As I travel this journey of baby loss, of losing our one and only son Henry, I look around and no one knows, all these people I see around me in the street, they don’t know, they don’t know I am a mother to Henry, they don’t know that my child has died. They see a woman, not a mother, they see a woman just like any other woman, they don’t know the grief I hold.
My husband and I regularly visit a local beach we love, this particular beach is where we scattered our beautiful boys ashes, this is where we said our final goodbye or ‘until we meet again’ as I sat on this beach the other day, and the tears began to fall, I wrote the following to our Henry.
As I sit on the sand and tears fall behind my sunglasses, they don’t know.
The mother sitting under the blue shade tent with her baby, she doesn’t know – she doesn’t know we have a blue shade tent just like that which remains unused as we had planned to do the same with you.
The father running across the sand with his toddler chasing him, he doesn’t know – he doesn’t know we’d pictured this moment in our minds with you.
The grandmother holding her grandchild’s hand as they walk along to find the perfect place to sit their belongings, she doesn’t know – she doesn’t know that we had thought we would do this with you.
The Dad holding his baby in the water letting the waves splash lightly on their faces, holding his baby so closely, ever so carefully and smiling, he doesn’t know – he doesn’t know your Dad and I had talked about how he would do this with you.
The Mum who’s little one wants to touch the water, so she cautiously stays next to them as they run to the water’s edge, she doesn’t know – she doesn’t know I wish that was me.
The families sitting on the beach having picnics, they don’t know – they don’t know we want to be doing this too.
The families watching the waves come in as they decide to swim, they don’t know – they don’t know we scattered your ashes in that very spot, in the water, they don’t know that’s where I broke down as the last of your ashes fell from the urn.
The parents sitting in the sun watching their children build sand castles, they don’t know – they don’t know that’s where your Dad and I stood in that sunny spot on the sand releasing butterflies in your honour, one by one as the butterflies flew from my finger into the air and away.
They don’t know, none of them know, they can’t see the tears and grief behind my sunglasses.
As I sit on the same beach as them, they can’t see our empty arms, our broken hearts, our pain, our hurt. They don’t know, all they see is a childless couple on the beach, some of them maybe even look and envy us as we walk on to the sand together, some of them may think we are ‘lucky’ to have freedom to be doing ‘what we want’, some of them may think we are ‘carefree’, they don’t know, they don’t know we would give anything to be them, to be that family with you here.
You never know, I don’t, we don’t, they don’t what someone else’s circumstances are. You never know who is hurting, if they have lost a child too, if they had trouble conceiving, if they know the exact same grief and pain that you do.
When I see these families I will always wish that was us with you Henry. They may wish they were us. If only they knew, but they don’t.
Photo by Danielle MacInnes on Unsplash
About the Author Kristy Maggs: I live in Australia with my Husband, we live in a coastal town by the beach, we lost our first born son Henry in April this year during labour at 39 weeks. This was after I suffered 10 years of unexplained infertility. We are trying to conceive our rainbow baby. I write my blog https://letterstohenry.org to try and raise awareness of baby loss, honour Henry and help others know they are not alone in this journey.