amount of grief in your life. It is always there to some degree - sometimes its way, way in the background. Other times it comes and smacks you in the face.
Audrey had swimming this morning. As we were waiting for her lesson to start Grief came to visit in the form of a pair of identical twin girls. I have seen twins before - plenty of times - but this is the first time I have been up close with identical twin girls. Blond identical twin girls. The same age as mine. A little glimpse of what could have been...
At the moment the 'twin thing' seems to be the biggest trigger for my grief. As Audrey gets older and more independent, and because of Ashlea's recent regression and increased dependence, I have been really aware of 'what could have been'. Usually I don't let myself think "If only...", but I have caught myself doing it lately.
If only all my children could walk it would be so much easier to do school drop offs.
If only Ashlea didn't need all these appointments I wouldn't have to run all over town and end up exhausted by the end of the day.
If only my twins were like 'real' twins.
I think Emma starting school has highlighted this feeling of difference too. We stand out from the other families. We have a wheelchair. We rush off to appointments after the school drop off. We don't have time to get involved in school activities.
At swimming this morning I tried to focus on watching Audrey, but I was mesmerised by these twins. It was like poking at a bruise - it really hurt but I couldn't stop watching. Eventually I had to force myself to look away otherwise a few tears would have turned into a flood of tears on the pool deck.
Its funny because I don't feel bitter at all about our situation, or angry. But that doesn't mean I don't feel sad over what could have been. Sometimes I even let myself fantasize about what it would be like to have healthy twins. Usually I try and not to do that as I know its a slippery slope, but I also wonder if it is a normal part of the grieving process. When the girls were younger the grief was so overwhelming that I felt like I had no skin. Things are a lot better now, to the point where I mostly just accept that this is how things are. It has taken me a few years to develop this thicker skin - but I obviously still have some soft spots. Like blond identical twin girls.
Anyone else have a soft spot?