I hope you never have to feel how I feel. I hope your heart never breaks to a state it can’t be repaired fully.
The pain that is created from that broken heart is something not even time can fix. The only way to fix a broken heart is for it to stop beating. To rest from the ache.
I don’t know if I believe I will return to Elva but I like to think I will. This image made me have that hope that one day I will never need to leave her behind or let her go.
Imagine leaving behind something you’ve always wanted something you never knew you would have then it got taken from you just as easily as it was given. Imagine the women who don’t find it so easy the ones who have paid out a lot to achieve what they once thought impossible. Imagine telling them they have to give it back but they get to keep the pain. If you could read my thoughts and the thousands of families who have lost children you would be in tears. You would be less inclined to judge, offer advice and try ignore it.
You can’t ever know how this feels I understand that I know because I’ve been on the ‘other’ side. The side of knowing stillbirth happens, having friends who have been through and never truly knowing how they felt. The side of not knowing what to say but having deep empathy for them. Now I’m the other side I know how they felt, still feel and I know I never could have imagine the pain they endure. I could never have know because I didn’t know how I would feel until it happened to me.
Most days I feel I can’t breathe. Its an effort to breathe, it causes me pain. I simply don’t know how I’m meant to survive another second let alone the rest of my life. Despite having so much in my life my world has been rocked. No earthquake could match how much my world has crumpled around me.
They say a child changes you. It turns your world upside down. It’s a joke about how they empty your wallet and fill you heart. But that’s not just how children change you or your world. They still empty your wallet as you collect memories and still buy for them. They fill your heart to bursting not just love but hurt deep hurt that consists of so many emotions.
When I look at angel mum pictures I see a face I never saw before. It’s very subtle and it’s not easily recognised. But I see the same when I look at my face. You have to concentrate you have to imagine the worse thing that has happened to you then look again. You will see hurt, deep deep hurt. It’s like a permanent glaze on a person’s soul. A glaze you can’t wipe off or fix somehow. It bores down very deep in their soul but its there. Nothing is ever the same for them. Every moment of happiness is tinged with a sadness that you can’t help or control.
Grief isn’t something you chose. How you react or feel isn’t a choice or even a conscious decision. It just occurs. You literally have to survive every event, every second. You have to put yourself ahead of others to protect your heart. Yes you lose people in your life through doing this simply because they haven’t been there they expect your grief to have an expiry date. To some degree it does expire but it only ends when your life does.
You find yourself doing things just to feel a ray of hope. Anything to feel a little better even if its only for a second. People do judge: you shouldn’t ttc so soon you’re just replacing the baby, you need to get out, you need to be more like the old you, smile will you. It’s not your place to judge. If you find yourself judging it’s time to evaluate if you can be there for that person because this is a lifelong journey you won’t ever need to stop supporting them.
If you ever need to question the motives, actions and strength of someone who lost a child in pregnancy, birth or infancy remember what she went through. You try imagine. Then tell yourself you can’t imagine hurt like it. Any hurt you could imagine triple it and you’re still nowhere near knowing. She did something you don’t want to imagine. Something you may find yourself actively avoiding like I did in my pregnancy with Leif & Elva. Except running from it didn’t work. Running from it made me fail to spot the signs something was going wrong. It wouldn’t have changed the outcome but you can’t hide from it because it will still find you.
When you feel guilty for including your angel in your conversations. If there’s silence and awkwardness when you do. Like you should hide the fact you were pregnant. I sometimes feel guilty for using Elva’s pregnancy to encourage others. Just because she died doesn’t mean part of her story wasn’t a success. It was. Majority of her story was. There were parts of her story I would change but even those didn’t make her story unsuccessful. Through listening and support you could learn something that could change things for you one day.
Never take anything for granted. You don’t know what will happen. Some believe there is a path laid out for you you just have to walk it. But there isn’t you always think things will be different to how they are. It’s life it’s not a pre destined path. Your path can be blocked at any time and you have to take a detour. Live in the moment because that’s all that is happening right now.
These are my favourite images. Me & Elva had a bond that no-one else will ever have. No-one had our bond and love even Daddy understands that. She is the only one besides the boys who heart my heart from the inside, I’m the only one to feel her move daily reacting to her environment, one she’d never see. The only one to feel just pure love and no pain. She slept a lot she didn’t die in pain or suffering. She died with her head as close to my heart as she could get. That is the place all babies feel safe the place they remember in the womb and usually sends them off to sleep. Elva went breech just before she fell asleep forever my heart lulling her in a never ending sleep filled with love and happiness. Every second of her life she was held, carried & love by me and only me. She knew her brothers and her daddy but she only felt me.
It’s a bond that brightens the hardest of moments. It’s bitter sweet and is not consolation but it comforts me knowing I did my job as a mother. I loved her unconditionally, I cared for her better than I would care for myself. I cared for her in the same way I cared for the boys in the womb. That’s all I could give her do for her and it’s a wonderful feeling.
Time changes nothing. It doesn’t make it better it just makes it closer to the end, further from the pain & you learn to deal with it because you chose to not because you have to. People say the opposite of living is unthinkable you HAVE to survive and live but I disagree. It’s not fair to live your life for others you need to have a degree of chose in there. You have to learn to live for yourself as well. Living for others makes that choice easier but it isn’t the whole reason. You chose to live because you want hope. You hope that you can have hope. Hope isn’t something that is just there it’s something that develops. It becomes your reason to live and survive through this for eternity.
Grief can’t be healed, treated, solved, ended, fixed, dealt with, cured. It can be hidden, disguised, buried, masked but it never stops.