If I were to re-write my story in a fictional manner perhaps I would change my character? Perhaps I could be the mother who did scream when her child died. Or the mother who sat down with the doctor and asked one thousand relevant questions. Or the mother who heard the words ‘nothing can be done’ and said ‘not good enough – do SOMETHING!!’ But this is not a fictional story and the character I play best is simply me and that is OKAY!
The truth? I did none of these things, said none of these things. I had so many thoughts and feelings flooding my mind at the time that I felt completely overwhelmed and defeated. In the early days and years after Matthew and Jessie’s deaths I did question my actions. Why did I not spend more time with them before their funeral? Why did I not take more photographs? Could I have fought the medical system and demanded that my children be given a chance to fight for their lives?
Time has this amazing ability to bring clarity, understanding and acceptance into our lives but it is important to remember that we can never return to an event in our past and see it through the same lens as when we were in that actual moment.
We can choose to spend our lives questioning our actions – going over and over the events and pondering a different outcome. But these thoughts will not bring our children back to life. Because they have died. And that has to be it – that has to be the full stop of that thought process.
What can we do? We can embrace our actions and decisions – our uniqueness.
YOU did enough. YOU said enough. YOU ARE enough.
Yours in words,
ALL MY CHILDREN: a poetic memoir of pregnancy, loss and love