When I first started my beach work some 6 years ago now, I was contacted by a journalist named Margaret Price. Margaret was a writer for the local paper here in Perth. She had around 30 years experience. To my surprise, Margaret thought that our story had to be told. I was a little lost for words as I thought she had to be crazy to want to tell the story of how babies die and share it with the thousands of people here in Perth who read her articles in the paper each week. Of course though, we said yes and she did not disappoint us. Over the years, Margaret wrote heartfelt articles about our work. We welcomed her into our home and we spoke about our story over tea and cake. Margaret was more than a journalist. She was an empathic listener and what she probably didn’t know was that she helped to heal people. I can only imagine the number of people who have poured their hearts out to her and been given a sense of release by doing so. She was not there to give answers, she was there to listen with a non-judgmental heart. Margaret was not interested in controversy or shock tactics when it came to writing her articles, but raw, human emotions, and authentic stories of the people who lived in her community.
There is something truly awe-inspiring about the people who want to help shine the light on this community even though they are not bereaved parents themselves. It is a very brave act to write about the death of babies for a newspaper. Baby death is not something that most people want to read about. It’s a horrid thought that is too much for people to handle or comprehend. There seems to be a huge divide between bereaved parents and the rest of society. But then you get the tightrope walkers that go out on a limb and try to bring our two worlds together as one. Margaret was one of those people who wanted to bridge the gap so that we could all live in understanding of each other. She wanted to bring people together so that we could heal as one community and break the taboo. What an incredible thing to do.
Yesterday, I was sitting in my art studio, when I received a call from my Dad. He gave me the devastating news that this remarkable woman had passed away suddenly at the young age of 58. I was stunned. I felt numb but then the sadness made its way in and I fell in a heap and cried. I never got to tell her how I felt about what she did for us or what I thought of her as a person. She not only helped us but thousands of others too. So many people who were sitting in the darkness that baby loss covers us in, would have read her articles and found out that they were not alone. Margaret was not only a gift to this world, but a healer in our community. She opened doors for people and gave them directions.
While most of you here reading this article at Still Standing Magazine have probably never heard about Margaret, you will know about her now and you will know what she did for us. With October being Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month, I wanted to take this opportunity to shine a light on the people who make a difference in our community. The people like Margaret Price. It is the people like her in this world that open people’s eyes and educate the greater society on issues that really matter. Thank you for stepping out on a limb for us. Your work is greatly appreciated and respected.
Today, I ask you to think about the people in your own lives. If they left this world tomorrow, what would you have wanted them to know? Send them an email, pick up the phone or visit them and let them know how much you appreciate them because you never know what tomorrow will bring and living with regret is a truly horrible feeling.
My love and peace to Margaret’s husband Michael and her son Evan who will now begin to live their lives without her physical presence. My love also goes out to the rest of her family, friends and co-workers at The Wanneroo Times. Margaret, I thank you for your time. I thank you for your dedication. I thank you for your heart. I thank you for your courage. I thank you for your generosity and I thank you for your friendship. It was an absolute honour knowing you. May you continue your heart-work in a greater place now.