A little bit of hope

Almost as soon as we came home from the hospital without our boy, once our parents felt it was safe to leave and after my mum insisted I be given sedatives from the out of hours surgery, “just in case”  (I didn’t use them) I hit the net.  I wish I’d kept a record of the kind of phrases I was searching  ” dead child – suicide +survival” “will I survive?”  and all sorts of bizarre combinations to try to find out what the fuck people did when their child died.  I found the Child Bereavement Charity pretty quickly but it was a site that didn’t seem to be used by many people.  I also found The Compassionate Friends but I was initially put off by the registration process and lack of immediate answers.  I’ve since found this group to be helpful but it’s still disheartening to find that people who have lost their child 20 years before still seem to be in such a dark place when you are at the start of your grief.  It does make you wonder if it’s possible to survive.  David reckons these forums aren’t representative.  I guess his point is that if you want to share recipes you go on a cookery forum and if you want help with your grief you go on a bereavement thread and never the twain should meet.  It made sense to me that nobody popped on these sites to share interior decorating tips but it didn’t mean that they only thought about their loss.

The place where I found most solace and the most realistic idea of where my grief might go were in blogs written by bereaved parents.  The first one that I stumbled on was Susans.  Here was someone much further on than me and clearly grieving for her gorgeous daughter but somehow there was humour and honesty (and sometimes brutal realism) but it really gave me hope that one day I’d be there.    Today as I checked her blog I was immediately lifted by her plans for the future, not the plans per se but the fact she was making them.  It means so much more than any counselling session.  Thank you Susan.x

Something else that is giving me a bit of hope right now is the little baby that’s kicking the life out of me as I type.  In three months time I should be holding Isla and Jude’s little brother or sister. I still say should because I’ve lifted the curtain and it’s damn near impossible to unsee what I’ve seen.  But it still gives me hope.

It also terrifies me and raises a whole lot of new questions.  This has happened so quickly and it means that I’ll have  a two and half month old by the time Jude has only been gone a year.  Maybe I should’ve waited the appropriate amount of time until I thought about having another child, apparently it’s between one and two years.  Perhaps after that amount of time I’d be over my silly old grief and be better placed to make such a huge decision.  I always wanted more kids, I loved being pregnant, having babies, toddlers, children and it was really the easiest and most rewarding  job I’d ever done.  But in the days before we knew you can’t micro manage life we felt we shouldn’t push our luck or stretch ourselves financially, after all those holidays, lunches out and expensive handbags don’t but themselves do they?  And we already had two healthy children right? Now our priorities are back in some kind of order and having a baby was at the top of my list in terms of doing something positive and life affirming after such a devastating loss.

Here it is my little 26 week old baby who I hope will turn out to be a happy child just like its older brother and sister.

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By judesmum

6 comments on “A little bit of hope

  1. Thank you Fiona – I’m glad my blog has helped another bereaved parent.

    Lovely pic of the baby – I love these grainy first shots 🙂
    I don’t think you should have waited 1 or 2 years or whatever someone else prescribes. Trying immediately is really, really common – I think it is instinctive… we all can’t be wrong. xx

  2. Thankyou for posting this Fee. Crying big sappy joyful tears on the tram to work as I look at the picture of Isla and Jude’s wee brother or sister. And reflecting on what a wonderful thing it is to know that your words have no doubt given, and will continue to give, people just like you the strength to carry on when it seems all hope and chance of happiness has been extinguished. I’m grateful to Susan too. She has given you something we can’t: lived experience and the promise that you will survive. I can’t thank her enough for that. xx

  3. Congratulations! I think having a child will help brighten your days. If I could I’d get knocked up right now. I’m so happy for you.

  4. I have just found your blog today and want to say that I am so sorry for the loss of your precious son Jude. My daughter Isabella passed away at 18 months on March 10, 2011. Like Jude, she caught a rare disease and passed away the next day. LIke yourself Susan’s blog was one of the first ones that I cam across and knowing that someone else was going through the exact same thing made me feel not so alone. I hope that your continued writing will give you some strength to get through the days ahead.

    Marisa (Isabella’s mom)

  5. Dear Jude’s Mom,

    I found your blog through your link to another blog link requesting prayer. I have spent so much time reading here about the loss of your beautiful, blue eyed Jude. I am so sorry. I am a nurse who cares for children who have cancer. I also lost my brother to teukemia 40 years ago. This post in particular struck me. It was you musing about how frightening it was to hear parents 20 years out still in “such a dark place”. I felt so compelled to write to you. I don’t pretend for a moment to know your pain,your story, your experience. I do think it is no accident I youn your request for prayer. Here is what I would love for you to hear from the perspective ofmy family, our loss, our lives 40 years down the road.

    My mama would tell you it is not all dark. My mama would tell you that 40 years later that while the pain is there, it just doesn’t hurt as much. My mama will tell you that her three surviving daughters were her “blessed distractions”. My mama would tell you that the baby boy that came 2 years after our David left us healed her heart in a miraculous way. My mama would tell you that if she had a choice between caner or suddenly losing David she would take the cancer because she could not imagine not having the time to prepare, to tell him how much she loved him, to not be afraid, that she would come back to him when it was her turn. My mama would tell you how sorry she is. So am I. My mama would tell you it isn’t all dark. My mama would tell you when you least expect it, the joy will creep back in.

    I am praying for you. I am so sorry. There are no better words than those. But maybe this. Isla will be okay. I know you worry about her. But she will be okay. I was Isla once. The love my parents taught me to be strong. That with family, nothing is impossible. I learned very early on about suffering,compassion, and grief. It shaped the adult I have become.

    Be well. Be strong. Jude is so proud!

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