birthday in grief

Then She Was Seven

Today is the day my life changed.

Today is the day I have learnt to celebrate a child’s birthday without the child.

This is something, I still cannot get my brain around. I had a baby on this day, I had emergency surgery on this day, my body knows that I had a baby, but my brain can’t seem to adjust that the baby who was meant to live a full and healthy life died.

I have a seven-year-old, but she didn’t grow she didn’t leave the hospital. She is forever 5 weeks, but I still should have had a seven-year-old. How can anyone get used to that?

Time has stopped, raced forward and slowed down all at once.

As we entered this year, it has felt different, I have felt pissed at the whole situation, pissed that I am not the person I was before, pissed at my self for feeling like I hate my daughter. Pissed that no matter what I do, I will always be a mother to a dead child. It felt like I woke up after seven years and everything is different.

I can ignore her, ignore the situation, I could stop talking about her; but none of it would change the outcome. I would still be a mum to a dead child.

When I decided to walk away from her, from everything about her to turn and run as far away as I could, I hate being a bereaved mum and I feel trapped.

I wished that I had never met her.

This year I felt beaten by the whole thought that this is our life. I was fully expecting to be ‘better’. This is something I am now learning to deal with.

I was reminded that no matter what I do she will always be our daughter. So rather than run or hate her I need to find a sense of being happy within the situation which has been given – I certainly didn’t choose any of this. I want to make sense of her death; this year I have been given the confidence to push the support group I set up three years ago, it is bloody hard work – but rather than hating her for making us bereaved parents, blaming her for ruining our lives; I am going to learn to love her again, to build a legacy for her and her siblings because they are a massive part of the service we are building and trying to achieve.

I really have had such a tug of war (love) between the life I had imagined and the life we have, I am grateful to the life we have, but I also would have preferred not to have a lifetime of pain – as would many other families who have lost their child. T

I don’t quite know how it is seven years.

This year she would have been doing her year two SATS tests, it is another moment where there will be a number missing in the statistics, a missing child at the table, but there will be no absence reported.

The tooth fairy will never visit her,

I will never have her first tooth stashed away not knowing what on earth I am going to do with it.

She will never need a magic kiss for the knee she grazed running too far ahead.

Or chose a story to read in bed

I will never know the thing she would have liked, or the hobbies she would have chosen.

Would she have been a majorette like the rest of her siblings or wanted to do something completely different.

There will always be a seven-year-old shaped hole an unoccupied space, but in the secrecy that nobody will ever notice that empty chair, or missing friend from the classroom.

Or a hand that isn’t being held

And still the biggest thing that I wish I had known is the colour of her eyes.

I hate not knowing such an important part of someone’s facial feature.

I have a seven-year-old, I would love to have gotten to know her.

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