Word Project: Day Twenty One

Ok.

No other words today. Just mine. 

This is important. Paisley’s birthday is in 9 days.

That means that today was the day, 4 years ago, that I was told that I would never take my daughter home from the hospital alive. Which is pretty horrendous. Moments like that become life defining. That’s where life becomes divided into “before” and “after”. 

65. I have 65 photographs of my daughter. Which almost sounds like a lot, except that those 65 are all I will ever have. EVER. No first smile, no first foods, no first day of school, no first date. That’s it. Just 65 pictures for a lifetime of love, loss and heartache. I got to spend time with my daughter only after she passed. 

Losing a baby is not only soul shattering, but expensive. But through the service offered by Heartfelt, a charity comprised of professional photographers, I have 65 beautiful, irreplaceable photographs that were taken with the utmost of love, care and respect, by someone who stepped aside from their own family, to volunteer their time so those photos could be gifted to me, without charge. It is the greatest gift I will ever be given.

Sadly, those 65 photos are an awful lot more than what some people have. Some families that face this devastating loss are left with nothing. They go home with empty arms, broken hearts and no recorded memories. It might be because they didn’t know about the service, or because it doesn’t exist where they are. Both need to change.

Which is why, I am asking you to take a moment to look up Heartfelt. This is an Australian charity set up by a man with a huge heart, who in my darkest time showed me personal kindness. I didn’t know they existed until I had to. Know about these people, because there could be a time where someone close to you needs them. Support them if you can, by way of donation to this appeal so that more families who need this service can be assisted. Because even a small amount will help. And what this charity does is priceless. 

https://www.mycause.com.au/page/127880/paisleys-4th-birthday

#purpleforpaisley

Word Project: Day Twenty

This song was playing on the radio seemingly constantly around the time Paisley was diagnosed, born and buried. It’s still a melody that I associate with the long drives to the hospital, to the bitter cold and the beautiful sunsets, and the time  when I could feel the axis of my world change indefinitely. The lyrics were hauntingly perfect to me.

Florence + The Machine

Never Let Me Go

Looking up from underneath

Fractured moonlight on the sea

Reflections still look the same to me

As before I went under
And it’s peaceful in the deep

Cathedral where you cannot breathe

No need to pray, no need to speak

Now I am under all
And it’s breaking over me

A thousand miles down to the sea bed

Found the place to rest my head

Never let me go

Never let me go

Never let me go

Never let me go


And the arms of the ocean are carrying me

And all this devotion was rushing out of me

And the crashes are heaven for a sinner like me

But the arms of the ocean delivered me
Though the pressure’s hard to take

It’s the only way I can escape

It seems a heavy choice to make

And now I am under all
And it’s breaking over me

A thousand miles down to the sea bed

Found the place to rest my head

Never let me go

Never let me go

Never let me go

Never let me go


And the arms of the ocean are carrying me

And all this devotion was rushing out of me

And the crashes are heaven for a sinner like me

But the arms of the ocean delivered me
And it’s over

And I’m going under

But I’m not giving up

I’m just giving in
I’m slipping underneath

So cold and so sweet


And the arms of the ocean so sweet and so cold

And all this devotion I never knew at all

And the crashes are heaven for a sinner released

And the arms of the ocean delivered me

Never let me go

Never let me go

Never let me go

Never let me go

Deliver me

Never let me go

Never let me go

Never let me go

Never let me go

Deliver me

Never let me go

Never let me go

Never let me go

Never let me go

Deliver me

Never let me go

Never let me go

Never let me go

Never let me go
And it’s over

(Never let me go, Never let me go)

And I’m going under

(Never let me go, Never let me go)

But I’m not giving up

(Never let me go, Never let me go)

I’m just giving in

(Never let me go, Never let me go)


I’m slipping underneath

(Never let me go, Never let me go)

So cold and so sweet

(Never let me go, Never let me go)

https://youtu.be/zMBTvuUlm98

Word Project: Day Nineteen

I really enjoy writing, and find it very calming, but I often get overwhelmed by how much of what I want to say about grief has already been said. And said better than I ever possibly could.

Today’s words are one example of that. This is poignant and powerful. Beautiful and moving. And just infinitely perfect.

http://stillstandingmag.com/2015/10/bereaved-mothers-love/

Word Project: Day Seventeen

I didn’t write yesterday. I was going to try and catch up today, but the fact is, I’m tired. I tried to find a song or a quote that could summarise the grief I am feeling right now, but I can’t. The pain and anguish that is causing this particular grief spell is new to me, and I’m still trying to process how it is that this grief is causing me such unprecedented anger and resentment. I don’t have words for the longing in my heart, and the physical yearn in my stomach. 
I am tired. Utterly, feverently exhausted by grief.

I feel unloved.

I feel unappreciated.

I feel unworthy.

I feel unseen and unheard.

I feel completely pathetic.

I feel as though I must be an awful mother.

I feel misunderstood.

I feel as though I will never be enough.

I will never be complete.

I feel cheated.

I feel robbed.

I feel as though the huge, aching hole in my heart will never be filled, and I’ll never recover.

I feel as if I don’t deserve to recover. 

Word Project: Day Fifteen 

All my pregnancies have been different. But at some point during each of them, I read the same book. A bizarre superstition. I adore this book. It has become so sacred to me, that now I feel like I shouldn’t even read it unless I’m pregnant. And somehow, it’s themes of love and grief and time and loneliness have become even more poignant in the wake of her death. 

