Thursday, July 31, 2008

when someone's child dies

I have had such fantastic support since Jamie died and I am fortunate to have such understanding, supportive, loving and caring friends and acquantiances.
I found this on the blog of another grieving mother and I think it sums up the complexities of friendships and contact with other people after a child has died.

I wish my child hadn’t died.
I wish I had him back.
I wish you wouldn’t be afraid to speak my child’s name. My child lived and was very important to me.
If I cry and get emotional when you talk about my child, I wish you knew that it isn’t because you have hurt me. My child’s death is the cause of my tears.
You have talked about my child and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both.
Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn’t shy away from me. I need you now more than ever. I need diversions, so I do want to hear about you, but I also want you to hear about me. I might be sad and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about my child.
I also know that my child’s death pains you too. I wish you would let me know these things through a phone call, a card or note, or a real big hug.
I wish you wouldn’t expect my grief to be over. These first years are traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of my child until the day I die. I am working hard in my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss my child and I will always grieve that he is dead.
I wish you wouldn’t expect me “not to think about it” or “be happy”. Neither will happen for a very long time, so don’t frustrate yourself.
I must hurt before I can heal.
I wish you understood how my life has shattered.
I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I’m feeling miserable. Please be as patient with me as I am with you. When I say, “I’m doing okay”, I wish you could understand that I don’t “feel” okay and that I struggle daily.
I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I’m having are very normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So please excuse me when I’m quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.
Your advice to “take it one day at a time” is excellent advice. However, a day is too much and too fast for me right now. I wish you could understand that I’m doing good to handle an hour at a time. Please excuse me if I seem rude, certainly not my intent. Sometimes the world around me goes too fast and I need to get off.
When I walk away, I wish you would let me find a quiet place to spend time alone. I wish you understood that grief changes people.
When my child died, a big part of me died with him. I am not the same person I was before my child died and I will never be that person again.
I wish very much that you could understand ~ understand my loss and my grief. But I pray daily that you will never understand.

Monday, July 14, 2008


sunflowers for Jamie
The pier was closed so we went on a boat instead
Happy Birthday precious boy

we've made it through the first year

I'm not sure how but we have.

Last week was full of love, tears, happiness, smiles and sadness as we remembered our boy and celebrated our strength, our children and all we have in our lives.

Saturday was a day with family and friends - all the children released balloons and they looked so beautiful as they floated up through the sky towards Jamie's lighthouse. It was very moving and Jamie felt very much part of it, I just wish he could have been there with us.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

this time last year...

I was at your side, stroking your hair, holding your hand, watching you breathing, spending a precious last couple of hours with you before your heart surgery. I so wanted to hold you and give you a cuddle but it just wasn't possible.

Friday, July 11, 2008

might sound really crazy

but I feel really happy today, very peaceful and smiley! I'm not really sure what that says about me when it is the anniversary of Jamie's death tomorrow. There have been many tears this week but also lots of cuddles, smiles, laughter and love this week as well.

I miss my precious boy but we've made through his first birthday. On reflection I feel like we are grieving positively, we have encouraged our girls to grieve and talk about Jamie, we have let our own emotions out when they have needed to be released, we have done everything to grieve well. It hutrs and, at times, it feels like my heart is being ripped out, but we haven't fallen apart, we haven't stopped living. Instead I feel like we have grabbed on to life as much as we can and we are making the most of it.

The hardest year was last year, we never have to experience it again and, hopefully, never anything similar in the future. We have our memories and, yes, we replay Jamies life and death from time to time but we are strong and healthy and feeling positive about the future.

I'm sure there will be tears tomorrow as I remember the last time I saw my boy alive but he has given us so much to live for, so raise a toast for my precious, brave, and amazing Jamie and celebrate life :-)

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Happy Birthday my beautiful boy

You were born at 12.30pm on July 9th - you looked so healthy and strong and I prayed that the doctors had got it all wrong, that you were healthy and well and that we would take you home. It was the start of our precious time with you, the start of a cruel, exhausting and desperate emotional rollercoaster that I never want to experience again.
You had your first surgery when you were 6 hours old - me and daddy sat for 6 hours in our postnatal room waiting for news. You looked weak but you had survived. My heart ached with pride at your strength but it was also breaking at the sight of you looking so poorly in your NICU bed, attached to what looked like a hundred machines.
On July 10th - daddy's birthday - you were transferred to the Freeman where we were told that surgery was hopeful, it was scheduled for Thursday, July 12th.
I held your hand, I stroked your hair, I kissed your head, I committed your smell and touch to memory and I hope it stays with me for the rest of my life. The morning before your surgery, you woke up and you smiled at us - it is all captured on film, which I haven't been able to watch since our first week without you.

Thoughts of you enter my head every few seconds. I love you and I miss you and I wish you were here with us. We should be planning your birthday party, not a memorial party and I should be looking at Happy 1st Birthday cards instead of the kind, thoughtful and supportive 'You are in our thoughts' cards on my mantlepiece. A year on, my heart is still breaking with my grief, my loss and my anger that you were taken from us - you are loved and so so wanted, why did it have to happen to us?

I really don't know how I have survived this first year - I have found strength I didn't know I had and love and support I didn't realise was around me. I love my husband and my two girls and their love and strength has kept me sane, it has kept me alive. At times it feels like I am two people - keep me busy with work, my family and friends I will keep going and I can be truly happy but when I stop, when I have no distractions, when I hear a song or stare at your picture the tears fall and there is no stopping them.

Despite all the pain and tears, I don't regret a second of it - I got to meet you, my precious third child, my beautiful son. We bonded while you were growing inside me, we had our own special relationship and I will always remember your kicks and squirms as I talked to you while lying in bed at night. You are my beautiful, brave, strong boy and I love you so so much. I would do anything to have one more cuddle with you but I know that can never happen. Instead I will dream of you, I will keep missing you and I will keep my memories of you with me everyday.

Sleep well my angel