Bittersweet; one of the words I use lots in my new life. I’m not using it here to describe any bakes (they are usually just sweet) but using it to describe how joy and sadness co-exist. When Conor first died life was just bitter. It was full of sadness, anger, jealousy to name just a few of the many emotions felt. My heart was so broken I didn’t think I could ever feel any joy again. I falsely thought that I could only feel joy once I stopped feeling sad. I asked those who were bereaved longer than me about a timescale for this sadness. I was disappointed to hear that you never stop feeling sad. However, slowly joy has returned to our lives.
Events and rituals that previously brought us great joy are now bittersweet; birthdays, wedding anniversaries, Christmas, family or friendship gatherings are the best examples. The fact that someone we love is missing from them is never out of our minds. It doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy them but the enjoyment doesn’t stop us from feeling sad too. It helps when we can include Conor; a lit candle on the dinner table, a star decoration or a cake for Conor. Hearing others say they miss him too always warms the broken heart. I often need to withdraw from groups to reflect and simply be. This Christmas our tears will be those of joy for Conor’s little brother’s first Christmas but also those of sadness that Conor cannot be with us. This is our new life and I am starting to accept that it will forever be bittersweet.
These are the sweet fairy cakes baked in honour of Conor at our Baked with Love get together. They come with extra sweetness in the form of sugar icing and sprinkles.