Sunday, 29 December 2013

Julz: A Brand New Year

As the new year approaches, leaving the old one a memory; the clock strikes midnight in the hope that at a turn of a date people change, for the new and improved better them.

Another date, that as a bereaved parent means that we’re leaving our baby even further into the past.

A distant memory.

Upon leaving 2011 our baby was safely holding on tight,
My heart used as part of a life support system.

Lovingly speaking of the excitement the New Year would bring,
Hope, happiness and joy,
The happily ever after.

Leaving 2012, clinging onto our baby’s memory ensuring that she will stay in my heart forever,
With hope for a bright and shiny New Year,
Knowing that it was “only last year” that we had held her, kissed her,
Even changing her nappy nothing more than fond memory.

“Only a Year ago”

Here we are leaving 2013, our first year where we can no longer say
“This time last year”
Time’s way of attempting to wipe her further from our memory.

Expectations to be had that now it has been two years, an expectation that this has indeed been long enough to grieve.

Time to get over everything; move on and return to normal.

But when you can’t remember “normal” life, it is hard to return to an exact point in time.

When everything has changed but the changes can’t be physically be seen.

Do we mention our baby, now as much as we did in 2013?

Because it was after all “only last year.”

Creeping into 2014 when part of you remains in 2012, does our “Bereaved Parent” title get stripped?

Hearts that were for a short while allowed to be ripped wide open for all to see, ensuring her memory be kept alive through grief; now need to be lightly held together by tape and glue.

Because the real world deems you fit to move on.

A widow doesn’t get stripped of her title,
Even 20 years down the line she can still be deemed a widow.

Children who lose a parent aren’t expected to replace them, to move on too quickly.

But a lot child, a lost future, even a lost past has a timescale.

Nothing set in stone but obvious cracks in questions.

The forgotten children.

Moving into 2014 away from our month old daughter leaves me to think
How much further can I bring her with me openly?

Or will she gradually become more and more my elephant in the room
Invisible to all apart from me.

Forever locked inside 2012.


  1. Thank you Julz for this beautiful guest post.

    I have been there. I found it very difficult to move into the next year away from Molly and this year we will be doing it with Grace. They are still in my heart though, as much as always. No matter how much time passes, that doesn't change.

    2014 and onwards will NOT stop you being Melody's mum. Who cares what anyone else thinks. Have her with you openly as much as you want.


  2. Society gets bored of grief - pretty much all grief, I think, exceptionally quickly. Catherine was almost 4 years old when she died. I remember her school kindly left flowers on her grave at the end of the school year - about 2 1/2 months after she . The card that accompanied them said "we *still* remember you" as though it had been a while, and a healthy 4 year old suddenly dropping dead was something that one might reasonably expect to slip your mind. On the second anniversary of her death, even though her grave is in the village cemetry, minutes from the many people who knew her, not a single person left a card, a note, a token, a flower - NADA - except for my husband and I.

    Society is not good at grief. In the beginning people would ask other people how I was. Now, almost 4 years later, they don't even do that.

    TBH, I think society is bad about all grief - this thing about there being no word for bereaved parent, whilst you're an orphan or a widow for life is nuts. It's nothing to do with acknowledging grief - it is to do with dependency. Becoming a widow or a orphan created a dependency which the Parish would have to adopt - losing a child creates no dependency, so there is no word. Dependency is important - grief is not.

    The impatience with grief is however I think a particular problem for bereaved parents because the loss is so deep, and it takes so long to learn how to cope with it better. When you lose a bonded child, they continue to be part of your family - you think of them, you continue to love and care for them and remember them. Society doesn't handle that well - it would prefer if we just pretended they didn't exist - but for us they do. Melody is your goregous daughter - and always will be. Eventually you'll find a way of carrying that truth with you, and the pain of her loss.

    1. Thank you so very much for your comment. Grief really is an impatient thing, not just for the "outsiders" but for us too I guess. For me it's the not knowing how long I "should" feel this way. Everybody's grief is worn so differently.

  3. As 2016 ends I no longer say earlier this month and now say last year. It still feels like yesterday I held my Sam, I don't want to say goodbye.