I was very pleased to be able to contribute to Emily Long’s new Book, “From Mother to Mother: on the loss of a child”. I received my copy last week and have reprinted my content below. This books contains several letters penned by bereaved mothers.
So – I could tell you it gets easier, because I know that’s what I wanted to hear too; but by now I’ve worked out that my recollection of the experience is just as raw as if it were playing out again. An endless repeat. The moment I held my daughter in my arms and kissed her still body. Scratch, the needle goes back to the start to play your song again.
Those moments never change, you will always recall them, and you know what, don’t ever be afraid to. For me those moments are a strongest connection to my darling daughter. Yes, they are painful; Yes they make me cry but we are always together in my memory, as mother and daughter. The saddest song we could ever write together.
It’s those memories, with all their pain and sorrow that actually contain some of the truest love. As time goes on, what I see now is that when I recall those memories I have to make a conscious effort to bring forward the immense love I felt in those precious moments together. I don’t push away the sorrow, how can you when it wells up enough to cry an ocean, but I make room for the love to shine.
Don’t be afraid of your tears, or try to force them to stop. You cry because you loved, you cry because you lost something you loved so very deeply that at the time it would seem your heart could never be whole again.
I know now that I don’t need my heart to be whole again. My daughter, when she died, took part of it with her and I am happy for her to have it. It is what connects us, it what keeps her memory safe, my love for her and the piece of my heart she carries with her everywhere. The unbroken golden chain that connects us as mother and child, in life and in death. She is my child. We sing our song together again.
And your child too. I know you won’t ever forget the circumstances of your loss, and I beg you not to. We never asked to be bereaved parents; who would? but it’s a part of who we now are.
Move forward in your life. You have too otherwise it will move on without you and that’s when you stagnant in your grief, fixated on guilt and blame. Don’t feel ashamed – We all do it – feel that deep sense of guilt only a parent who has held their dead child can feel. The blame, ohh the blame! we blame ourselves constantly. What did we do wrong? What did we do to deserve this outcome? – well you didn’t deserve that tragic outcome, but trauma doesn’t discriminate, it’s unpredictable like that. I’m so sorry you had to go through this too, we are all still in shock.
Remember the unique connection that is between you and your child, it is still there, it is always there. It will be hard to see sometimes because of the tears, the anger, the frustration, the blame, the depression, the anxiety, the fear.
Let those feeling come and go, but always hold onto the love, the unbroken bond you created with your love. It is always there, recall it, love it, embrace it and hold onto it, because the love is what connects you. The invisible golden thread of two hearts that loved. The song only you two can sing.
From my heart to yours,
Till Heike-Woods Xx
Want to find out what it’s really like to have a rainbow pregnancy? Let me tell you, click here: Life Inside the Rainbow: The truth about my ‘rainbow’ pregnancy after Stillbirth
Click through here to read a touching letter to the midwives who birth our stillborn daughter: To The Midwives who helped birth my Stillborn Daughter
You can find both of these article reprinted on Mamamia: Till’s Mamamia Articles
You can find Emily’s book at her website : Emily Long website