I meant to write this post last week but as I said in my last post, things have been busy.
Shortly before Christmas, we spent a weekend in Daisy Lodge, Cancer Fund for Children’s retreat base.
As a recently bereaved family, we found the experience energizing and soothing, the place a safe haven, like nothing else in this world and the staff amazingly intuitive, discreet and caring.
We managed to made friends, good friends, with other bereaved families who were visiting at the same time.
A second invitation, for Mother’s Day weekend, was very much appreciated and all three of us really looked forward to resting, recharging our batteries and reconnecting with people we have come to call friends.
Mother’s Day can be a hard day for a bereaved mother. Any day carries the potential of memory triggers, of painful reminders, of nightmarish “whys” and “ifs.”
But Mother’s Day is guaranteed to trigger strong emotional responses to the loss of a child. Memories of cards received in the years past. Or the pain of realisation that cards, flowers, scribbles and awkward but sweet attempts of making breakfast will never happen, like in our case.
It could have been a very painful day, spent in the wrong environment, with the wrong expectations and suffocated by the flood of mother homages that will never come from my baby boy.
But being in Daisy Lodge felt right.
We were patients suffering of the same heartache who for two and a half days could put our defenses down, our “normality” forgotten and be ourselves.
We laughed and we cried and we spent loads of time together, talking about our little ones.
We compared grieving notes and finally felt “normal” and relieved to hear that there are other parents who feel, act and think exactly like us.
We healed together.
We were, for a beautiful weekend, a community. A community we would have never chosen to be part of but of which we are now coming to appreciate the support and existence.
And just like this picture that the little girls made, we felt the mess of our pain and the randomness of being chosen as the families to suffer loss, becoming a unique piece of art, pain and joy and hope for the future woven together.
We enjoyed being looked after. We appreciated the beautiful flowers we received on Mother’s Day. We valued the time and the permission we were given to pause, to meditate, to draw from our experiences and to create:
But most of all, as mothers, we appreciated the opportunity to mention our little ones, the ones whom we cannot easily mention in the real world, because the mention causes discomfort.
And the permission we were given to reestablish publicly what our hearts know secretly, every minute of every day.
That our precious children are gone but their memory will stay forever, not only with us as their parents but also with all these other families who are coming to know and love them through us and our stories:
We are still a family of four and we will forever be missing a precious little boy whom Heaven robbed us of too soon.
Mother’s Day was an occasion to remember what a precious treasure we were given for a short while and a reminder that love never perishes, not even in death…