The proud parents

Aunty Kerry rang this afternoon to remember the boys, and I was reminded of how parents of children who die before or close to the time of birth are rarely afforded congratulations, expressions of joy about how the baby is gorgeous, has a beautiful name, or a head full of gorgeous curls.

Parents who lose a baby (or two) are still parents. We are still passionately in love with our children, we are still proud and enraptured with our offspring.

I hope that this image illustrates that a little.

One final thought for the night. When a parent loses a baby, it is not just an ephemeral potential that is lost. What we lose when a baby dies is the world of possibility, a thousand losses, day by day as we watch others grow, take first steps, hear first words. In another three years their cohort will go to school, and on, and on.

To a parent, that potential is not ephemeral, but rather very concrete indeed.

2 thoughts on “The proud parents”

  1. Sent shivers up my spine reading this. It wouldn’t have, a couple of weeks ago. When Isaac was sick I was really worried, I kept imagining what life would be like without him, I know it sounds crazy and morbid (a friend of a friend had her son die from what he had, that triggered it) but the thing is I haven’t felt pain like that since my father died, 17 years ago, and I honestly believed I would never feel pain like that again, I thought the wisdom I gained in the years after his death would protect me. And I didn’t want to just dismiss the fear as irrational because the amazing mothers I met in hospital were dealing with situations with their children I couldn’t bear to imagine. . .anything could happen anytime.
    It was a huge wake up call for me because I realised that losing a child, or even coping with a child’s chronic illness, would bring the sort of pain I don’t want to acknowledge or imagine, that there is no way around that.
    I felt terrible because I remembered friends who gone through having kids sick in hospital and at the time I just didn’t get it, I would have behaved so differently if I’d known.
    I think people can be insensitive because we really don’t want to put ourselves in your shoes, we really don’t want to get an inkling of what it would be like, or maybe we just are unable to do so.
    Sorry to rave on like that, I’ve been wanting to get that off my chest, have tried talking to a few people but maybe I don’t make much sense.
    It’s so inspiring to read in the previous post about how you got through the first year and how this has enriched your life. I truly believe that enduring intense suffering is of immense value, we would never want to, it might seem like too much to bear, but that is what religion/God means to me, realising that you have the stength to tolerate the intolerable, coming through the fire, learning the hard way not to take life for granted.


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