Thursday, November 13, 2008

Remembrance Days

Blogging is dead then. Thought about proving it. Twitter? Facebook? Silence even? Decided against. Wifey is back in the building.

Situation update.
Mood: miserable
Explanation: anniversary of first son's stillbirth tomorrow.
Possible solutions:
1. wind back time. (Difficult)
2. sleep through day. (Impossible. Other children do insist on being fed.)
3. grit teeth and stagger on. (Probable pick.)
November is so not my favorite month. Some years are better than others - this is not a "better" one. This November is wet and sorry for itself, embarassed by its fallen leaves, its damp and gusty corners. So it should be.

Thought I'd run the piece I wrote for Marie Claire. Misery and company and all that. Readers of a nervous disposition might want to look away...




I do not think there is anything worse in the world than the loss of a child. Sometimes I watch my seven-year-old play or smile, count the freckles on his nose, or admire the curve of a cheek. I think: “He’s seven. How did that happen?” Then I think: “He’s seven – that means his brother would have been eight.”

My family looks pretty good from the outside. Handsome husband, two rampaging boys of seven and five and a beautiful girl of two. An attractive package all told – complete, you would think. But we are not complete, entire and whole. I have a lost boy. He is tucked away in my heart, my poor battered, stitched together heart, and I cannot hold him as I do my other children, at least not in the way I hold my other children. I cannot feel his warm, small hand in mine. Instead, I hold him in my heart.

My husband and I were together 10 years before we got married and we were lucky because I fell pregnant within a couple of months of trying. I was 35 and had a good pregnancy - ate organically, quit drinking, took up pregnancy yoga, avoided blue cheese, prawns, liver and bad influences. I bloomed with happiness. The only problem: I could not sleep. Instead, I surfed sleep. One night though, I slept well and late. Almost at the moment of waking, I realised the baby was not moving. I had a hot bath, ate vanilla ice-cream - an instinctive part of me already knew but the rational woman decided: “I must be wrong – such a thing could not happen this day and age to me.”

When we arrived at the maternity unit of Guy’s hospital in London, the midwife took me straight through. The room was dark as she cold-gelled and then swept my pregnant belly for the heartbeat on the ultrasound machine. I waited for the grainy pulse, for the baby to move. In vain. She disappeared to fetch a colleague and my husband gripped my hand. An older woman with a kind face and efficient manner came in. Silent, she watched the screen as she moved the scanner across and over my stomach, pressing it to find a scrap of life. She leant in to me and said: “I’m very sorry to have to tell you…”. When she left us, I sat up awkwardly on the hospital bed and my husband wrapped his arms around me. I remember holding onto him in the darkness and screaming.

When you have a stillbirth, you have to give birth. I had presumed there would be a caesarian section, but the consultant insisted on a vaginal birth because of the risk of bleeding and complications with future pregnancies. They started the induction process, gave me morphine. I thought “There have to be some perks” and 60 hours later, I gave birth to a son. He felt warm and wet and wonderful as I pushed him out; and then I was glad they had refused to section me - labour seemed the least that I could do for him. We washed him with soft cotton wool balls and dressed him in a tiny white new-born’s romper we had brought in with us. We were encouraged to collect mementoes – if you are not taking a baby home with you, keepsakes can be hard to come by. We took inky footprints and endless photographs of a subject that never moved. Our parents arrived and a couple of our closest friends. More would have come, but I was selfish with him – had I been able, would have set a three-headed dog at the gates of our personal hell. He was mine for these few hours, and I was reluctant to share the little I had.


Eventually, those who loved us best went away and the hospital staff disappeared into other dramas, leaving us with our beautiful dead boy and grief. That night, as London slept, I stretched out my hand, resting it against his body, insinuating my little finger and thumb into his cold and tiny clasp. I told him about Christmas and birthdays, jungle animals and Northumberland where we holidayed each year. I told him I loved him. You feel guilt when your baby dies inside - as if you have failed him in the most extraordinary and catastrophic way. Words like “suffering” and “crucifixion”, a simple word like “pain” carve themselves into your already mangled body when you lose a child. I can tell you how death smells and how a heart sounds when it breaks – like a wolf. My heart hurt – not metaphorically but physically - and lunacy beckoned. I was not safe to leave alone; where I had once nourished another life, grief and despair filled me brimful.

