Loss Through the Looking Glass is a shared blog created by three bereaved mothers who wanted to share their experiences of life after loss. The blog also plays host to bereaved parents who have found their voice but not yet the place to share it.
It’s been 5 years 6 months and 28 days since we met you even though it was hello as well as goodbye. Even though it’s been 5 years I don’t think it seems that long ago, but to think next Tuesday you would be starting school that’s when it hits you another milestone we won’t get to experience. It’s even harder with social media full of it, knowing friends have wee ones starting school and with working in a school you can’t get away from it. I am happy for them but can’t help wondering and imagining what you would have been like. In pictures I see myself and your big brother in you. I can imagine that with a mixture of your big sister’s personality. I imagine you would have blond hair like your brother in pigtails and ribbons. Wearing a grey pinafore, red t-shirt and a grey cardigan. Walking up to the school gates holding your big brothers hand. It’s hard to find the words to express my thoughts and feelings on learning to be without you. To be honest Lilly it’s probably difficult to put in words because I really haven’t had to learn. Others who don’t understand think I should be over losing you, from the outside looking in many may think I have. I prefer the statement “still learning to live without you”. I really like this because it’s more like a process where there is no end and no beginning, there will be lots of things I will need to face, milestones still to come shows that every day we will “still be learning to live without you”. Still Learning to live without you being here doesn’t mean you are forgotten, we would never forget you. You have left such a big imprint on our hearts. You are on my mind every day, most days not so much but times like today a lot. We speak about you always. Your big sister, big brothers speak about you, make things in your memory and they often ask what would you be like. Just the other day they were saying you would be starting school and its hard us and it’s hard for them. You have shown me and taken me on a different journey, it may not be the journey I had planned but I have changed as a person, I don’t take anything for granted and I make every second count. I am still learning everyday on this journey.
As always, I include my true title to remember my 3 little stars also…
Right Where I Am: 5 years 10 months followed by 5 years 4 months 3 days followed by 5 years 1 month followed by 4 years 3 months 13 days followed by 3 years 8 months 5 days
Molly should be starting school today.
I can see her in my head. Hair plaited, shiny shoes, green blazer, red and green tie, big smile... all set to go the the primary school both myself and her daddy went to.
Social media is covered in 'first day of school' posts. It hurts to look at them. My little girl should have been part of that too. The photo of the uniform, the photo at the front door, the photo at the school gates. I can only imagine it in my head, I will never experience these things with Molly. Or with Grace, who should be starting school next year.
I often wonder what life would be like with 3 girls running around. Our little rainbow Cara brings us so much joy and laughter. I feel horrendously guilty that she will probably never have a living sibling... a playmate, a friend to grow up with, a support in later life as we grow older. She has her cousins but she will never have a living sister or brother.
Sometimes I wonder what would happen if we just tried again... a tiny sliver of hope says go for it. But we can't. The treatments already didn't work, why would they work now?
In all likelihood, it would just mean another silent birth, another coffin, another name on a gravestone. So here we are nearly 6 years down the line since our journey began. Despite all the heartache, we got to meet Molly and Grace and our journey brought us to Cara. She is such a miracle and a joy and she makes us grateful every day.
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You can read my previous Right Where I Am posts by clicking on the links below:
It seems like I am being caught up by grief again.Not the gentle, ever-present lapping of
sadness that has been with me since your death and birth nearly 5 years
ago.Nor the huge, crashing,
might-just-swallow-you-up waves that nearly drowned me when we first lost
you.But a constant pulling feeling; like
I’m always in danger of going under.I’m
swimming, just coping, just managing to get from one place to another.But the threat is always there – one false
move and that’ll be it.It scares
me.I think it scares me because, in
true ‘me’ style, I feel like it shouldn’t be happening.I should be okay.This bit of grieving should be over.I remember when we lost you, after the first
few terrible weeks, grief settled around me, making it hard to move through
life.I felt slow, heavy; the waters
were thick like sludge, and it was hard to walk forward.But over months and years, that started to change.The waters became gentle, and it was easier
to walk again.
But lately, I don’t know why, but I feel it again.Everything is taking effort.I think of your birthday coming up, and I can
hardly say the words, ‘he would have been five’.Why does five feel so significant?As an August baby, you would have gone to
school last year, so it’s not that.Maybe five seems like you would have been a child, not a toddler, not a
pre-schooler. Perhaps it’s simply because it’s half a decade without you.
When we talk about baby loss, we often talk about how you
don’t just lose the baby – you lose all the stages your child would have gone
through.I have talked about that in such
a matter of fact way, to so many people, but I can really feel it at the
moment.I have lost you the baby, you
the toddler learning to walk and talk, you the big boy going off to school, you
the teenager with your own angst and worries.You the university student, you the worker- proud and possibly miserable
at your first job.You the young man,
falling in love.You the husband, you
the father.I have lost your
I’ve lost your voice, your laugh.I’ve lost holding your hand, kissing your
face.I’ve lost comforting you when
you’re sad, and looking after you when you’re ill.I’ve lost being frustrated at you because of
your tantrums, and I’ve lost you telling me you hate me and refusing to speak
to me.I’ve lost you telling me you’re
sorry and that you love me.I’ve lost feeling
useless because I can’t make everything wonderful for you and I’ve lost the
guilt of feeling I’m not doing enough for you.I’ve lost the pride in you when you get a sticker at nursery, a
certificate at school, an award for sport or art or drama.I’ve lost knowing what you’re good at, and
what taxes you.I’ve lost wiping away
your tears.I’ve lost knowing the colour
of your eyes, stroking your hair.I’ve
lost knowing what it feels like to hold you, to feel the weight of you in my
arms changing as you grow. I’ve lost having to tell you to set an example for
your younger brothers and breaking up your fights.I’ve lost the chance to photograph my three
boys, all together.
I thought that these losses became easier to bear as time
went on.I thought I could
compartmentalise my grief; that grief was a small but significant part of who I
am. That the waters would remain light
and easy to wade through.But I realise
that sometimes it’s more than that.Sometimes
- for an hour, a week, a month– the
grief over losing you is almost everything to me.And maybe that’s okay.Maybe it’s one of the ways I can ensure you
are as present a part of my life as your brothers are.I just need to work on coming to terms with
that.Accepting, if I can, that the loss
of you – of everything you were and could have been – is simply too great a
loss to ever have it feel manageable for long. Maybe the pull of the water is
the pull of not just my grief, but also of my love for you. Maybe I need the
space and time to sometimes, just for a little while, close my eyes and go
under. ~~~~~ You can read Nicole's previous posts here: Right Where I Am 2015: 4 years exactly Right Where I Am 2014: 2 years 10 months 25 days Right Where I Am 2013: 1 year 10 months 25 days Right Where I Am 2012: 9 months and 4 weeks