It should be your 8th birthday today.
We should have cake and balloons.
You should be smiling as you open gifts.
We should be celebrating.
It will be the 8th anniversary of the traumatic start to your short life.
It will be the 8th night I relive giving birth to a blue baby.
It will be the 8th day I remember the silence as they resucitated you.
It will be the 1rst day of your 51 days of life for the 8th time.
2 months or 58-61 days (make up most 2 months stretches) or 1430 hours in 2 months of the 8544 hours in a year, its about 6% of the time in a year, seems so little to be so heavy. I carry it each year. I carry it with the grief of other losses but hers has affected me the most.
Just let it go… I’m sure they wonder and I have, the whole first year I carried a heavy grief and it was the hardest, the following years it was around 6 months of each year, around year 5 it was heavy for 3 months. I’m ok with accepting how her memory these 2 months are like a weighted bag tied around my shoulders, the weight will lift as I’ve learned it does by the spring. Not to say I dont think of her as often it just doesn’t hurt as much the rest of the year.
I dont ever want a day or time when I don’t feel the weight of my grief for her.
You get used to carrying it.
I think of her at the very least every 2 minutes each day of the year since her death in 2012.
I always wonder if I had just 2 more minutes what would I do. Hold her of course. Smell her hair, touch her cheeks.
These 2 months (Dec.18 – Feb.18) belong to you, not that I obsess but I find I cant escape. The pain is stronger as are the memories and reminders.
I dont like to wrap presents anymore, what a waste of paper. I used to love Christmas music, I collected all my favorites and played them on rotation for weeks, now I change the station. Walk around and look at lights? I cant remember why that was fun. I do still love looking at my tree with all the special ornaments and the memories they hold. I love my 3 kids excitement at the school break and wonder of gifts or will it snow. I smile for them though I spend most days fighting back tears.
Her birthday is in 2 weeks, she lived almost 2 months
She’s going to die all over again in my heart and mind in 2 months time.
I think of you, sometimes in awe, sometimes in pain. But your always just a thought away.
A date, a memory, a month. A commercial, a song, a regret. Your forever at the back of my mind but front of my heart.
Lily Emma Olive Hall
December 30 2011 – February 18 2012
Thanks for reading
I had a FB memories pop up from 2012 this is what I wrote…
So I made it into a meme with my artwork.
Thanks for reading.
Made my first meme with a poem I wrote 6 years ago for my daughter…
That is what I love about writing, keeping journals, diary posts etc… You can go back to exactly how you felt at a certain moment in time be it happy or sad.
Your death creates fear about futures unclear
Your loss makes us anxious; how to steer clear
Your innocence stolen; gone too soon
Broken down simply;
Death creates fear
Loss is anxiousness
Your life was stolen
The story untold while grief unfolds
Anger subsides, no answer to why
Young and trusting or foolish and rushing
Those left behind; hurt and confused
Forever staring at the invisible bruise
What makes a child turn away
Do drugs, solicit sex instead of play
Why has society drifted from truth
That an end by drugs is common for youth
The loss of a child is the worst; its true
Whether 3, 11 or at 22
The order of death is not correct
The mind scrambles to accept
Hurt and pain fill each room
With presence of a life gone too soon.
Written for Carson Crimeni a 14 year old boy who was given drugs by older kids to watch how he reacted.
His death has affected our community not only because of its circumstances but because of his age, naivety and vulnerability. And because it creates fear in us all.
I drive by the site at best 4x a day, I see the flowers, my heart pounds as my eyes swell. He is not my son but very well could be. No one knows who it could be next, no one is invincible.
Child loss is a pain no parent can heal from.
You can learn from it. You can grow from it. You can continue to live. But there is no getting over the loss of a child, regardless their age.
I hurt for his parents, for all parents who’ve lost a child to drugs, accident, illness or violence. Miscarriage, stillbirth or congenital diseases.
Death creates fear and uncertainty but moreso when its your child and you can’t understand why or how to move on, the world stops awhile.
I wrote this (above) but the picture attached below with a poem is written by an unknown author.
Thanks for reading,
When I have to much feels I hide. Not literally but behind a fake smile or rushed avoidance.
