Tag Archives: questions

children's grief

New Questions. Siblings Love.

light up lettering, siblings

Losing Melody

We’re open about the death of Melody, we don’t hide the fact that she has died; especially to her older siblings. They met her and spent five weeks with her. Five years on, it is still the case. We can go weeks even months without talking about her, but can also go weeks where we talk about her daily.

It is something we have come to be comfortable with in our family unit. My son struggled just recently, saying how he didn’t want to talk about her; to me I am glad he was open and we as a family respected that. He went on to say that he didn’t want to get bullied about the situation and it wasn’t that he didn’t want to talk about her. We have spoken through this; and he has since brought her up of his own say so.

I would never force her on the children; we have right from the very beginning been led by the children, often even before our own feelings.  I know people choose to believe otherwise – but unless you have been through losing Melody (not baby loss as a whole), but Melody then judging has no place in our home.

When I say “losing Melody”, I say this because each and every person’s loss is individual it is personal to them. Baby bereavement is incredibly complex without the need to judge how anyone glues themselves back together.

Siblings Lessons

Being open has played a huge part in our healing process. When you have a baby it is parent’s job to teach that growing baby about life, from walking and talking to colours of the rainbow, everything has to be taught.

For Melody’s younger siblings that is the case, to them Melody is nothing but a fairy tale; a picture in the frame, a name or a letter we include to remember her; headstone that needs to be decorated. The older two siblings however between them they made the decision to not hide Melody from the younger ones, to be open with them, to teach them about the sister they will never meet.

The older out of the two youngest, is 4, she was born 11 months after Melody had died.

She has started mentioning her, when we see garden ornaments or flowers; her sister will say “Aw that would be lovely for Melody.” She is very sweet.

She knows about her, or at least as much as we can explain to her. The painful thing is that her older brother had already learned about baby death at her age now. It wasn’t something we could hide from him.

Questions

Today she started asking questions; right from the very first Halloween after loss, we have always included her, we always decorate her grave; this year we haven’t, we haven’t been up for several weeks now – I know I should; but I just find it hard. The children were doing their pumpkins; we always do one for Melody.

“Did she laugh?”

“Was Melody in your tummy?”

“Did she say Daddy?”

“Did she say your name Mummy?”

I had to stop her there.

“No; because you have the biggest giggles now.” I replied.

I always knew what to say before, but now I am not so sure. These are the same questions but they are new. They are new to them.

Answers

I don’t understand myself why we never got to hear her laugh or hear her say Mummy and Daddy. I am stumped. My older children knew she didn’t laugh, her siblings knew she never spoke a word. We as her parents have slowly come to terms with never hearing her voice.

Now, these new questions, although I guess expected have caught me off guard. I will be as honest as I can be.

How can I say to her that no, your sister born before you never had the chance to say a word, never felt the first belly laugh from deep within. She never got to leave the hospital, despite the odds being in her favour.

I never got her hear her say “Mama.”

We know that we will answer them in a gentle way, that Melody was here for a little time, but she had to go and live in the clouds (where she thinks she is). I know it will pacify her enough for now, and for a little while longer. At least until she’s older, until they’re all older we get the real questions on why she died.

We don’t know, I don’t think we will ever understand.

Little girls sat on a headstone, belonging to their sister.

If you have missed my recent posts here is the last one I shared…

baby loss, grief

What If

On their own what and if are insignificant, tiny little words.
But together are heavy reminders of things that might have been.

What If.

What if is something that is engraved into a person when they lose someone they love, of course not just a baby, so many missed opportunities, occasional regrets.

What If.

When I lost Grandparents, and then a parent there were many what ifs but over time for me they have passed.  My Nan had Alzheimer’s Disease, sadly it was inevitable that we’d lose her at some point. She had days where we visited, where we spent time wondering whether it would be her last day. But when it came her final moments she sent alone, I missed her last breath by moments.
But in all honesty, because the disease had taken hold, for me there wasn’t really any what-ifs. I just hoped she knew how much she was loved.
When my Dad passed, it was sudden, for a time there were the usual, What if he hadn’t taken my brother out? What if he’d been at home, or surrounded by people? Would there have been a chance for him? What if my relationship with him was better?
So many what ifs, but in time they have faded, occasionally they creep up, but they never feel like a punch in the gut. Not losing Melody.
It doesn’t mean I loved my Nan or my Dad any less, it just really means that the grief over the three are so different, for me incomparable.
Since 2012, the what-ifs are still as clear and as painful as they were in the first few days after she died.
Her birth, her life and her death pose so many questions, so many different possible outcomes.
I was ill, seriously ill – although I felt terrible, I often question whether there was more.  Going through the events leading to her birth, of course, these were answered with just how seriously ill I was, moments from seizing, but still;
What if there could have been more to be done?
Why did my body let us both down?
What if I hadn’t had a peanut butter craving?
What if I hadn’t brought the pram in the house?
She was the only one I ate peanut butter with (or peanuts in general), she was the only one we had the pram in the house. Of course, those are silly ones – to you maybe, but to me they’re huge.
What if I hadn’t had the car accident in the beginning?
I was about 10 weeks pregnant when I wrote off my car, I still see the man who caused the accident and still, wonder if that was the start of it all.
What if we had been phoned sooner, on the morning she died?
There were little things that we noticed that the nurses hadn’t.  Not because they weren’t doing their jobs, but as her parents, we saw things that they didn’t always notice, maybe we could have spotted something that night, had we been phoned.
What if there had been more staff? Someone there to have administered the antibiotics sooner?
What if she had been seen sooner?
What if we had been asked about the eye procedure?
What if we’d refused?
These are just a few.
So many questions that are still as clear as the day she left, some answered, some not.
Some still cause our hearts to skip a beat at how different the outcome should have been had things been done differently.
What If I had done more?
 
Why do I keep on, keep punishing myself?
The simple answer is I’m not.
For me, it is part of my love, my journey I have with the girl who couldn’t stay.
Our Daughter.