I know I was not alone in my tears – I was a reluctant conscript to a bloody army of women who know what it is to cradle their own dead child. In the UK, there are around 3,500 babies stillborn each year. Each one, a tragedy that affects not just the parents, but family and friends and colleagues. Technically, a baby is stillborn if the baby dies after 24 weeks of pregnancy – before that, it is termed a miscarriage. The baby will not have breathed or shown any signs of life during delivery. In my case, my baby died two days before his due date – he weighed nearly seven pounds. Sometimes a cause emerges such as pre-eclampsia, congenital malformation or infection. In around 10% of cases, such as my own, it is entirely unexplained. Doctors told me at the time that in the case of a middle-class woman going to term who has had an unremarkable pregnancy, a stillbirth is virtually always unexplained.

We were at all times treated with immense professionalism and sensitivity by our carers in the hospital then and during subsequent pregnancies. Without my husband, I would not have pulled through. A lot of the published advice warns of the damage a stillbirth can wreck on your relationship. We became frantic it would not have that effect on ours. We did everything together – carrying our son’s tiny white wood coffin complete with brass handles, registering his stillbirth and taking back the new buggy. The horrors knock one against the next when your baby dies – a coffin at the foot of your marriage bed where there should have been a crib. We made a pact with each other to keep talking about how we felt. We had bereavement counselling through the hospital and private therapy - I am convinced that talking is the only way back to sanity. I cannot count the times I wept over friends. They listened with endless grace and patience to my black and desolate ravings. Even as the years pass, they remember the anniversary of his death and will send a card or call or simply say later that they thought of us. Eventually, I eased back into work helped enormously by sympathetic bosses at The Sunday Times where I was a journalist. They let me work at home part-time at first, and only when I was ready, did I go back into the office. It was hard at first. One of my first assignments was to interview the then Chief Inspector of Schools, Chris Woodhead. After the meeting, standing on the platform at Holborn underground station, I fell apart; I staggered onto a tube, bowed my head and wept for the entire journey back home. No one said anything to me, but a space cleared around me – the consolation of strangers. As I hung on to one of the handrails, I felt not fear or discomfort from fellow passengers but sympathy. What words could they have used to comfort me?

For me, the consequences are endless. Am I an angrier person?(tick). More depressive? (tick). Wiser (possibly). Funnier (probably). One obvious consequence was how tense my subsequent pregnancies were. I also believe it contributed to spells of post natal depression after my three other children were born. I cannot guess what sort of mother I would have been otherwise. My children would probably be sounder sleepers. Sometimes an inconsiderate child will sleep so quietly, they scarcely seem to move; I have to tiptoe in and check they are still drawing breath. Occasionally, I poke them. As for my relationship with my husband, his touch persuaded me not to die. We have shared many things together – two decades, a home, our three bright and beautiful children and we share the glorious love of our first born and the universe of pain that went with his death. Losing our son was like a bomb going off in our lives. It nearly killed us – didn’t quite, not quite - and we are stronger because of it. We made another pact – this one to strive for happiness together. Most recently, this shifted our lives away from London where we had spent 17 years together to Northumberland – somewhere he had always wanted to live. Had my son not died, I do not think I would ever have agreed to such a move.

Another effect I have noticed, is that it has sensitized me to other’s pain. If someone confides a sadness or a loss, I feel for them in a way I do not believe I would have done before. I try to use my own experience to help if I can - to listen over a coffee, to hear the anger and say that it is alright to rage against the stars. I was immensely angry at my son’s fate at the time, and irritated by the most trivial of comments or happenstances - by the friend who never sent a letter, by the shop assistant who insisted on a receipt when we returned the baby’s car-seat. In the long game, it is not the irritations or disappointments that stay with you, but the kindnesses and the glory of humanity – the tears in the eyes of the midwife who susbsequently became my friend, the listening silences of old friends who let me weep and weep again, the consolation there is in love. There are no rules when you lose a child, you survive however you can: drink wine; avoid those who are unhelpful; abuse the good will of those closest to you; a very black sense of humour helps. “Let’s think outside the box,” I would say to my husband and my therapist would cringe.

