This post leaves me feeling vulnerable but vulnerable is a good thing.
In my journal this morning, I asked myself a simple question. “Yvonne, what is important to you?” I am sharing my thoughts with you this morning, not for your sympathy, likes or your comments. I am sharing this as a way of reminding myself (and you if you are interested) of what is important in life.
It is almost a year now that my eldest sister was tragically (but accidentally killed by her friend). On the day she was buried, as we all stood by the hole that had been dug to put her overpriced white coffin in, I had an Aha moment. It occurred to me that no one who came to pay their respect spoke about how rich or poor she was. No one spoke about how beautiful or ugly she was. No one spoke about how thin or fat she was. No one spoke about her achievements. In short, no one spoke about all of the things we worry about on a daily basis. BTW. If you are worried about your weight or what your body looks like, remember this. your body is just a shell that is going to rot when you die!
All of the people who knew her only talked about how she made them feel. They talked about her selflessness, kindness and how she encouraged them. How she made them feel good about a dire situation. As I complete my journal today, I am asking myself, how do I make others feel about themselves because that is what they will remember about me. Not my clothes, not what I sell but how I made them feel.
When I asked Laura to write for Kemikids.com, I wasn’t expecting this heartfelt article. To be honest, I did not know what I was expecting. I was on the train travelling back home from work when I received the article via email. The first line of the article turned me into a heap of a mess – I cried my way through the whole article.
What Laura has written about, I have never experienced… but as a mother and a woman, it touched me immensely. So, here it is. -Yvonne xxx
Laura and Harriet
Nine years ago I gave birth to my first child at 22 weeks. This world just wasn’t meant to be for little Gabrielle. Within a year we had another daughter – Harriet. She was healthy and perfect in every way.
Each year our family remembers Gabrielle in our own private way but this year was particularly emotional because our inquisitive eight year old wanted to know all about her big sister and why she died.
Death is a big subject. Many avoid the topic. I choose to be as open and honest with my children as possible –death is the one great certainty in life. So we talked about the science – why didn’t our baby live? We touched upon the practical and physical aspects – so where was Gabrielle born and how does that actually happen? Not to mention the theological insights too – why did God take her?
Discussing this with Harriet opened an emotional box that I’d packed tightly away. I realised I’d never truly grieved because I was pregnant again within weeks.
Many tears were shed and shared. Harriet simply said: “I miss her”… “So do I, darling. So do I”.
Through the innocence, clarity and emotional intelligence of a child, I cleared up a few of my own wounds. This old dog can learn new tricks.
However painful that episode in our family history was it all makes sense when I talk to my daughter. It was all worth it to have a Harriet in my life. Every home should have one.
www.uk-sands.org – there for anyone affected by the death of a baby.