Belief, hope, optimism these are the lookout points I once chose to visit when reflecting on the world around me.
Although I recognised the tribulations and suffering faced by many on this earth, I also recognised an inherent goodness in most things. The goodness of people, animals, plants, all the beauty that surrounds us. It was always my opinion that the good had the strength to outweigh the bad… no matter how bad.
Sometimes the goodness in life is cruelly stifled by the bad. Sometimes our souls take such a crushing blow that everything we have ever been sure of comes into question.
Within a matter of seconds my lifelong belief in the power of good over bad was destroyed. The hope for my future shattered in a single sentence.
“I’m sorry.. There is no heartbeat”
… and down from cloud ‘baby’ I suddenly fell…
Following close behind the whole facade came tumbling, the dreams, the naivety, the sugar, spice and everything nice, those positive lookout points I had always visited and ultimately the world around me.
When the rug of optimism is so suddenly snatched from under your feet you find yourself floating in the void of the unknown. The unknown is dark and it is lonely. Here there is no gravity to ground me, nothing to hold onto and absolutely no way of turning back.
Thrust into the unknown I am falling and I am floating. With no end in sight it is within the unknown I currently reside. Unable to stitch back together my shredded heart instead I stitch a blanket of grief.
It has been ten cruel weeks since we found out our first born child, our perfect little girl Edith had died. At thirty-two weeks and four days she came into the world silently.
With eight weeks left until Edith was due to join us we were just beginning to finalise the preparations for her arrival. Maternity leave about to be taken, baby shower about to be thrown, nursery furniture part built, finish line in sight. All those loose ends that never got the chance to be tied up…
Surrounded by the jumbled fragments of what nearly was and the scattered jigsaw of our present and our future, I now lay awake most nights questioning what is real and what is not.
Sometimes I tell myself that none of it was real. That it was all too good to be true, that I was never going to be a Mother.
…but Edith was real and she was here! There is no doubt; she was so beautifully real…I felt every movement. I gave birth to her, my Sunday’s child.
So I am a Mother, I am Edith’s Mother, that is real and that is true.
I used to look out at the world with belief, hope and optimism and perhaps one day I will be able to do this again. Until that day it is time to look in. Deep inside myself, into the empty space my daughter made her home.
Writing has always enabled me to process my inner dialogue. It is my way of extracting chaotic thoughts and turning them into ordered contemplation. I suppose you could call it my therapy.
As I finally begin to release some of the past ten weeks onto the page I feel something stirring inside. In the distance I spy the glowing embers of a soul that once burned so brightly.
I sense love, I remember hope, and this I feel is Edith willing me to continue. I believe she is telling me not to surrender to the void of the unknown. Telling me I must go on.
In that moment I crash back down to earth. It is here I will crawl and learn to walk again. The road ahead is both rough and unstable, but I find I am more grounded now than I ever was before.
I am the mother of a perfect little girl. A little girl who has taught me about the fragility of life and the Infinite power of a memory. She touched our lives with her innocence. Her body was here and then it was gone, but her spirit lives on.
This is not the end, her story is just beginning and that is real and it is true and it feels so very good.. Good to once more believe that the good has the strength to outweigh the bad.
Thank you Edith Joy… This is for you…