It does not go away – a mother never forgets her child and does not stop loving him however far from home he travels. If you are lucky, you reach an accommodation with tragedy. You swallow it up and take it inside yourself. If you are lucky, you have more children – other children. You do not so much “get over it” as get through it. People ask: “How many children do you have?” I say: “Three.” I think: “Four.”

79 comments:

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

Thnak you for writing this. I don't know what else to say.

two darts said...

I have just gone into your blog and read your painful thoughts of today.

I can share these pains with you as I too have lost children, and a husband.

I am new to blogging, and am only trying it out to see if a biography that I have written gets any interest. I have written 93000words and shed many tears, although my tragedies are long in the past now the pain is sometimes still raw.

You may like to read some of my blogs at http://miserymemoir.blogspot.com/

I will be coming back.

Pam said...

My heart just aches for you on this subject. When I read your book and again reading this, I cried. I hope you get through the anniversary okay and I'm sorry if that's a dumb thing to say but I'm not eloquent enough to say something better.
Blogging rules by the way. I'm a Facebooker too and sometimes it's stupid. Those "poke me" requests and electronic hugs?? Shudder ...

C Jess-Cooke said...

Your Marie Claire article is beautiful, in that it describes the worst pain imaginable, beyond the worst kind of torture for any mother, and still manages to express hope, by indicating how much the experience has refined your own sensitivity to human suffering. A terrible price to pay, but such empathy is a great light in an otherwise lonely world. It made me cry.

I hope yours is a wonderful Christmas.
xx

Catharine Withenay said...

Anniversaries are difficult things.
Next week is the anniversary of my mother's death, over two decades ago. I was sixteen: my life has changed so much since then that most friends don't even know that I am one parent short of the required number.
Yet each year it is a date I remember: the call from the hospital at 4.30am, my father telling my sister and me, bursting into tears.
Each year it is a silent tribute to the most precious woman in the world.
And each year my husband remembers... a day or two later. "Damn - was it yesterday?" he'll say.
It's a good job I love him so!

Mrs Be said...

I don't often leave a comment but I do read your blog (obviously!) and I was wondering where you were. I thought you had been busy with work.

I can only imagine what you went through and, really, my words seem inadequate but I didn't want to read and not comment.

Accept this as a hug, albeit from a stranger. I'm so sorry. Thank you, though, for republishing the article. I shall think of you tomorrow.

PS. So glad you're back.

Pierre ! said...

God bless.

Adventure Mother said...

I cannot imagine the pain you have felt. That was such a moving post, thank you for sharing your memories with us.

Miriam said...

My thoughts are with you on this (yet another)sad day. Had bought magazine and read your article- my sister died at birth many years ago,and my Mum, RIP, never got over it. In those days, it was thought best for the nurses to bury the baby, and parents just got on with the business of having another child. Cruel. My sister Eileen is buried in Holy Angels plot, but we recently added her name to the family headstone, along with my parents,and it was probably one of the best decisions I ever made.Now she's acknowledged and I know that my Mum would approve.
You are brave to talk so much about your pain. I'm sure it helps others who have had the same terrible experience that you did. We none of us know what lies ahead, and all we can do is to make the most of each day.
I hate October because it's when my Mum died, and I still miss her so much, especially for what she would have shared with my kids.Well done, mimi

Parisgirl said...

Too sad for words. Thinking of you.

Polly said...

Glad to see you back posting if not at all glad at the reason for it.
I hope you can get through today and see the light and hope of tomorrow.
I've had four miscarriages but i've also had three children, like yours bright and beautiful and although i wish the pain had never happened it has definately made me a better person.
Take care my lovely, and keep blogging.
P xxx

Heather Bestel said...

After I read your post I showed my husband. We wept for you. Then we clung to each other and we wept for ourselves. We don't think of our baby everyday, but when something like this catches us unawares, the world had to stop while we grieve.

