Friday, 18 March 2016

Still Mine

Today marks four years since Seth was stillborn. His fourth birthday. Four years have passed since he was born, and died.

And I'd like to let you know; it still hurts. Probably moreso on days like today - anniversaries, markers of his existence and death. But it always hurts really.

After I had Lily a good friend asked me "Are your arms still aching?" And I told her the truth; yes.

But I did think that with time, and more babies, maybe they'd stop aching quite so much. But when I sit and ponder upon his very short but very real life, or when I am reminded, the ache returns stronger than ever before.

And I'll see children, and meet children who share his name, or who would be his age, and I see them interact with his sisters, and I can't help but realise I should have one like that too, and it hurts and my throat swells up and my shoulders hunch and I almost feel embarrassed to be feeling so sad after so long.

But has it really been that long?

What is four years really? The space between gap years, and Olympics. The time it takes to travel the world a time or two? The space between full health and near death? Who knows really? All I do know, is that four years is a small amount of time compared with how long I have lived on this earth, how long I will probably still live on this earth, and how long I will probably have to go on feeling this pain.

But it has occurred to my mind of late that this pain? This pain I feel in my arms for longing to hold him, and in my heart for longing to love him the way I should have been able - this pain is actually a good thing. Because wherever he is right now, this pain is telling him he is loved. Wherever he is, this pain is telling him he is missed. And wherever he is, and however long we'll be apart, this pain is telling him that he is wanted; I want him to come and fill up the space that's pushing apart my heart and causing such awful pain. He won't be able to come until I come to him, but he is wanted there, all the time. Every day.

It's a privilege to feel such pain. You may think that an odd thing to say. But I am proud to carry this pain. Although at times when I am face-to-face with a new friend, and I'm fighting to hold back the tears as she introduces her very almost four-year-old son, or her son called Seth, or just a whole little crowd of little boys, I do feel embarrassed because it has "been a long time now", I should be "used to it", it hasn't really been a long time at all. And to be honest, as he should be growing bigger, the space in my heart that is missing him is growing bigger, and there's more room for the pain.

It's more of a common pain; a pain I can live with, and also a pain that's growing me; each day I live with the pain I grow a little stronger, a little more resilient, and a little more proud to be the mother of a stillborn son. Not just any stillborn son, my stillborn son. Because even though he was stillborn, he was still born, and he is still mine.

You may been wondering where I've been? I'm now blogging a little over at - a new blog. It was difficult to leave this blog, but there was a deep sense of sadness with this, and every time I logged in to write, I found myself wanting to grieve through my words, rather than writing the things I maybe would have liked to. I'll still hop on this blog from time to time whenever I have something to say about Seth, or babyloss, or anything I feel the readers of this blog would like to see. I love this blog more than I probably should, and it will always be a treasure of mine, so I will never abandon it completely. But I did need a new space, where I could be a tad happier with my writing, and not feel weighed down with grief every time I logged in and saw my most popular posts. I love you all, and hope you'll join me over at See you there!

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Dear Seth

Today is August 19th, a World Day of Hope for Pregnancy and Infant Loss.

I haven't made a prayer flag for today, as I just didn't have the time or resources to do so these passed few weeks.

I haven't visited your grave, a few countries and an ocean sit between.

I haven't lit a candle yet, because it's still light outside.

I'm sorry I can't do more for you; today and every other day. When I think about you my heart still hurts, and my arms still ache, just for you.

Your little sister is so wonderful and crazy and cheeky and happy and hilarious. She has so much energy and entertains everyone who sees her. I wonder if you would have been the kind of big brother egging her on, or the calm and quiet type who smiles secretly at her little jokes. I wonder how you would have played together, if you have the same smile, or laugh, or dance in the same way. Or those same chubby cheeks and bright eyes, or if you would have walked with your feeting turning slightly inwards too.

All these things I wonder, but what I do know Seth, is that you're brave, and kind, and spiritual, and safe where you are.

I know by the way you've touched my heart, and the way I feel when I sing your songs, and when I mention your name, and when someone else mentions you.

I know too, that you have left his earth; this mortal existence, but you've not left me, or Lily, or your Father, or anyone who might wish to feel you close. I know you are there, and strong, and comforting, and you are perfect in every way.

I still cry when I think of you, or when I hear the songs we sang at your funeral, and my heart swells when I sing your last song to Lily, which she just loves so much.