I have noticed something about myself this month and that is that when I am feeling overwhelmed with strong emotions or a little depressed at life, I become fake in my interactions with everyday encounters. I noticed I made random jokes that I laughed at myself when talking to others, I smiled and wanted to appear happy and ok.
Tomorrow will be 7 years since my daughter died. Yesterday was 2 years since my Nonno joined my Nonna who died right after my daughter 7 years ago. My best childhood memories are with them, at their home. So every February is emotional for me, when I am alone. A part of me knows people know and wonders if they get annoyed with my grief, maybe that’s why I hide it, it’s been so long, to them.
So I cry alot in private or in my car. I light candles, go for long quiet walks. And run to and from my car to hide when there are people around that I know. I exercise too much, I eat and drink too much. I try to make others laugh. But the rest of the year (except December) I noticed I am more comfortable being the real me maybe because it’s not directly associated with personal deaths. People can’t say ‘ oh she’s like that cause her daughter died in February. I’m just like this…except in February.
So when I am feeling ok about life and comfortable with the existence of my grief, I am much more real and willing to open up to someone in an honest way.
Thanks for reading,
December 30th 6:41am, this day seven years ago came the eternal silence the silence that has caused traumatic memories to surface over times, the silence that has caused question and wonder to no end, the silence that has been the noise of my nightmares.
We arrived at the hospital around 4:45 am, by about 5:30 a nurse realized my baby was breach (backwards) we’d soon find out she was frank breach (upside down and backwards) not ideal for a safe delivery. They called an anesthetist because at 5am on a Sunday there was not one on duty. I couldn’t wait the twenty five minutes it was to take her to arrive, I had to push, I wanted my baby out. A decision that would haunt me forever, the wonder if I had tried harder to wait, had we performed a successful caesarean would the outcome have been different.
At 6:07 am she came out flat and blue. That means not breathing, not moving, and a fading heartbeat. As she was taken to a bedside table to have CPR attempted to save her, the room, and the space in my head fell silent. I stared at the ceiling tears running down my face waiting to hear her cry.
I felt hands still on me, people telling me to keep pushing the placenta that was broken in pieces out, I felt pain as a nurse or doctor I don’t know was scooping me clean as if hollowing a pumpkin. I was scared to turn my head to see what was going on, the sounds were muffled, and the noise in my head as I prayed for her to be ok cleared out all other sounds.
And then the room was empty and silent. As if a bomb went off the room cleared. My husband held my hand as we sat in silence for what seemed like an eternity. At 7:35 am the doctor returned to tell us our daughter had to be intubated, was having trouble breathing on her own, she suffered brain damage and to what extent we will never know but was cause by her hypoxic birth. That she was being transferred to Children’s Hospital NICU and we could follow in an ambulance behind her or drive ourselves. We chose to drive obviously not wanting to be stranded in the city with no way home.
At 8:45 am we arrive after a silent drive to BCCH and figure out where we eventually spend the next three weeks.
They decided to freeze her in a incubator as a way of hopefully lessening the brain damage. I did not get to hold my daughter for a week. I sat in the nursing room attempting and failing to produce milk all the while as silent tears streamed my face. I became quiet. My boys, my young beautiful sons aged three and five came to visit every day, not understanding and me not having the words to explain. I asked to be discharged after 3 days, my sons needed their mom too. I couldn’t even hold Lily; only touch her hand through the tiny space of the incubator.
The next month was a blur of forgetfulness and silence. My husband returned to work because he didn’t know what to do, I would drop off the kids at kindergarten and preschool and drive the hour long drive from hell to the hospital praying something was better but also that nothing had happened. My nightmare was that she would die alone in the night when we were not there. After multiple MRIS and scans, they found much more was wrong with my perfect little bean. She had a feeding tube inserted and prescribed a daily anti-seizure medication as we begged to bring her home.
Our home was quiet; I was scared to hold her too hard for fear of her tube falling out and needing to return to the hospital for reinsertion. I spent hours on the phone with doctors about surgeries and with hospital aides about necessary equipment. I wish I had spent every moment holding her instead. Three weeks later she was carried by ambulance back to the local hospital after having stopped breathing, after me having to perform CPR on my tiny five weeks old baby on my living room floor. And again transferred to Children’s hospital where we learned of rare heart disease and trachea growth. She would never breathe on her own, she would never eat solid food, and she would never taste ice cream. She would never walk or talk. My brain shut down as I tried to understand, my heart broke more every second of every day and the silence screamed in my ears.