The talking is good, you are so right about the talking. And the sharing! Some things just have to be shared. Thank you for sharing them so beautifully.

Laura said...

I lost my mother over 20 years ago when I was 9 and can still remember the raw emotions as if it were yesterday. I cannot imagine what it must be like to lose a child.

Your article is beautifully written.

Thinking of you.

Laura
http://www.arewenearlythereyetmummy.blogspot.com/

rosiero said...

I cannot begin to imagine what you went through and your description of it barely touches the surface of what you must have felt at the time. The grief is obviously still new to you and you are not "through it" yet. Are your other children affected by what had happened before them?

Inaminit said...

I find it so hard to deny my third son when asked how many children I have. Like you I say 4 but think 5. Mark would have been 12 this year. Other people forget but I can't ever.

Rachel said...

Thank you. And I am sorry. Nothing sounds quiet right but I wanted you to know I am thinking of you despite not knowing you. Blogging may have silly rules and so on but I appreciate the support network it gives me.

I am glad you are back too, I enjoy reading your blog and enjoyed your book very much.

angie said...

my heart aches for you.

Kay said...

My first time here, and this is what I find. What a writer.

Thank you.
Kay

Flowerpot said...

I've not been able to have any children, and that pain has receded to a gentle grinding ache, like my heartbeat. But to lose one - that must be so, so terrible. Big hugs.

Crystal Jigsaw said...

I know how painful that must have been for you. My heart and love are with you today.

CJ xx

Kaycie said...

I sit here with tears on my face, just as I did the first time I read your blog.

Frankofile said...

Your courage and honesty are moving.

A colleague of mine has made a study, not yet published, of Victorian photographs of still born babies - all beautifully dressed.

Marianne said...

Heart-breaking.

Valleys Mam said...

Wifey -gulp and thanks

Isobel said...

Totally inadequate as this is, I am thinking of you.

cheshire wife said...

I can imagine how painful this must be for you. We do not have children. Something which was not our decision.

Sara said...

I am so sorry and can't imagine what you are going through. I am thinking of you and your family and hope for happier times ahead. I can't think of anything to say to help - but I am listening thorugh your blog.
Take care.

katyboo1 said...

I lost six babies to miscarriage in between the three beautiful kids I ended up with.

In some ways, and this sounds terrible I know, I envy that you had the privilege of meeting your son. I never met any of my lost children and yet I miss them all so much.

Bless you.

The Dotterel said...

I know what you're feeling, WITN. And I'm so glad you're blogging again! (In fact, I hadn't realised you were - thanks to an outdated link!)

Stinking Billy said...

Judith, I am so pleased that we finally bullied you into another post. Your piece written for 'Marie Claire' is, for me, your best piece of writing ever, and so extremely moving.

Henry the Leaphound said...

I don't know what to say except please have a
((((((((((big hug)))))))))).

jonesmry said...

I had a feeling something was wrong. It's good to have you back with us. Much love and care to al of you

Almost American said...

The beginning of March is similarly bad for me. Two years in a row, the 8th and 9th of March, I found myself in the hospital. The first loss was so early it was actually easy in comparison to the second at 5 months pregnant. My husband was my strength and the best thing to come out of our loss was the knowledge that our relationship was stronger than ever.

Things always seemed unfinished though until this year when we finally laid her to rest with her grandmother.

Braja said...

Honey, there's a little something I could say that might help...though I do know that really not much helps at all. It's still too painful, and only time and lots of that lovely Chardonnary (or is it red) might really be the thing that helps. And that is from a spiritualist who doesn't really believe in "crutches." Bullshit to that, I say. But while you're having a little drink and indulging your grief--an absolute MUST, my lovely--think about this little pearl of eastern wisdom: that soul who took shelter in your womb was destined for someplace else, and has gone there. Don't grieve for a whole lot of things that were never meant to be: what happened *was* meant to be...for you and that darling little baby, who has "moved on." Don't let it be all negative: you played a role in that little person's journey, and your role was short and oh so bitter. The hardest thing to say is, "I love you, but it's over."
My love to you from my little Indian village.

Tiggsybabes said...