But my tears turn to joy when I think of the day when we will embrace each other, and fill each other up with peace as our arms fold over the other's back, and how at that moment, I'll be home, and so will you, and we'll be home together, and we'll never have to be apart again. It will be the most beautiful day.

Lily is so much like your Father, that I can't help but wonder if you would be just like me. And I think maybe you would.

There were so many dreams I had for you on Earth, and now I have hopes and dreams for you in Heaven too. I hope you are safe, and happy. I hope you are surrounded and loved. I hope you're someone's guardian angel, and someone's prompt to do the right thing. I hope your someone's reminder of Heaven, and someone else's missionary. I hope you remind people here that there's life after death, and death is not the end. I hope you sing whenever you can; music is eternal. I hope you strengthen people, and lift them up, and love them unconditionally. I hope you know I love you, and that I will never forget you, even for a minute.

I may seem busy, or occupied, or even displaced at times, but you're always there in the back of my mind, reminding me that life hurts, but it's okay, because life doesn't end on earth.

I love you Seth, keep being you, whoever you are, wherever you are, whenever you go, whatever you do; just be my son.

I pray for Heavenly Father to watch over you every day.

All my love,

Mum xoxox

Monday, 28 July 2014

25 Songs, 25 Days; Day 5

Day five; A song that is often stuck in your head

You know the song Royals, by Lorde? Well, that's an awesome song, but I can top it:

When Lorde released her original song a year ago, I loved it. I would sing it at random times and to Lily. I love how she uses her voice in that song and it's just so catchy.

But then I discovered this beauty a couple of months ago. And it is this particular version that is always. stuck. in. my head. With the crazy-awesome African accent that Alex Boye does in so many of his hitched-up covers, which is awesome. Even better? This guys a Mormon. Just to get it out there.

He does some awesome stuff, and you should really check out his youtube channel. Specifically this song. It just makes you want to move your body like you wouldn't normally. Have a go. It's really fun.

25 Songs, 25 Days; Day 4

Day four: A song that calms you down

I've found it strange how every day so far (I know it's only four days but still) as soon as I have read the topic a song has instantly come to my mind, and it's been the one I write about! I love music, it goes to show how much we relate music to things in our life, often without even realising how directly. 

I remember the first time I heard this song, I was sat in the car with my sister-in-law and her husband driving to Sainsbury's. Pete and I were still dating at the time. It was one of those pull-out-your-phone-and-type-the-lyrics-as-fast-as-you-can-so-you-can-google-it-later type moments. And it was magical. 

This song just has such a soothing beat. I usually loathe repetition in music as it is so closely associated with dance and house music which just gets on my crazy nerves. But the repeated riff in this one is awesome, and smooth and calming. 

I love it when songs tell a story, a real story that can be related to by people everywhere. So often now songs are just of people complaining; that they can't get the girl/guy; that they don't have enough money; that they hate society/life/everybody/all of the above. And that also gets on my crazy nerves. But I love it when songs offer solutions; give advice - set you free somehow. 

This song does that. Some might think because of the story in this song that it's considered "depressing", but it does really calm me down, gives me hope of finding my place in the world, and gives me hope for those I know are out there, struggling quietly with something.

Maybe it's the imagery of driving away with the one you love and leaving everything behind and going fast and figuring it out. And the way this song just says "No, this won't be perfect, but it will be good, and it will be worth it, and we'll be together." We'll just jump in your fast car and drive, and keep driving until we've found somewhere that works. 

Even the thought, the hope of such a thing for somebody in a terrible situation must be something like relief. 

Let's just take your fast car and keep on driving. Maybe today. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe whenever. Let's team up and go. Let's all team up, and drive. We'll be alright, we'll be good, we'll be calm. 

Friday, 25 July 2014

25 Songs, 25 Days; Day 3

Day three: A Song that reminds you of your Parents

Now this? This was an easy one. I don't ever remember being told that this was my parents' "song" at their wedding, I kind of always just knew. And it's a brilliant one.

What a beauty, am I right? Not really. Maybe it was just the way that this song was drilled in to me from childhood, in its many comedic variations, inlcuding but not limited to the following;

  • When I'm feeling glum all I have to do... is take a look at Mum....Then I'm not so glum....
  • When I'm feeling dim all I have to do... is take a look at Tim... Then I feel less dim...
  • When I feel like a wally all I have to do... is take a look at Hollie...
Etc., etc., etc...

