Thank goodness for my boys who keep me going and I get up each day for them. I'm also so grateful that I have a job that I absolutely love, as it means that a few days a week I am focused on that and the beautiful children and families that I work with.
But when it's quiet and the boys are in bed, the emptiness is just so overwhelming and I remember the days when I was busy looking after Noah and running him around to appointments. Or I think about the little things that I miss so much, like sitting on the couch with Aaron at night, watching silly TV shows together or just talking about our day with each other. And even though they are little things that I miss the most, they are huge things because it's how my days and nights were filled four years ago.
I know there are stages to grief and I knew there was a stage where you can feel anger, and I thought that four years down the track I must've been lucky to have skipped that stage because I didn't feel angry about what had happened - just really sad. But now I just feel so sad, but also very angry.
Now I think that it's just taken a long time to get to that stage, because right now I'm just feeling really ripped off and angry that both Noah and Aaron have passed away. The most frustrating thing is that I don't even know who I'm angry with. I'm just angry.
I feel happy for friends who are going through some beautiful things in their lives right now, but then I feel really angry and sad about it at the same time because I once had that too. It's hard seeing friends get engaged and married, seeing a widow friend get remarried (even though I'm really happy for her), seeing friends have babies, hearing about families going on holidays, seeing Dads watching their kids play soccer and basketball, seeing families out and about together, or seeing families sitting at church together. I know that no one's life is perfect but I can't help feeling jealous of what other people have - and it's nothing material - it's just each other. All I want is Aaron and Noah to be here.
I'm tired of being a single Mum. I'm tired of being the only one who is earning the money and running the boys around. I'm tired of having to do it all on my own. I'm feeling exhausted in so many ways.
I can clearly remember what depression feels like and I know I'm not depressed. I'm just sad and angry and tired. A couple of weeks ago it was a really hard day. It was my day off work and it would've been easy to just stay in bed. But I did weeks of that when I was feeling really low, and I didn't want to be like that again, so I made myself get out of bed and put on my sneakers and decided to take Milly for a walk.
I often feel Aaron around and have been feeling him around a lot lately, and as I was close to the end of our walk I came across this on the footpath. I smiled and walked past it, and then had to just turn around and go back. I'd like to think that it's a sign from Aaron that he knows what I'm going through and is always there for me.
Holidays are often hard, and found that last year was okay, but this year Easter hit me really hard all over again. The boys get so excited about it so I feel like I have to make a bit of a fuss for them. Kobe was excited to find this book in town one day. He's a bit too old for it, but it's still fun to read about places in Tasmania that Easter Bunny visits.
At the end of work one day I got a phone call from Harri who was so excited to tell me that we had won the Easter raffle at school! Every child was asked to donate an Easter treat and they could wear plain clothes to school. They also sold raffle tickets to raise money for each classroom to buy whatever they wanted or needed. I think I bought 6 tickets and we were lucky to win one of the class baskets!
Let's just say there's been chocolate overload in the house the last couple of weeks!
We decorated Aaron and Noah's graves a couple of weeks before Easter.
Noah's tree is now full with other graves of children around it.we went camping for part of Easter as we had a lot of fun. But once we were home I just felt really sad. Kobe was disappointed that Easter bunny didn't hide eggs anywhere for an egg hunt, but just making sure Easter bunny came was enough this year.
I couldn't face being around anyone on the Sunday, and told the boys I just wanted to get away and sit on the beach in the sun. It's definitely not beach weather anymore, but I knew that it was the only thing that would get me through the day, so that's what we did.
People often say 'you're so strong' or 'you're amazing' and I still feel like I'm strong, even though things are hard right now. I have no doubt I'll see Aaron and Noah again, but that doesn't make the days without them any easier. It's so hard to explain to people how hard it is even four years later. I'm doing okay and I definitely have times of happiness, but I know I'll never feel the joy that I once had when we were all together.
I feel like people can go through grief and experience everything that goes along with it, but still be strong. You don't have to pretend that life is great to be strong. I hope to teach my boys that it's okay to be sad or angry and to have bad days. Experiencing those emotions doesn't make you weak. It just means that you are human.