I've spent the past week & a bit reading your book, snatching bits here & there; in the bath, in bed, over breakfast, sat watching my 6 year old swimming etc. I read the last few pages as a treat as I had 30 minutes to myself while my eldest swam as DH had the day off work & my youngest stayed with him. I had tears pouring down my face as hadn't expected the sadness that November brings you. I blogged how wonderful I found your book just now on Goodreads.com & my own blog & decided to bookmark your own blog & found this entry. I'm sat on my own again (children not up yet) with the cat & dog being hopeful in case I go for a walk & have tears streaming down my face again.

I don't know what to actually say, apart from I moved from Down South to Up North, first of all with a 3 month old baby & no friends & then a couple of years later further Up North again with a just 3 year old, a 4 month old & post natal depression. It was Grim, I was lonely, my husband was out of the house for 13 hours a day working & commuting. 3 years later, I have local friends, I'm secretary of the PTFA, I volunteer in the junior school & I'm training to be a childminder (I used to be a banker pre children)

Life goes on I guess ...

Have a *hug* a *cup of tea* & a *stiff g&t* (bombay sapphire naturally) from me, Up North in West Yorkshire.

Alison said...

Judith, thank you for your honesty (as always) which is so moving and always inspirational. I do not have children. It just never happened, but a close friend has had several unsuccessful pregnancies and I felt some of her pain the last time. I cannot imagine what you are going through but hope you find some comfort at this very sad time. Thank you for writing this as I am sure it will comfort others going through what you went through. Warm wishes and hugs to you and thank you again for you wonderful blog. Alison

AnnB said...

I have loved and lost, a Dad and a sister, - and with my youngest son I have almost lost many times since his precarious arrival in 2003 without any kidneys. He is with us today thanks to the gift of a kidney from his Dad, one year ago this month. The circle of life is a curious one, and not always easy to follow, especially on days like these. I take heart to hear you have loved ones to walk with you, it's really all that matters. Thanks for your honesty it helps those of us who are prone to despair.
http//:www.newkidney.blogspot.com
AnnB

K said...

Thank you for sharing this. Your entire family will be in my thoughts this week.

Maggie May said...

I have read about this sad story when visiting Valleysmamhttp://merchmerthyr.blogspot.com/
She has used the story in her blog, as I am sure that you are aware of.
Very touching story and no wonder you hate November so much. Not my most favourite month either.
Dreadful thing to have to endure.

ladythinker said...

. . there are no words that I can express that others haven't before me . . so I'm just quietly sitting here thinking of you on this sad anniversary . .

Such a sad picture of your crying alone on the tube . . down here in Devon when I was bereaved a few years ago and crying in a car park. A stranger came up to ask 'why?' and gave me a hug . . we talked about loss and grief for a while, shared experiences and then went our separate ways. She may not have known just how much it meant to me .. I hope she did ..And I hope one day to do the same for another . . .

Ciao said...

July 1st 1974 is when I had my stillborn baby, I knew before I went into hospital that there was no hope and can still recall the small room I was in till the birth...... I think I'm the only one now that remembers about it and there's not a day goes by even after all this time that I dont think about it at sometime during the day. But it does get better Judith so keep your chin up and we all will say a silent prayer for you.

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

Have never experienced that kind of pain. I am so sorry that you had to. Thinking of you.

A x

Chasing Cars said...

I am new to blogging and trying to get to grips with telling my story in a almost cack handed way. This is a beautifully written story although heart breaking to read my thoughts are with you and your family you have done your son proud xxx

katie said...

When I read your book and got to the part when you write about losing your beautiful baby I howled out loud. I cannot begin to imagine the pain. Amazing that you can share it so eloquently.

ps. glad to see you blogging again

billatbingley said...

Our hearts go out to you. What a sensitive and thought provoking piece you published in Marie Claire. We too have had similar sadness - three stillbirths in six pregnancies, however we do rejoice in the three daughters we have.

God Bless You.

the claw of truth said...

I picked up your book in an airport last week, having enjoyed the bits I've read in the Newcastle Journal (or was it the Chron? Whichever.)