My family seemed to find a word and witty line to rhyme with everyone's name, and it was very amusing for us as kids, and reminiscing now? It still is rather hilarious. 

But this silliness isn't the limit of my memory of this song, and why I relate it to my parents. It's also the way that my Dad would start to sing it at random times, and then my Mum would join in, and you could just see in their eyes how sincerely they believe that they are in possession of the famous line in the song; their very own Groovy Kind of Love. 

When I was younger, I did think it was a bit ridiculous. I mean, who even uses the word "groovy", am I wrong? (Though I must admit, the older I get, the more the word groovy sounds somewhat appealing...)

But to tell you the truth, my parents do have a groovy kind of love; the kind that lasts forever. This song just sums them up in every way. And I am actually really grateful for this song; for the laughs that it brought to our family growing up, and for the love that was brought in to our home through that laughter. And if you listen to it enough, it's actually a pretty decent song. It's honest; no cover-ups. It's not trying to be something it's not. It's just love. And that's just what my parents are; honest, loyal, loving, no fakery. Just an incredible example of love. Love you Mum and Dad!

25 Songs, 25 Days; Day 2

Day two: A Song you listened to as a Teenager

I discoverd this song when I was about 13 years old, and from the moment the first chord hit my inner ear, I knew it was love. 
To me, what was SO AWESOME about Yellowcard, was that they were pretty much deemed a rock band, but they had one thing no other rock band had; a violin, and an incredibly played one at that. I was just so psyched that my two favourite genres of music (rock and classical) had been merged together to create something epic. 

There was this one friend I had who shared my taste in music pretty much completely.  We always seemed to be listening to the same stuff on our ipods, and if I discovered something new, I knew I could show my amazing discovery to this particular friend and it would never go unappreciated. This friend actually introduced this song to me, and we would sing it together over and over just having the time of our lives, thinking that we could just sing it forever. And to be honest we could have. But time moves on and people grow apart and so did we. But whenever I hear this song I think of that one friend and the awesome times we had together sharing music and being invincible teenagers who thought that the worst thing in the world was a dead ipod battery and running out of phone credit simultaneously. I think that one still might make the top ten somehow...

But anyway, I hope you enjoy my contribution for my second day of 25 songs for 25 days - it's truly a great one. Let it take you back to that age of innocence when leaving town with the only person you know who appreciates music, and just running forever actually seems like the most incredible idea. 


Wednesday, 23 July 2014

25 Songs, 25 Days; Day 1

Day One: A Song from your Childhood

So, I saw this thing on Pinterest (it's actually crazy how many of my sentences start like that) that I found whilst pinning "Journalling" ideas. It was entitled 25 Songs, 25 Days, and I thought it looked pretty awesome, so I decided it was something i would embark on, and share it here on the blog to get the bloggy juices flowing a bit more freely, and maybe have some fun with some fellow bloggers!

All that is required, is to pick one song per day for 25 days that fits the day's requirement, along with an explanation why you picked it.

So day one, is A Song from you Childhood. And only one song came to mind...

We used to sing this song in Infant School all the time. Seriously, like every Friday at the end of the day, and more often if we'd been good. Every kid I ever met at school absolutely loved this song, and would beg to sing it at every "treat" opportunity. It was either this or heads down, thumbs up. (Remember that one, eh? I sure do. What a game!) But Puff - that wonderful magic dragon - for me signified years of pure joy in childhood - Puff turned even the roughest, chavviest kids innocent at the end of singing hour, and every child (no matter how terrible their singing voice) would give this one their absolute all, and would literally feel elated whilst doing so, and then experience those terrible mixed feelings when the last chord sounded; joy at having sung the song = as best they could, but sincere pain and anguish now that it was over, with the knowledge that no teacher anywhere would ever be kind enough to let them sing it twice...

But when I became older, it was revealed to me that Puff supposedly signified more than childhood innocence and imaginations running away with the words of a song to the nearest beach with their very own pet magical dragon, and vowing when that dreaded third verse came that if they were blessed Jackie Paper that they would never betray Puff the way he did...

Anyway, my memory of this most happy children's song was tainted at some point, with the knowledge that Puff was not a magic dragon at all, and that the talk of Pirate ships and other wonderful things was all a metaphor for something other than childhood innocence fading away. I refused then to believe that Puff symbolized the tasteless smoking of such substances that supposedly conjure such magical thoughts in one's head, and still do now.

Puff lives on in my heart - how about yours?