March 8, 2013

Reconciliation – the reestablishing of cordial relations.

‘If the world would apologize, I might consider a reconciliation’ – Mason Cooley.

I always hope that, one morning, I will wake up and have, overnight, reestablished cordial relations with my first pregnancy, the birth of my two tiny daughters and the death of my eldest child.
That I will be accepting, that I will be able to relate the story without a tremor in my voice, without tears welling in my eyes.
That I will have attained grace.
That instead of an angry tantrum, a drumming of feet on the floor, a scream of, ‘but I did everything right . . . . ‘
That instead of an aching bruise that yearns for her to be in my arms, just one more time.
That instead of a black void, that stares me down and attempts to force back under the duvet.
That instead of these. . . . .

I will have peace. I will be reconciled.
That I will see her death.That cruel, unexpected arrival.
And give him a nod.
A friendly acknowledgement.
A passing wink.
‘Hello, death of my daughter. Old friend. Nice to see you again. Sit down and stay awhile.’
But I’m only smiling because you are part of her. That ‘s the reason I can bear you, because you are hers.

I sometimes experience a pre-figuring of this long awaited state. Momentarily.
I ‘m not there yet. It slips through my fingers and, no matter how hard I grip on, it leaves me.

But, just for a moment, she is there. In that space in my heart that is just for her.
Where everything about her.
Her life.
Her death.
Her tiny body.
Her frail limbs.
Her thin strands of blonde hair.
Her illness.
Her eyes that seemed to look into an abyss, a place between life and death.


For those minutes, hours, days, she is nestled in my heart. No fighting, no anger, no grief.
Her death is simply a part of her.
A part of my beloved little girl.


And I am reconciled.

Perhaps if she had lived . . . she would have been someone else?
Would I change a thing about her? No. And her death is, whether I like it or not, a part of her.

My daughter, my eldest, blue eyed, fair haired, small, wise beyond her years, dead.
These are her defining characteristics.

And so she sits within me.
Occupying that space between muscles and valves and blood.
Between her brother and her sister who grow and stretch outside.

There she sits.
Within her mother.
Who grew her there. Who hoped to keep her there a little while longer.

And I feel an absolute failure, that I let her down, that she died and yet. . . .

I feel contentment.
She is where she should be.
With everything that she is.
Inside my heart.

  • Catherine

    My name is Catherine and I am honoured to have been asked to contribute to this amazing project. In 2008, I was thrilled to find myself pregnant with twin girls, a wonderful surprise. Sadly, my daughters arrived extremely prematurely at 23 weeks gestation. Despite the heroic efforts of many medical professionals, my eldest twin, Georgina, did not survive her early birth and passed away in the arms of her parents at three days old. We miss her terribly. Her younger sister, Jessica, spent three months in intensive care and a further month in a special care nursery before coming home to us at last. I write about my experiences of neonatal loss, premature birth, the NICU and raising a surviving twin at my blog, Between The Snow and The Huge Roses. I am also a regular contributor to the online community Glow in the Woods. I am endlessly grateful for the support and comfort I have received from the online community and I hope that I can help other parents, walking along this difficult path.

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