Loved it and gave it to my daughter, who turned 13 today. ( NB I did buy her other presents as well, I'm not THAT tight...)

She'd been laughing her head off at it all weekend- we were on a train today, on our way back to her mother's house, as she started getting toward the end of the book when she visibly stiffened in her seat, her face clouded over and I knew for sure that she'd just reached the part you've put in this post.

She stopped reading for a minute and wondered out loud why you'd left it until nearly the end to tell her about it, and then she said she knew why - it would have changed the whole feel of the book if it had gone anywhere else, and the way the reader perceived you.


I come from a family of writers (and artists, and nutters...) and that's what my daughter wants to do as well.

Without wishing to sound all creepy-crawly bum-licky, if she turns out anywhere near as good as you,I'll be Mr Super-proud, for sure. A big thank you from us both for a truly inspiring and entertaining book.

Regards,

Ettrick Scott, music and travel bloke, Sunday Sun, Newcastle.

mutleythedog said...

My heart broke reading this... you poor love...

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I was astounded and deeply moved when I read this article on the Valleys Mam blog. It is beautifully written and so incredibly succinct in your depiction of your shock, loss and grief. How you both got through the combined ‘birth and death’ of your son and the subsequent night that you spent with him is a remarkable tribute to your love and respect for him. This eulogy for a personality, character, person, son that was denied you and your family was one of the finest that I have ever read. It should be used in bereavement counselling for parents who have experienced the same horror and shock – it would be the most tremendous help. You must wonder at how he would be now, what he would have become as each year passes. Siblings share so many familial and behavioural traits that identify them from the same gene pool and so I can imagine that you can identify/see parts of your son reflected in your other children. It is the unique traits that made him different that are missing and that you must ache to know. I lost a girl twenty three years ago but didn’t carry her for more than four months. I think the trauma of giving birth may just have done for me. Just as for you and your husband must have with your son my daughter’s anniversary is a milestone I get through. I liken it to carrying a sack of rock and ballast. At first it was impossible to carry but through the years I have developed stronger emotional and mental muscles and although the sack remains heavy I find it easier to take with me.

I wish you peace Judith and the knowledge that if he had to be carried by anyone for his short time on his earth, then better it be you who cherishes his memory with deep love and so very respectfully in the hope that he will never be forgotten. In that vein, he will always live on.

vGossip said...

http://vgossip.blogspot.com/

I was moved, and although I cannot say that understand your pain, i do realise the meaning of these words!

http://reluctantmemsahib.wordpress.com said...

Beautiful and sad. And eloquent. So very eloquent. Anniversaries are hard. They drag you back to the pain. Thank you for writing that: it must have been difficult.

LifeBehindTheCoach.com said...

such painful thoughts beautifully written by you as always, you have tremendous courage and I send you a hug from down south, Lynette x

Claire said...

thinking of you

Eve said...

Hi. I feel like I'm crashing in here but I was so moved by your post I had to comment.

I've just started reading your blog (and I'm ashamed to say I haven't read your book, It's now on my list though) and to read this post brought tears to my eyes. Tears from a girl who claims she never cries.

I have a 9 month old son and still every night I stand over his crib checking his breathing. He sleeps through the night but still every hour I am there checking. My husband laughs at me for it.

I don't know why I was telling you that. I think because everyone believes "It won't happen to us" but it does and it's horrible and so far I've been lucky and I feel great compassion for you and yours loss and I can believe when you say it never gets easier.

I could think of more to say but I don't really feel i have a place to say it, but I just wanted you to know you moved me truly with that article.

Linden said...

Dads weep too. It has been over 40 years.It brought tears but I'm glad you are posting again. My blog is at:
http://linden-would.blogspot.com/

Thanks,
Linden Swift
Plainfield, Indiana USA

Iota said...

It's so hard to respond to this post, but I want you to know I am thinking of you, along with many, in case that helps in some tiny way.

I think this post proves that blogging isn't dead. Twitter and Facebook really can't match this kind of thing. That's just obvious.

HER ON THE HILL said...

Beautifully written and no, I don't think Facebook or Twitter can quite compare...in fact they're bollocks (like the Wired article), and just part of a depressing world where people's attention spans appear to be getting shorter and shorter by the second.

