I did say I wasn’t going to do this quite so early on in my blogging journey but it is such a huge part of who I am so to let it go by without saying something seems unjust for some reason. I will say upfront this piece features baby/child loss and is very raw and real and probably all over the place. It is also image heavy. I’m not apologising for it I’m just letting you know in advance in case you decide not to read on. I wrote a small post on my Facebook page last year skimming some of the things you experience while carrying on when half your heart is missing. As tomorrow will be 6 years I thought I’d just show how my thoughts have not changed.
6 whole years since the very last time I held our beautiful angel in my arms. My brain still can’t comprehend that it is 6 years since our baby girl grew her wings far too soon. I just can’t fathom how something can seem to long ago and only yesterday all at the same time. Sometimes, albeit very briefly, just in the tiniest moment of waking from a deep sleep I forget. I forget all the pain and the heartache of the losing her, our gorgeous baby, and I’m still there getting up to check on her and see her adorable little face smiling back at me. Smelling the faint scent of vanilla lingering in the air. Then all too quick it’s gone and I’m scrambling just to get those memories back again. To hear her call “Dad” when he’s trying to creep through the door as quiet as can be from the night shift so as not to wake her. To hear her yell “Archie kiss” as her big brother runs about like mad playing with her and the sad reality is time is a bastard as it slowly robs you of all these memories. They become harder to recall with the speed and clarity you used to. The painful memories, well they are there in a flash, but I just wish sometimes that the ones that make my heart swell didn’t take so long to come to the forefront from their little coping mechanism compartments.
Then as if that anguish isn’t enough, your mind quickly snaps to could’ve beens and would’ve beens. What would she look like now? How cute would she look in her little school uniform? How much would she adore her big brother? Then the realisation hits you like a steam train, so hard it takes your breath away and leaves a heavy pain in your chest, that these are thing you will never know. What kind of person she will grow up to be. How amazing she would be. What she will look like when she goes to her school prom or walks down the aisle. How beautiful her children will be.
Then there are the token grief adages. It’s like there is some sort of secret handbook of “things to say to a grieving parent” that include, but are not limited to:
- God must of needed her more than you
- It gets better with time
- Well at least you have another child
- Time is a great healer
- Are you going to think about having another
I just wanted to stop you right there and say please, you should you ever encounter a grieving parent, do not say anything of these things. Not one. The only thing I can promise you is none of these are the case. I’ve always felt it’s easy to say “God must’ve needed her” when it’s not your child he’s asking for. He definitely didn’t need her more than we did and while we are at it, just for reference, time isn’t a healer. That is literally one of the biggest piles of shit going. Not one bloody iota. Nothing, and I mean nothing, can heal the loss of a baby/child. Ever. Time doesn’t heal anything. All time does is give your brain the opportunity to learn and adopt new coping mechanisms. I can assure you the loss of a child is not something that gets ‘healed’ or ‘better with time’. My best piece of advice just say “I’m here for you – I’ve no idea what to say but I’m here regardless”. You don’t need to fill that empty space with even more empty words or sentiments. Sometimes a hug is all it takes.
These are just a few of the things that are the never ending torment and reality of a person who has lost a baby/child. Sometimes people are really skilled actors and manage to walk around not showing these things, whilst others simply cannot hide it. Six years in and most of these things are forgotten about by those that grieved with you at the time, because reality is life does go on and that’s ok. But yours doesn’t. All these feelings and emotions come flooding back at the strangest and most obscure of triggers. A song, a smell, a sound, some days it takes nothing all.
All the anniversaries and birthdays and milestones are made marginally more bearable by the support of loving family and friends. The small gestures of kindness and thought and compassion that are extended during these difficult periods. The loving hug from a family member or friend. The phone call or text or message to say ‘we are thinking of you’. It is these actions which make the darkest of times more tolerable.
There is no nice way to end this post and I accept that that is ok. Just to say that we still love you so much beautiful girl and you took half our hearts with you that day. It doesn’t hurt any less today than it did 6 years ago.
Sweet dreams our angel.