One of the biggest and hardest jobs of being a bereaved parent is to keep your child’s memory alive.
It isn’t hard for me per se, more upsetting for people who aren’t us and haven’t lost a child.
People find it hard to read what I write and that’s okay – if I were in that position, I’d probably skip over it because the pain that those words would inspire in me would feel a bit too much.
But I have to keep writing them. I have to keep telling you over and over again that they lived and that they were the most beautiful little girls imaginable (like their two younger sisters).
I know, to the non-bereaved, that us talking about our beloved angels can look like we are just droning on and attention seeking and that we need to ‘move on’. But that is the thing. I cannot ever move on. Neither of us can. The mechanics of grief do not work that way.
Especially with babies and children.
When an adult dies, although it is tragic (as someone who lost their mother a couple of years ago, I can certainly empathise), they had the chance of life and the ability to create memories that span many years. When a child or baby dies, there are ‘what ifs’; there are swarms of the word ‘why’ swirling en masse in your brain.
I see my angel daughters in the same way I see my earthbound daughters. I love the four of them the same. Imagine someone telling you to shut up going on about any of your living children? You’d feel offended, right? Indignant even.
Imagine how we felt when a visitor to our home once told us we should take down our photos of Lucy from our living room walls because we should be over it and it made them feel uncomfortable and upset.
Yes. Someone said that to us.
We calmly replied that this person should head home first and take down all of their photos in their living room of all of their kids, because dead or alive, our children are our children.
It is like, because they were babies, they don’t matter. So I take it that when your Grandmother dies, she would somehow stop being your Grandma? Because that is the same warped logic we have encountered over the past 10 years.
Most people never met my children. No-one understood their delicate beauty; saw their kicky little sausage legs, their dark blue eyes and their curly blonde hair.
So I have to tell you about it. I have to keep talking about them and the impact of their loss – because who else is going to remember them? Who the hell else is going to do that?
I genuinely could not care less if people feel upset by hearing about my girls and feel I should just shut up going on about it because it makes *them* feel uncomfortable. No. I will keep jumping up and down and waving and screaming their names.
You must understand – they are too important, too loved to be forgotten. They are too precious to turn into some seldom spoke of family secret.
They were mine and they lived and they are so loved, *so loved*.
I cannot apologise if they brought a tear to your eye, or put you off your cup of tea. I don’t care. I want their names and their memory forever remembered.
Because if it wasn’t for us keeping their beautiful memories alive, then who else will remember them? They cannot be on this earth themselves, so they must live on through our love and through our memories and through our words.
As long you are remembered, you never truly die.
For all our babies. So briefly known, so deeply loved.