This is a letter I’m writing to my family. They may see it they may not but I feel the need to get this out.
To my Family
You have a granddaughter and a niece, yet none of you have met her. Most of you didn’t acknowledge her existence at all.
You can’t say sorry for your loss when you didn’t even congratulate us on her pregnancy. It doesn’t work that way you can’t show your emotion for one event and not the other.
To you Elva was a bump, news given down the phone or if you were lucky a black and white fuzzy bean shaped blob on a photo. She was never a human with her own rights to you.
Mum & Dad. You seemed excited for Elva’s arrival you even bought some things and started knitting. Elva was the first girl in quite a few years and secretly I think we were all so happy. You were there to take us to hospital when we needed to go. You cried with me when we heard the news and your heart broke too.
After her delivery I spoke to you I told you I understood you couldn’t see her. I thought I did. Then you told me it was time to let go and go home there’s no good could come from staying in hospital. I’m 29 I’m adult enough to make my own decisions and I was sad you didn’t understand.
I continued to understand you didn’t want to see Elva it’s not easy facing a dead body and its not easy emotionally seeing one so young. You came to visit the day after I got home. I showed you a picture of Elva snuggled into my chest. A sweet touching photo I know I will treasure. You handed it back wordlessly. Silence. Then the subject changed.
It wasn’t till the next day this sunk in. I felt pain deep twisting pain. That was my child I showed you proudly. A beautiful, cute being and you said NOTHING. There was no reaction, no murmer, you couldn’t even make something up. I told you this hurt I needed to hear you say I’m sorry I thought she was beautiful I was just in shock and grief.
You replied. Its time to think of Daddy and grandparents. Its time to stop being selfish.
I was stunned I had thought of you I hadn’t forced you to visit I hadn’t forced you to look I had given you a chance to say what I needed. But no you called me selfish! You had said you weren’t ready and I should expect that.
YOU WEREN’T READY did you really just say that to me! I wasn’t ready either I’m still not ready. But I made myself as ready as I could, I found the strength to love that little girl no matter how scary looking she might have been ( she wasn’t in slightest). I found the strength to endure the pain and daddy found the strength to support me, watching it all unfold but you couldn’t even look.
Why attend a funeral of a faceless baby. A baby who was only ever a fuzzy image. A baby who will forever remain an image, because you weren’t ready. You are the one who missed out and you will have to live with that regret forever because if you had met her and held her you would know what that regret feels like. A child who will forever remain on your family tree but you will never be able to say I knew her. That is your loss to bear and it is a loss you will never understand.
Three weeks on from the funeral the last time I saw you. The day you ignored me and concentrated on your own sorrow not wondering how I must be hurting. If you feel so heartbroken try magnifying it and thinking maybe that’s what we feel like. Try imagine how this has changed our lives and shaped us in unrecognisable ways.
You are waiting for a sorry. I’m sorry I pointed our your heartlessness, I’m sorry I pointed out your lack of compassion. I’m sorry you missed your chance to meet an angel. I’m sorry you missed out on memories. Oh that wasn’t the sorry you wanted? Well it’s the only one you will get. It is time you made the effort and not always it be me giving in.
There are people I’ve never met who know we better than you. I’m not bitter or even that angry, a little yes but mostly I’m sad and confused. Losing a child opens your eyes, you suddenly don’t want more you just want what you have and you want people to open their eyes too. I want to help you see that saying sorry isn’t a bad thing it is something I taught my child from an early age and they use more than you. You see in my whole life I don’t think I’ve heard you say sorry once and now is the time. I’m waiting.