Please note: this post contains reference to baby loss. If this is likely to upset you, please don’t read on.
One year ago a baby went to sleep and never woke up. A baby I had never met, whose mother I had met a couple of times through blogging. An event I watched unfold over Twitter and a blog as that mother struggled to come to terms with what had happened. A shellshocked community of parent bloggers came together to offer support – we talked about the baby, we shared photos of her name, of stars, of bubbles and rainbows. We promised to keep her memory so that we could raise awareness of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome – the official cause of death in this case). Some amazing women (and one man) did a skydive to raise money for The Lullaby Trust, a charity that works to support families who have experienced SIDS as well as funding research into its causes and prevention.
For the past year Jennie has blogged openly and honestly about her feelings. She is allowing us to see through her eyes, to get a glimpse of how it feels to lose a baby, and I am so grateful that she is doing that. People can’t understand these things if we don’t talk about them.
To support Jennie around the time of this tragic anniversary her good friend Susanne has asked the blogging community to come together again. She’s asked us to write letters to Matilda Mae, explaining the changes we’ve made in our lives as a result of what happened a year ago. To bring some positives out of such a horrible event, to show that she has left a legacy, that the tireless work her Mummy has done over the last year has had an impact. And I desperately want to add my voice, to be one of the community standing here for and with Jennie.
But I have no words. I can’t begin to imagine what Jennie is going through. Every time I think of Matilda Mae I hold my children that little bit closer. I am a problem solver, a fixer, but I can’t fix this.
The occasions I have seen Jennie over the last year, I haven’t known what to say. I think I may have even committed the ultimate faux-pas by asking her how she is doing, because I so desperately wanted to say something, anything. And this weekend I wanted to write something, to add my voice to those others who have been able to write so much more elequently than I. But again, the words fail me.
I think of Matilda Mae often, just as I think of others who were taken too soon – Kerry, Freddie and my father-in-law to name but three. Each serves as a reminder to me that life is short, that we don’t know what tomorrow brings, and that we should tell those that we love how we feel as often as possible.