Friday, June 15, 2012

Guest Post: Right where I am - 1 year and 2months followed by 1 month and 10 days

I always offer my blog as a place to share your Right Where I Am for those without blogs. Claire emailed me the other day, asking if I would oblige. Happily. Claire describes herself as a "wife, angel mummy and teacher from Scotland with four losses. Molly born sleeping April 2011, Grace born sleeping May 2012 and two little stars lost at 6 weeks." So grateful to welcome Claire to still life with circles. 

At this moment, I don't know where I am anymore. Back at the beginning of a nightmare and doing it all over again I guess.

We faced Molly's first birthday in April knowing that her baby brother or sister was fighting a losing battle inside me against the same condition that took Molly from us. Four weeks later, we buried Grace alongside her big sister. I have now lost 4 babies. Molly, Grace and 2 little stars lost in early pregnancy.

So I am back in the early days of grief. Once again, my confidence is gone (although I don't think it ever properly came back after losing Molly). I am afraid to leave the house. I am afraid to face people - they'd rather not be faced with me anyway. A stark, sad reminder of something they would rather not think about. The guilt is overwhelming - I feel like such a failure. I feel that I have let everyone down, especially my husband. He would be a wonderful father. I watch him with my niece, who adores the ground he walks on, and it breaks my heart. Even amongst friends I have met on this journey who have also lost, some of them don't know what to say to me as they just cannot imagine having to life through the nightmare again.

I sometimes feel I am living an out of body experience. I do things, go places but I am not really there. I tune out, I can't always cope. I still don't think I have fully let myself realise that I am going through this again. If I stopped to think, I don't think I would start again. I have become so good at putting on a face. People tell me I am doing so well, that I am strong and brave. I don't feel it.

I try hard to count my blessings every day now. My wonderful husband, our supportive family, my friends, new friends met on this journey of loss, my sands group... I am lucky to have these things. I have met so many brave and inspirational women on this journey who have lost children in many different circumstances and who, instead of drowning in their grief, have used it to support and reach out to other women. This inspires me. Supporting other women in this situation has helped me. I was sent a poem last week written by a mother who lost her child recently and who I had reached out to. Instead of thanking me, she thanked my girls - because of them their mummy was able to offer empathy, support and advice to another bereaved mother. I loved this. It meant my girls had meaning to someone else. Last week also, a fellow bereaved mummy and wonderful friend, wrote my girls' names on the beach in Costa Rica. I love it when someone thinks of my girls, I love to see their names, to hear their names. These things mean so much to me.

My hope is still flickering somewhere and I really don't want to give up but I think another loss would destroy me. Nobody can say to me anymore that 'it'll be alright next time', we lost our next time. I can't give up though, I want so much to be an earth mummy. I don't want my girls to have died for nothing. Without them, we would not have met such inspirational people. People who have now given us access to research which shows a way forward for us. Strong women who, after many losses, now have healthy rainbow children in their lives or are pushing forward with the strong belief that their rainbow is on the horizon. I am trying to cling to this, desperately.

I look out for my girls and I see them... in rainbows, sunshine, stars, little coincidences. I feel them still and, though I miss them dreadfully, I find comfort in knowing that they are still with me in my heart.

A friend once said to me that losing your child was like walking in mud. Some days the mud is thinner and you somehow manage to drag yourself through it. Other days, the mud is so thick that you are stuck and can't move...... the thick mud days hurt your heart even more.

Right where I am... stuck in the thick mud and looking for a way forward.


  1. Thank you for sharing, and I am so sorry you have lost 4 precious babies. I have lost 4 babies since December 2010, one at 6 weeks, 2 at 4 weeks and Ellie at 11 weeks (April 27th 2012). I wanted to comment on the line, 'people tell me I am doing so well'. I cant make up my mind about this, in relation to my own grief. Sometimes I think, 'they dont know what else to say', sometimes I think, 'geez I must be putting on a better show at being ok than I thought. Other times though, I think, 'you just want me to be doing ok because you cant handle it if I'm not'. I believe people as basically good, but this journey has made me a bit cynical, I hope it wears off.
    Hugs to you Claire.

    1. I am so sorry for your losses Valerie. I think what you say about others is true. Some people do genuinely want to know how you are, others automatically ask and you can see them willing you to say 'okay'. Being a bit cynical is a normal part of this journey - well, it has been for me. It does wear off although I am guilty of falling back into it at times.
      Hugs to you also,
      Claire x

  2. Oh, Claire. Thank you so much for sharing where you are. I am so sorry that where you are is such a very hard place, that you are missing your Molly and your Grace and your two little stars. I hate that you have been so hurt, and that you are in the unhappy place of being stuck.

    So much of what you write resonates. I remember watching my husband play with a colleague's little boy a few months after our son died - how *right* they looked together and how I wanted to scream because I'd failed him.

    So much love to you.

  3. Sending love and hope to you, Claire. I know so well the shock of subsequent losses- the sadness that the "it'll be all right" next time didn't happen, the feeling that people who have experienced one loss don't know what to say after someone experiences another one. Walking in mud- thick or thin- is still walking. And that's not nothing. Thank you for writing here. You and your little ones will be in my thoughts.

  4. This put to words so many of my feelings. Guilt especially, knowing I let everyone down, which of course I know I didn't, and neither did you, it's just how I feel.
    I'm so sorry for your losses.

  5. I'm so sorry about Molly, Grace and your two little stars. Sending you much love.

  6. I too am very sorry for all the loss you've endured. Molly and Grace are such adorable names. Sending you so much love.

  7. I'm so sorry for the loss of your daughters, Molly and Grace, and for the loss of your two tiny ones. I know I also felt so guilty that I had let everyone down, my husband, my parents, my sister and, most especially, my little girl. I'd thought I was going to bring them so much joy and I felt that, instead, I had just brought devastation down on all of our heads.

    Thinking of your dear girls, always in your heart x

  8. What you said about your girls having meaning to someone else - I understand that. My husband and I also got an immense amount of support from our local SANDS group and now we are both befrienders for the group - trying to give back some of that support and honour our daughter in doing so.

    I am sorry that you are back in the those early raw days. I am guilty of being tongue tied around parents who have experienced multiple loss - the sense of monumental unfairness takes my breath away. But I am so sorry that you don't have Molly and Grace in your arms right now.

  9. Oh Claire, there are just no adequate things to say. It is all beyond unfair. I know that we all have to make peace with the guilt in our own pace and our own way, but I just feel like I want to hug you and tell you that it's not your fault. I don't know if this is something that could work for you, but I once sat down and wrote a letter to myself, with all the things I would have said if I was someone else, a friend in the exact same situation, or just someone who's story I had come across online. It help. The feeling of having let down especially my children, both my son who didn't make it and, my son who was wishing so hard for a brother, didn't magically disappear, but the kind words was something to draw upon when I felt like the guilt would suffocate me.
    you know that I've already said this, but I'm so incredibly sorry about your sweet girls, Molly and Grace and, your 2 little stars as well. I'm wishing and hoping and wishing again that your rainbow is waiting for you in the future.


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