I don’t want her to be dead anymore

At bedtime tonight, snuggled up with the 4 year old Sunshine Princess, she said to me, “mumma I want to tell you something. It’s something really sad”.

Honestly I was expecting it to be that she no longer wants to be Cinderella, or that pink was her favourite colour again now, not purple, as it has been all week.

Instead, she leant over and whispered in my ear, “I think I don’t love Paisley anymore mumma.”

Taken aback, but trying not to show my shock, I asked her why she thought that.

“Well, just cause she’s dead mumma, ” She answered matter- of- factly, “And that means I can’t see her or play with her or teach her to walk.”

I told her, for what I’m sure is the millionth time, that even though she’s dead, we can keep loving her. That she will always be her sister, and she can love her forever, even though she doesn’t get to see her. She thought about it, and then said, “She’s been dead a loooooonnnnngggg time mumma. Can we go get her back now?”

How do you explain the permanency of death to a child who thinks next week is an eternity away?

She thinks a lot my Sunshine girl. Touched by death at 2, she’s empathetic and thoughtful, and understands more about these concepts than most kids her age, and she’s not afraid to talk about death, or how she feels about it. Her beliefs about death are fluid, changing as she gets older and understands more. Grief is shaping her worldview and that is hard for me to accept, that she never got to experience childhood without knowing such intimate sadness in her family. She hasn’t grown to be angry about it yet, but I think its coming. Her current opinion is that she just doesn’t like people being dead very much. And I don’t blame her. I don’t like dead either.

A few nights ago, she woke me in the middle of the night standing next to my bed sobbing. “Mumma I’m sad!”
I scooped her up and pulled her into the bed,

“What are you sad about sweetheart”

“Paisley!! I don’t want her to be dead anymore mummy. I don’t like it. I don’t like dead, mumma.”

I know darling. I don’t like it either.


Grief made me a Bitch

Warning: Profanity.

We’re all judgy. There’s no denying it. We do it. We can admit it or not. We see something we don’t agree with, that doesn’t sit quite right with us, and we make an assumption, and a judgement on the situation. When The Angel Princess died I turned into a righteous, judgemental bitch. I’m not proud of it. But it’s true.

Over at Expecting the Unexpected there’s a discussion about anger going on. Grief anger is all-consuming. The injustice of having a dead child is so huge, and so overwhelming, that the anger is indescribable.

My anger made me hate everyone with a baby. Everyone. No exceptions. In my mind, no one deserved their baby, because mine was dead. And if I couldn’t have my baby, than why should anyone else? (I need to clarify, I didn’t wish the babies were dead, just that they didn’t exist at all). A trip to the shops was complete torture because EVERYONE had a baby. And their babies were being pushed in the pram I had planned to buy. Carried in the carrier I was going to get. Wearing the same jumpsuit I had bought. Had a big sister the same age as The Sunshine Princess. Their babies were all alive and shit. Mine? Completely dead. Dead. Cold. And fucking buried.

And so I started to justify just exactly why I deserved a baby more than these other people. Some of the justifications were obvious, and maybe even valid. Like the mum smoking, standing next to the pram with her newborn in it. But most were completely ridiculous. And unfair. And even a little cruel. But it helped. If I could be angry at these poor unsuspecting mothers who were completely oblivious that I was staring daggers in their backs, then it was a little easier than being mad at some imaginary cosmic power of baby aliveness.

And so for a little while that’s how it went. If I drove a nicer car (in my judgey, grief tainted opinion), than I deserved my baby more than that other mum. If I had on nicer clothes (on that day) than CLEARLY I was more mother material than that other mum. If my husband earns more money, if I was older, younger, fatter, skinner, smarter, dumber, kinder, meaner, anything really. I DESERVED my baby and those other mums? They totally didn’t. How fucked that there’s no one keeping score, keeping track of the people, like me (and remember, in this frame of mind, I meant ONLY me) who were genuine, perfect mother material and handing out the offspring with the perfect genes to them only.

I was so angry. My inner monologue was a diatribe of hate and abuse at anyone who was falling short of my perfect parenting standard.

See you over there, mum with the kid in a shitty stroller, wearing nothing but a disposable nappy and a stained singlet drinking a bottle of juice? Well fuck you. I would have made a much better mother than you. But noooooo….. Your baby doesn’t have fucked up genes that aren’t even compatible with life does it?!? Nooooooo that only happens to people like me. You know. The ones who desperately want children. Screw you world.

So yep. Grief made me a bitch.