We signed a do not resuscitate as her episodes were coming more frequent, they removed her tubes and we held our fifty one day old little girl until she was gone. I regret not wanting to look at her, fearing her blue face would haunt me forever. I regret not bathing her, as I have heard of other parents doing. I had to get away, I wanted to run from the silence of that room.
The quiet walk down the white walled corridor to our car followed by the hollowed echo as we drove home.
People stopped by with food, I just stared as they cried, people came to her funeral, I said nothing but hugged them, people called, I did not answer. I spent weeks in bed, doing minimal necessities for my suddenly four and six year old boys. I think I threw them birthday parties.
I don’t remember much from that first year after she died.
I can only remember the silence.
Thanks for reading,
Day 23; Mortality
death, especially on a large scale.“the causes of mortality among infants and young children”
the number of deaths in a given area or period, or from a particular cause.“postoperative mortality was 90 percent for some operations”
Day 24; Courage
What forms our courage? Is it our mothers encouraging hand, fathers stern insistence. Is it our ability to bear witness to tragedy and overcome the trauma. Do we learn courage through our mistakes or maybe because of our successes. Being courageous can mean standing up for someone when no one else is but it can also mean getting out of bed to face the day when you want to hide. We are all courageous at many times throughout the day we simply need to notice our own bravery at perhaps not always doing the easy thing but the right thing.
Day 25; Who
Who decides what lives and what dies
How does he or she who decides live with the consequences of their decisions
Who is rightful to grieve and who determines whose loss it really is
When do we know what to say, how to say, who to say it to
Who is the owner of your grief?
Is it the departed or the remaining
Who should we fear; is it who decides who lives or dies
Day 26; Beauty
The beauty held in your dark eyes, the long vast endless corridor of dark; the unknown The beauty of the unknown. The beauty revealed in the tiny smirk that you rarely showed and preciously received. The beauty behind your legacy. The lives you left behind forever changed because of the few beautiful moments with you.
Day 27; Memory
A sound, a scent, a photograph. A movie, novel or painting. A memory held in a frame at the back of our brains waiting to be remembered at the drop of hat. A memory tucked away inside our heart only to be revealed at long last of searching the soul in hopes for it be re lived. Wanting desperately to be remembered, it comes at long last in a dream or a flicker of a deja-vu rekindling a past thought, triggering that memory to the fore front. The brain holds our memories in a staggering way, we tend to remember the really bad or the extremely exciting, the unforgettable moments that are happy and sad, that have shaped our being. We tend to forget the every day even though we do that more often, we forget the repetitiveness and remember the tragic and the magic, making our memories all that much more unique to how our brain perceived a moment in time for us.
Thanks for reading,
Day 4 – Today
Today I hurt from yesterdays loss, the light fades but is never gone. My grief sits a top my shelf, a glow surrounding the memory of you. It stares down at me every day, wondering if I will pick it up to hold, or ignore and pretend it is not there. Today will I smile and laugh or sit and cry. What will be the trigger today, an ambulance, a song, a news story. The many ways to be reminded of you are endless. A picture, a memory, a drifting thought. The painful, unstoppable passage of time has made today more bearable but not erased and never forgotten. Today may be easier than yesterday but everyday is a gentle reminder that you are not here.
Day 5 – Rituals
Light a candle
Say a prayer
Leave the hurt in a chair
Dry your eyes with her coat
The painful memories drift afloat
Through the house your presence haunts
Todays essence of yesterdays loss
The veil we wear like a sheaf
Never gone as some believe
These are the rituals
Of child loss grief
Day 6 – Healing
Healing is an odd word, to be healed of mind is to let go, to be healed of body can mean death; no longer in pain or medical intervention that is a success; healing a wound, these two extreme opposites. Heal your heart, heal your soul, many ways we hope to find comfort in healing. Hoping to heal a friendship or a mistake, heal a hurt we may have made. Yes, healing is an odd enigma that we all search for at some point.
May you find what heals you. I have found writing has helped to heal me.
Thanks for reading,