My darling, precious baby girl, my Belsie
You left us a month ago today and I miss you with a yearning I didn’t know was possible. It’s been 30 days, long days and nights, and yet for the most part I don’t think the reality of your leaving us has sunk in at all. Most of the time I feel like I am floating above the world, in a bubble, watching what is going on from a far. I actually went to acupuncture this week and she told me that there was still a lot of shock in my system and I was just getting through every day but not really processing anything. And that is how I feel. It all seems like a bad dream, a nightmare, and I still sometimes think I hear you cry and want to rush to you to check that you are okay.
It seems so weird to say we “lost you”, or that you “left us”. Because each of those imply that you might be coming back, that there is a chance we might “find you”. But that you “died” seems so harsh? I guess time will help us figure out what is right for us. Every day people ask me how I am, if I am “okay” and I have no idea how to answer. Because I am not okay, I don’t know if I ever will be again, but I know that I am managing to get through every day…sometimes just…and for that I am grateful.
We have left your bedroom untouched, just as you left it. I go in there sometimes when I am feeling strong, but I find it really hard. Your empty cot is too empty, the smell of you no longer there. But every morning and every night I touch your name on the front of your closed door and I say good morning and good night. The worst times are the weekends and the week mornings between 6.15am (when your dad leaves for work) and 7.45am (when Connie and Christine arrive). That was the time when it was just me with you and your brother, and it was always complete chaos, but good. And now it just seems way too quiet and way too easy.
We saw some of your little friends this weekend. I thought it would be hard to see babies that are around your age but it was actually comforting. A good reminder of you. I am sure there will be times that it will be really tough, but for now, it’s good. I don’t know if you remember but I took a video of you in the bath the night before you died. You were having such a good time, kicking, giggling and just being the adorable girl that you are. I watch it when I feel strong enough to and am so so grateful to have that reminder of you taken not even 24 hours before you left us.
Your dad cries, often. And in one way that is just such a wonderful thing and I am so glad that he can and does. And in another way it is so so hard, because I can’t help him, I can’t make it better. I can only love and support him and be there for him and be kind.
Your brother also misses you terribly – his sissie. You would be amazed and probably shriek in delight at the extent of the tantrums he is throwing! He is not happy! He looks for you, goes into your room and wants to get into your cot. On Monday morning he looked at me and said “Sissie gone, my sissie, bye sissie” and blew you kisses. Since you left this world he has also been talking so so much more. It’s almost like he suddenly has this need to communicate and be heard by “us adults”. Even though you aren’t here, your 7.5 months on this earth certainly impacted on your precious brother.
Murray is our lifeline at the moment. He is the reason I am getting up in the mornings, the reason I am putting a smile on my face and not crying all the time. I don’t know what we would do without him – your dad and I are just so grateful for his presence every moment of every day. I am terrified that something happens to him too. Terrified. But I know that I need to get a grip on that fear as it isn’t healthy for me or him. I am certainly more present in my time with Murray. When I am with him, which I try to make sure is as much as possible, I am completely focused on him and I am not thinking about all the other things I need/want to do. When he cuddles up to me I hold him that much tighter and I read him at least 1 extra story at night, just to prolong the time he lies quietly in my arms.
I had the first situation yesterday where I saw someone who knew me, not well, knew that I had had you, but didn’t know what had happened. He asked me how the “kiddies” were and I just said “fine” and changed the subject as politely as I could. I couldn’t get into it with a relative stranger at 7.30am on a Wednesday morning. Not so much for me but more that I didn’t want to deal with the awkward situation of trying to deal with somebody else’s reaction. And I don’t know if the pretending made it feel better or worse. Worse I guess otherwise I wouldn’t be writing about it. It felt insincere and almost like a betrayal.
I went to church on Sunday, a beautiful little church. A nice, traditional, Anglican service. It reminded me so much of chapel at school. And I found it so very comforting. I cried through the service but I felt closer to you. Are you happy up there my sweet child? Are you being looked after? I have to believe you are somewhere safe, being enfolded in love and looked after, otherwise I will fall apart. I need to believe that you are in a happy place and being loved as much as we love you.
We are starting to develop an area in our garden especially for you and dad is building a bench to go there. We will be able to go there and think about you and talk to you and just try and feel closer to you. I can’t wait to have this safe space. We are also wanting to start an NGO/NPO which can help parents who have lost children who have not got the support that we have received. Watch this space. Your life will have a lasting legacy.
My baby girl, you have touched so many people’s lives with that beautiful smile of yours. You are something truly special! It’s not just us that misses you but everybody that knows you. And people that don’t even know you but hear about you. They hold their children a little closer, a little tighter, are a little more patient and present, that’s an amazing gift you have given precious child of mine. We continue to be bowled away by the love and support we are receiving from our family, friends and community. The outpouring, some from people we don’t even know, of words, time, food, thoughts, cards – the list goes on and on – is just truly humbling. There is a food roster set up to bring us a meal every night during the week and that has been a real blessing. I am battling to eat or even think about food, so the fact that there is always a meal means I eat what I can which is amazing!
I have been reading a lot – books, websites, blogs. And I mostly find it really helpful and cathartic. I have just finished a book written by a mom that your dad actually knows whose son died when he was 1.5 years old. She writes so beautifully. And she sees “signs” from her son everywhere, her sign is a butterfly. But she does say that you need to be open to seeing the signs because they are everywhere. I so so hope that I start to see signs from you, just to know that you are okay.
I wear the bracelet that your Aunty Carley and Uncle Matt gave you for your christening with your name on it. I wear it proudly and never take it off. And I am thinking of getting a tattoo of your name on my wrist. So that you are constantly with me, on me, near me. It feels right.
My baby girl, there are so many things I want to tell you, so many things I think of every day. But I will continue to write to you as though you were just away visiting PopPops and not gone from us forever.
I love you, from the bottom of my heart