I know a large part of your pain - you don't ever forget, you get through it (somehow) and then you learn to live with it. It will always be there, which means your lost son will always be with you too.
x

Mom/Mum said...

I was moved to tears when I read about your first son in your book, and now reading your marie C article, I find myself in tears again.
Your strength is amazing and your writing inspiring...

sensibilia said...

You are in deep pain.
From my experience of grief, I would say that in about 20 years' time you will be able to think about this without crying.

Primrose said...

I can hardly type this comment as any words seem so trite. To say nothing seems cruel. Bless you and your family. Please keep yourself strong. May the angels and keepers of the spirit world be with you and give you grace.
Be Well. xx

Pig in the Kitchen said...

I asked a woman recently how many children she had. She stared at me, and said, '5. But I've buried two of them'. The force of her words nearly knocked me over.

I also don't know what else to say.

Pigx

Mossie said...

It's not possible to read this without tears. Remember him with stars at elbow and foot.

occasional northerner said...

I read this on Sunday morning, which was such a beautiful day here, and meant to drop you a note to say I hoped you were (all) together on the beach.

Anna Colette said...

This is deeply moving, thank you for your honesty and your bravery.

A friend of mine is a spiritual healer and she believes that when a baby doesn't live, the soul stays with the mother and can choose to enter the body of her next baby.

I'm not sure what your beliefs are, but I hope you find the thought comforting in some way.

Cheryl said...

I had two miscarriages, both blessedly early, but painful the same. I was wondering, have you found that you've had to work through your grief at each new stage of the lives of your other children?

I've found that I go back and forth, grateful that they were taken early then angry for all we've accumulatively missed. I now understand why they say the pain never goes away you just get used to it.

Livvy U. said...

Hello, I have neither been writing nor reading blogs lately - yours is the first I have come back to and find that this is here, and if ever a piece explained a person and their unique, funny melancholy this is it, and I am crying now, and I am moved beyond words, both by the facts themselves, and the dignity and humanity that there is in writing them down. It is a brave and I suspect necessary thing to share, and in the sharing your son lives, and in the empathy - yours for others, ours for you - there is hope. Thankyou. Livvy

merry weather said...

I cannot begin to imagine such a loss, I can only listen and hear your pain.

And hope to find the right words to say - I care a lot that you have been so strong and shared this.

that girl? said...

Despite your warning to look away I read on and was overwhelmed at what you wrote. My heart goes out to you - I cannot begin to imagine the pain of losing a child.

hester said...

I am another one lost for words but wanted to say I'm sorry for the terrible grief you and your husband have endured and are still enduring. What a precious little baby you had and how very loved he is.

Yvonne Young said...

This is very moving, I thought of the parents of Faith and Hope. Every time she looks at her she`ll think of her lost sister.A friend of mine has just learned that her daughter has miscarried, she is distraught for her daughter, but says that she feels robbed. It`s essential that people write of their experiences to reach those that find difficulty in expressing themselves. Just been to the book launch of Christine Fieldhouse, her experiences of living with an alcoholic father brought discussion from the audience with similar tales to tell. We`re all looking forward to your next gig at the Laing Art Gallery in May. Chin up.

Lynda Moss said...

This is beautifully written, in a few words you have summed up everyting about losing a child.

6 years ago we lost our son, he was our 3rd son and died during a premature labour, we have had another son since and like you our family looks good from the outside but there is such a huge hole in it which can never be filled.

Since he died I have run an online support site for baby loss, we recently had to move it from MSN so it is hard ot find us on search engines at the momet, if anyone has the sad reason to join the please visit us

http://www.hostingphpbb.com/forum/index.php?mforum=blsg

ALl of us on there have been very touched by this article, thank you for taking the time to write it and share your little boy with us.

Lynda x

Mary Beth said...

(o)

MEGA.n said...

I have only just read this despite it being posted yonks ago! It makes me think of my mother (who you probably know lost Daniel when he was 17) its very beautiful and honest, so sorry to hear your son went to play with the angels.
I totally relate to the last bit though, whenever anyone asks how many brothers I have I say two but I'm thinking three,
Love Megan x

Tatty said...

