Today a year ago

Open Letter to Mum and Hope

~ AMY & Mimi ~

~ AMY & Mimi ~

Dear Mum,

We are coming up to Christmas again and I’ve been thinking…
Today, as we walked through the village, I realised that yesterday was probably the first 19th of the month that I didn’t consciously think of it being 23 months since you left us, Mum. Just minutes later I heard the church bells ring, which always remind me of your funeral, as if they were asking: “And?” Another minute later I ran into the priest who spoke on your funeral which was the first time I met him since then. I smile and shake my head in the realisation of these elements converging in time.

Truth is that this week I have been saying that I found a ‘good place’ with you, Mum, not being here physically anymore. 23 months later. There are other challenges and disappointing expectations that I have to let go of that resulted from your departure but they are mine, not yours, not because of you.

Dear Hope,

A week ago, I had been asked the question again: “How many children do you have?” and I heard myself answer “One.”  A minute later I corrected myself and told the story of Hope & Passion. Even though I didn’t really know the person who was asking it was clear that sitting across a table having dinner the conversation sooner or later would reveal that “one” as the answer wasn’t the full truth. And, I don’t like to omit your presence, even from a ‘stranger’.

So where am I in regards to you, I wonder. Hm, I don’t think of ‘missing’ you every day, like I used to. You are present every day, whether it is in conversations with AMY or in my last thought before going to sleep, as I gaze upon the picture of me holding you, which is in line of sight. I think of you with reference and gratitude.

It is however still kind of hard to see people walking around with twins, more so with identical twins. I have to admit that I’m jealous of their experience of seeing the kids grow up together, every day. I decided to let go of the expectation that this will ever change and if it will, I’m welcoming that shift too.

Looking back at last Christmas, things have changed. I have changed.

My deliberate dive into Parental Bereavement in writing my book “Grieving Parents – Surviving Loss As A Couple” has done and is doing it’s work with me. I am honouring my path in what I consider one of the biggest lessons in my life: dealing with loss.

With Love, N.

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You’ve Got to be Strong Now…

~ A lonely walk  ~

~ A lonely walk ~

A year ago I woke up finding text messages from my sister asking me to call her upon waking. She never sent text messages so I knew something wasn’t good. As I was still breast-feeding my baby, I was up at odd hours of the early morning but for unknown reason was not able to reach any one of my family (they all lived overseas). What was going on? I wondered, fearing the worst… Until I finally connected with them.

I was laying in my bed, my daughter beside me. I had spoken to my Mum and Dad the night before on video call. There they were now, my Dad, my sister and my niece, all in my dad’s study in front of the computer on video. Not my Mum. I could immediately tell this wasn’t good. His words were: ‘You’ve got to be strong now…’ and I immediately knew. (more…)

Gone, Gone, Forever Gone

~ <3 ~

~

As I’m approaching the first anniversary of my Mother’s death I’m finding myself just a little bit challenged: even more angry than usually, less emotionally strong, wondering whether it’s just me… Oh yeah, what else would you expect?

Today when I mentioned to someone that I’m still really angry at ‘my Mum leaving us’ she gave me some suggestions like ‘maybe you should try to be compassionate?’ She meant well. I’m sure. But no, I don’t need to be told ‘not to be angry’, that’s just the fastest way to get me angry…

The same person said that ‘as long as your mother is alive you’ll always be a daughter’. Well, she’s 64 and her mother is in the 90s so they do have some life experience but she has yet to experience being a daughter when the mother is dead. I know what she meant. She meant well… (more…)

Good-Bye and Left Behind

~ a year ago... ~

~ a year ago… ~

As we’re saying good-bye to 2012 I remember saying good-bye to my parents a year ago, as they were leaving Australia to come back home. It was the last time I saw her.

For some years now I practiced saying good-bye to them with the knowing that it might be the last time, given their age. This last time I practiced the same, being especially grateful for having spent more than 3 weeks with them since my Mum’s suicide attempt earlier in the year. I knew that this time was a gift and I cherished it.

With the state she was in, I did however not expect her to be dead within less than 3 weeks after this moment. A death on her own terms. She said good-bye in her own way. I assume her last visit and first meeting with her latest grand-daughter was unconsciously her good-bye to me, to us. (more…)

Christmas Without

~ X Mas at the Valley ~

~ X Mas at the Valley ~

Last year we all celebrated together: My parents came to visit and met their latest grand-daughter for the first time and they found out more about the grand-daughter who passed away on day 3.

This year it’s different.

Without Amya

Ananda Mae is showered with attention and presents. She’s now aware enough to open her presents with glee. Yesterday I shared with the family that instead of sending out Christmas cards we donate money to charity, the volunteer organization called Heartfelt. They took many beautiful the photos of Amya, while she was still alive and when she passed.

As I was talking about it, I suddenly realized that (more…)

Here She Was

~ for you ~

~ for you ~

Today I find myself sitting on the desk, which used to me my mother’s desk, in my bedroom, which used to be my mother’s bedroom, looking out of the window into the garden, which used to be my mother’s garden.

Actually, to be correct, the desk used to be mine when I was a child. It’s an antique cute little desk on which I used to do my home work. It was, like this one, facing the window. It was, like this one, looking out into the garden. Déjà vue!

I wonder what my mother’s life looked like and – again – I cannot understand what brings a human being, delicate and beautiful like my mum, to leave life prematurely. I know, I don’t have to understand it.

I see the plants, trees and flowers she chose to have in her garden peaking out of the snow. That’s what her garden must have looked like the last time she saw it…

Exactly a year ago my parents were preparing to come to Australia to visit and see their 3 months old granddaughter. They were also preparing to visit us, grieving parents, not knowing what to expect and where we were at. I wonder what was going on for them not being able to support us through the loss of Amya, not being together as a family, not even having seen their other granddaughter. And I guess that very likely her own loss would have been remembered, whether consciously or unconsciously. The baby girl that she lost…

Here she was, here I am. Remembering. Consciously.

Breaking the Silence

~ Hope’s Celebration ~

Today a year ago we celebrated Amya Mirica’s far too short life. I remember the fullness of those moments meeting so many friends who attended the celebration, people who cared enough to make the trip to be with us that Sunday, a year ago. It was almost unbelievable to me that this ‘story’ of our twin sisters, this little person, Hope… could draw the attention of so many people, who hadn’t even met her in person.

I was ‘in space’ hugging one person after another, meeting their eyes, their sadness, their stories of loss, their sadness for our loss. The time went to fast and I wished I had many more hours to fully embrace the hugeness of this moment in time which we prepared so lovingly with the help of our closest friends, with the help of people coming to be with us from places as far as Switzerland, New Zealand, Melbourne, Queensland, Byron Bay…

I’m so grateful that Mark, Ananda Mae and Amya Mirica’s godfather, offered to make  film of the celebration which I will watch again today.
I’m so grateful that Ayana, my niece and also the girls’ godmother who came from Switzerland to be with us and graced us with her voice. She sang many songs in favor of her cousin.
I’m so grateful to all the people helping us to be able to ‘carry on’ with life in what was the most challenging situation to deal with in my life – you know, that I mean you too.
I’m so grateful to you, you is taking time reading this, you have probably read other posts of mine before and you have encouraged me to continue sharing.

Yesterday was Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day (more…)