At first when I was thinking about the year 2012, I was thinking along the lines that it has been, without doubt, the worst year of my life. However, I got into the way of thinking that, although the worst experience of my life happened in 2012, there were other things that happened this year which weren't bad at all. I've written many, many times about the crushing pain that followed Daisy's death; the overwhelming grief and sadness which, although not as sharp and searing hot these days, remains there - every day. So instead, for my final post of 2012, I'm going to focus on the positive experiences I've had as a way of drawing the year to a close.
Firstly, my pregnancy with Daisy was a definite highlight of the year. I thoroughly enjoyed the final months leading up to Daisy's birth, my bump blossomed and grew, I delighted in every change in my body and I really felt I had the chance to bond with my unborn baby. No pregnancy will ever be the same for me; so I will always look back on my special time carrying Daisy with fond memories.
Maternity leave has given me the chance to spend some quality time with my oldest daughter, Lizzie. Having worked full-time since she was a baby, the opportunity to spend some time just focusing on being "mum" has been very special indeed. I've loved our walks to school and back each day, chatting about this and that, and everything in between. Life has taken a much slower pace and we've had the chance to spend many happy hours together. Lizzie needed it, especially after Daisy died - and so did I. It's been a special time for us and one I'll miss when I return to work in the new year.
My marriage continues to be full of love, affection and support. My husband really is the most amazing, wonderful man and we have managed to pull even closer together since Daisy's death. Without him I wouldn't have pulled through the dark days. I remember saying to him one day, "I'll never, ever be happy again". He helped me to see that I would - and he was right.
It's true that, when the going gets tough, you realise who your true friends are. Support came from those I expected and some that surprised me with their level of compassion and understanding. Either way, to know that you have a support network around you that will be there to wipe your tears and to listen on the days you need it most, is very comforting indeed.
I've met some amazing, inspirational women since losing Daisy. Other mothers, who have endured the pain of losing a child, who have picked up the pieces of their shattered lives and pulled their families together again. These women have supported me and helped me to cope, and given me hope for my own future.
Finally, I've changed - and hopefully for the better. I like to think that losing Daisy has taught me about kindness, compassion and understanding. I hope that when one of my friends or loved ones needs support, I will be able to offer them a level of comfort that I otherwise wouldn't have known how to do.
Family Life continues. There are smiles and happiness despite the sadness. Daisy will never be forgotten; she will always remain in our hearts and in our thoughts.
Thank you for sharing 2012 with me.