Dear Wifey,
What can I say other than I know exactly what you are going through and yes, you are right, there are many woman going through exactly the same thing, although they are not..... they are not because they have not been through my pain, my birth, my grief. I lost my son 15 years ago, the pain easies but does not go, just becomes easier to bear. My husband and I remember our son always and more so recently when my father died and he was cremated at the same crematorium. I could see matthew's "spot" (where his ashes are) as we left through the back door waiting for dad's flowers to come through after the service. Old wounds opened up, but dad will look after Matthew now, and Matthew will show dad the ropes.

I feel your pain, I cried your tears. Thank you for sharing your grief. Believe me it helps us all.

Tx

Tatty said...

Wifey, What can I say other than I know exactly what you are going through and yes, you are right, there are many woman going through exactly the same thing, although they are not..... they are not because they have not been through my pain, my birth, my grief. I lost my son 15 years ago, the pain easies but does not go, just becomes easier to bear. My husband and I remember our son always and more so recently when my father died and he was cremated at the same crematorium. I could see matthew's "spot" (where his ashes are) as we left through the back door waiting for dad's flowers to come through after the service. Old wounds opened up, but dad will look after Matthew now, and Matthew will show dad the ropes.

I feel your pain, I cried your tears. Thank you for sharing your grief. Believe me it helps us all.

Tx

Tatty said...

Wifey, What can I say other than I know exactly what you are going through and yes, you are right, there are many woman going through exactly the same thing, although they are not..... they are not because they have not been through my pain, my birth, my grief. I lost my son 15 years ago, the pain easies but does not go, just becomes easier to bear. My husband and I remember our son always and more so recently when my father died and he was cremated at the same crematorium. I could see matthew's "spot" (where his ashes are) as we left through the back door waiting for dad's flowers to come through after the service. Old wounds opened up, but dad will look after Matthew now, and Matthew will show dad the ropes.

I feel your pain, I cried your tears. Thank you for sharing your grief. Believe me it helps us all.

Tx

Tatty said...

Dear Wifey,

What can I say other than I know exactly what you are going through and yes, you are right, there are many woman going through exactly the same thing, although they are not..... they are not because they have not been through my pain, my birth, my grief. I lost my son 15 years ago, the pain easies but does not go, just becomes easier to bear. My husband and I remember our son always and more so recently when my father died and he was cremated at the same crematorium. I could see matthew's "spot" (where his ashes are) as we left through the back door waiting for dad's flowers to come through after the service. Old wounds opened up, but dad will look after Matthew now, and Matthew will show dad the ropes.

I feel your pain, I cried your tears. Thank you for sharing your grief. Believe me it helps us all.

Tx

RodMunday said...

I am a father who has lost a child to still birth. Reading your post brought back so many poignant memories of the absurd tragic-comic situation that parents of still born babies find themselves in. I think of the experience like everything else as a kind of gift that life gives you. A hard even cruel gift to be sure, but a gift nonetheless. I am grateful because the experience has allowed me to talk to other parents of still born or miscarried children. I am grateful for the chance to tell them that they are not alone, and should not feel like freaks or outcasts from the human tribe, just because they could not bring a baby to term. But at the same time I feel like a bit of a fraud. The living memory of my son does not linger in my heart as yours does. Leaving was perhaps his choice, or perhaps it was the indifference of the universe, I don't know, but life moves on. I have two lovely boys now; the are more than a comfort or a compensation for the boy I and my wife lost, they are the embodiment of him. Finally, I think of my mother-in-law; a woman who is 82 and has born the loss of a child (aged 10), her husband, her parents and most of her friends. She is cheerful and optimistic in the face of a grief that I believe would kill a younger person. If life teaches you anything, it is how to bare grief.

Victoria said...

I have just discovered your blog. Scanning through it for the first time I began reading your words from almost one year ago. Tears are rolling down my cheeks. Thank you for sharing. I know I shall visit your site many many times.

I Love You Quotes said...

Do it because you love it not because others are watching.