The Time Traveller’s Wife

“It’s hard being left behind. (…) It’s hard to be the one who stays.”

– Audrey Niffenegger 

Word Project: Day Fourteen

Last night, I cried, suddenly, during dinner. I don’t want to be around me right now, so I can’t understand why anyone else does. And that makes me cry at random, unexplainable, inappropriate times. 

But as I sat with silent tears streaming down my face, my two living daughters, noticed my hurt, and reminded me just how phenomenal these children are.

My eldest, who has just turned six, asked me if I was sad about Paisley. 

When I said yes, she excused herself from the table and disappeared upstairs. She returned with a framed photo of her sister, a soft toy bunny that was given to her and sits with that photo, and a statue of a teddy bear ballerina Angel. She set them up on the table for me to look at and then gather her pencils and paper and spent the next twenty minutes drawing me a picture. 

My youngest, who is just shy of three, gave me her puppy to cuddle. “Puppy” is her comfort toy. Puppy was, in a former life, pink. Puppy is now a disturbing grey, and currently has a black eye from her owner dripping back jelly bean slobber all over her. Puppy does not smell pleasant. Puppy gets washed at least twice a week and is becoming frighteningly threadbare. But Puppy is the most special thing in the world to her. We go nowhere, ever, without puppy. Puppy comes to dancing lessons and sits on my lap to watch. Puppy gets wet at swimming lessons from putting her toys in the water. Puppy is tucked under her arm as she sleeps right now. Puppy, is, above and beyond anyone, her best friend. And when I was sad, she made the biggest gesture she could, and let me cuddle Puppy.

Neither of them were alarmed by my tears. They were worried for me but not scared. At just six and two years old, they know that this pain and sadness is human. They didn’t ask me to stop. They didn’t ask me to explain. They just accepted that sometimes mummy gets sad. They know they are safe and loved through that sadness. They know that that sadness comes from a great love. They are accepting of my grief more than most adults would be.

These two small humans, they are remarkable. And their empathy is off the charts. These tiny little people say hello to their sister every time we drive past the cemetery, which is most days. They think nothing of saying their sister’s name, or acknowledging her absent existence in our world. 

My eldest and youngest daughters, who will live and love and grow and grieve for a sister they didn’t know, will be incredible because of her. Her death is a part of them, and in a magical way, it’s a breathtakingly beautiful part. 

On 30th June, Paisley will be 4. To honour her I am raising funds for Heartfelt, an amazing Australian charity of photographers who help the family to capture priceless memories of their children gone too soon. If you can, please consider supporting this outstanding organisation. 

https://www.mycause.com.au/page/127880/paisleys-4th-birthday

Word Project: Day Thirteen

I’m addicted to your light 

Beyoncé

Halo 


On 30th June, Paisley will be 4. To honour her I am raising funds for Heartfelt, an amazing Australian charity of photographers who help the family to capture priceless memories of their children gone too soon. If you can, please consider supporting this outstanding organisation. 

https://www.mycause.com.au/page/127880/paisleys-4th-birthday

Word Project: Day Twelve

I talk about her still, I’ll talk about her always. She is my daughter and she always will be. She has a huge part of my heart. I worry that people will wonder why I’m still talking about her after all these years. I worry that they are right. I worry that I shouldn’t be. I worry that I should let her go. And I worry because I can’t. I worry that it’s not ok that I am not going to let her go. 
The Whitlams

Keep The Light On

We stumble into each other’s lives and we knock some things over

Try not to make a sound

Each time you reach out, a new shout or shine-on

We run in and fall out, fumble around for the key
I’ll always keep the light on for you

You try so hard to be alive

What else can you do, but close your eyes

You can’t see the beautiful way when you’re burning so bright

always keep the light on for you

You try so hard to be alive

What else can you do, but close your eyes

You can’t see the beautiful way when you’re burning so bright

Your halfpenny eyes smile like a fire-sale

Everyone’s a suspect, the horses won’t move up the rail

Your sadness, a thief, waits in the hallway

With mail on the floor and 2 birds in the chimney



http://youtu.be/UbM7ZPFchcY


On 30th June, Paisley will be 4. To honour her I am raising funds for Heartfelt, an amazing Australian charity of photographers who help the family to capture priceless memories of their children gone too soon. If you can, please consider supporting this outstanding organisation. 




https://www.mycause.com.au/page/127880/paisleys-4th-birthday



Word Project: Day Eleven

I thought I’ve been doing ok this month. I haven’t. I thought I would be doing enough emotional clearence by doing this project. It’s not enough. I thought I would get through most of this month without bursting into tears at the dinner table, or crying myself to sleep. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve cried in the last few days. I thought I wouldn’t need to sit on the shower floor and scream. But I do. Because, just because it’s been a few years, and just because I’ve done this before, doesn’t mean that this year is any easier. And hiding from it, or believing it will be different, it’s not helping me. This month, she is on my mind every second, every day. This month, everything hurts profoundly. This month. This month everything is about her. This month all the words are about her. 

On 30th June, Paisley will be 4. To honour her I am raising funds for Heartfelt, an amazing Australian charity of photographers who help the family to capture priceless memories of their children gone too soon. If you can, please consider supporting this outstanding organisation. 

https://www.mycause.com.au/page/127880/paisleys-4th-birthday