Happy 8th birthday precious Bella

My darling Belsie Boo

Today you would have been 8 years old. 8 years ago you entered this world beautiful girl. Gosh how I miss you every single day. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of you, miss you and wonder how on earth this is our reality.

Today I feel robbed. Robbed of so many things. Robbed of knowing what you would look like now…because I no longer feel that I know that. Robbed of knowing how your little personality would have developed, what you would have liked, resonated with, your little quirks and idiosyncrasies. Robbed of a whole different life that you should have been a part of, and all that would have brought with it – friends, connections, adventures. And robbed of the sibling relationship I know Murray so desperately misses and wants for him and for us. Murray feels the gap so deeply, it’s a deep void for all of us. He still talks about you so often, questioning how his and our lives would be different if you were still here. Last night when I went to check up on him sleeping, your bunny was placed on his bedside table next to him, watching over him. You are always a part of our lives, every day.

Murray often asks me what the 3 happiest days of my life have been and I can answer this so easily and quickly – the day I married your dad, and the days Murray and you were born. I remember this day 8 years ago so clearly and I have written about it so often. Even though you arrived a bit earlier than planned and expected (lucky us as we got an extra few weeks with you) it was the most beautiful, calm and magical day. Just like you. You imprinted yourself in my heart, forever, the moment you were handed to me. No crying (unlike your brother when he was born), just looking up at me with those beautiful eyes.

If I am honest, and truly vulnerable, I feel quite broken today. More so than in some other years where I have felt like I have held it together okay. I don’t know why today feels particularly hard. I think it’s a combination of factors. I am having major sleep issues at the moment and haven’t really slept properly (at all) in about 2 months and there is no doubt this is impacting on me emotionally and cognitively. I would normally hide away from the world on this day so that I don’t have to be anything other than what I feel and so that I can do this privately but I can’t do that today as I have work commitments. It feels tight in my chest, like I can’t breathe properly; it feels like my skin is too tight and I want to climb out of my body. Deep breathes, deep breathes…

As I write this, I am sitting with you and Thomas, at your bench. It’s a cool morning, the river is running beautifully, the birds singing quietly. There is a beautiful chameleon perfectly camouflaged on the plant next to me. It’s a wonderful resting place for you and a gentle space for me to come and spend time with you. And so I sit here, taking deep breaths, writing to you, and trying to centre myself.

Beautiful girl, happy 8th birthday. We should be celebrating with you, with cake and a party, lots of friends, presents and treats. Sparkles, rainbows and everything that your heart would have desired. But instead I sit here quietly, writing to you, missing you and feeling like my heart may break.

I know that life isn’t meant to be fair, and that life isn’t meant to be easy…but goodness me today it feels very very unfair and very very hard.

I love you baby girl, from the depth of my being, always…

Your mom

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