The days following Patrick's we began questioning what we were now. Just moments ago we had been the parents of a wonderful little boy - now we found ourselves in a sort of limbo. We had been in our defined roles these last 21 months. I had been in almost constant mammy mode.
When your only child dies suddenly like that, where does that leave you?
I pondered on that question for a while. Was I all of a sudden no longer a mammy? A parent? What's my job description now?
People usually responded that we would always be Patrick's parents, his mammy and daddy. Just like the family around us would always be the aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents and godparents. I know that is true but it does not take away that confusion you initially feel.
Over the weeks and months that have followed, I think I have come to realise I am still a mammy, a parent - just not an active one right now. But I still feel like one and think like one.
It took us time to settle into our new temporary roles.
Even in your relationship you find yourself in a weird place when 3 become 2 again. Leaving the house was easy again, going out no problem. It was like before we became parents - but not really. It did not and still does not feel right to be able to do all those things and you tend to sometimes feel a bit of guilt over enjoying a night out with friends, as though you didn't have a care in the world. For a while, you might forget about everything but then you come back to the empty, quiet house and you find yourself once again trying to adjust to your new reality.