What a month September is for a bereaved parent. I’m sending love and gentleness to you all, because social media seems to be saturated with pictures of children starting school, returning to school, nursery etc etc! It’s overwhelming I find. And yet this year I was “that parent” that shared my daughter’s first day of school pictures. And I’m sorry for being that parent to anyone it may upset but it was hugely emotional and I needed to share it with the world.

And I remember only too well from the year that Daisy would have started school. She would have started in reception in September 2014. She would have been one of the oldest, turning 5 years old only a few weeks after she would have started. I have tears in my eyes as I write this because I am taking myself back there as I write. And it was heart breaking seeing all those pictures of little ones, proud parents sharing their delight, and knowing that I should have had the opportunity to do the same.

So when it was Olivia’s turn this year the emotion that surrounded the whole event, the last day at preschool, the summer holidays, moving house (yes I threw that in the mix as well), buying school uniform, and that first morning, were all jumbled up in a massive ball of heart breaking energy. And I had to keep it together for Olivia, because she deserved every chance for the whole experience to be a positive and happy one. She needed such a good start to life at school and she did not need an emotional wreck of a Mummy at the school gates!

And my independent warrior princess totally took me by surprise and dressed herself while I was in the shower on that first morning. So I cried, not because she did it herself, but because I missed it. I missed it the first time with Daisy and now I’d missed it again! It hasn’t continued by the way, the morning dressing battles are already underway after ooooh 4 days! But she went in to that school like a trooper. She wavered about me going for a while, but she absolutely rocked it. And I am super proud of her. I cried buckets in the car, I think it was the relief that she was totally OK, that she liked going and all was going to be just fine.

I had a very emotional moment when I picked her up at lunchtime that first day. The teachers opened the doors, the headmistress was there as well. And they came out and said the children had all had a super morning and done brilliantly well. I was stood there with a few of the other Mum’s and we all had tears in our eyes. And then these tiny little children all came out one by one with their new school bags and coats too big for them. It was all too much. And I am banking this one to memory and having another emotional moment before I continue…

Olivia has had no tears, and I’m so pleased for her, except this morning when she slipped on the wet floor. I suspect it was a little bit of dented pride, but again she surprised me by having a cuddle and then going in to her classroom to get on with the day. What a superstar! And today we’ve had school lunch together…my first school dinner in ooooh 28 years waaahhhh! Chicken Korma on offer and the same chocolate cake I’m sure I got served all those years ago, except no mint custard!

But…and there’s a huge BUT! All of this is lovely and I am absolutely living in the moment and allowing myself to enjoy it, but Daisy isn’t here. Olivia’s big sister is not here to look out for her, and to show her the way. And she was missing from the pictures, and I haven’t taken her in for her first morning in Year 4 this year, and all of this absolutely breaks my heart. It throws me back to all those feelings of loss and empty arms. And I’m jealous and angry and life, well, it just feels unfair. So I’ve been gentle with myself. I’ve nurtured myself, allowed the feelings to rise and come out. I’ve journaled, meditated, got myself out in nature, and thrown myself in to this…my work.

And yesterday, everywhere I went I saw number sequences 1111 or 11:11 and knew that I was being guided and shown that what I am doing is right. Not only that but I found lots of pure white feathers in all sorts of different places. And, Olivia and I went out yesterday afternoon and all the time we were out she had a white butterfly following her, in fact now I think about it, there was a butterfly with us in the garden at home as well. So I know Daisy is with us, I know she’s keeping an eye on her little sister and this fills me with joy, even if it makes me feel emotional…again!