Recently I was asked by some friends to help them set up a Baby Loss Awareness Service for bereaved people.
As part of the process of thinking about this, I felt myself go back into a memory of when my own mother lost a baby.
I was 6 at the time and so, of course, didn’t fully understand exactly what terrible pain my mum was facing. She had to give birth to our baby and her milk came in as if she had had a normal labour. My mum didn’t get out of bed for three weeks. I didn’t understand much of what was going on at the time, but the pictures I have of my mum grieving then are very vivid. No-one named that baby, but years later in a dream, God showed me that He had named her Rachel. I wrote this about the whole experience this morning and thought I would share it with you. I hope it blesses anyone who has gone through something similar.
Beans for tea
Mummy, why are you crying?
Why can’t I reach in and hold you?
Your heart is breaking but you don’t speak.
You lie in the bed, wrapped in the crochet blanket you made for our baby.
Rocking. Crying. Praying.
But the baby is not here.
And nor are you.
Mummy why are you crying?
I don’t understand.
I don’t know why I’ve had beans on toast for four nights on the run.
I don’t know why you haven’t read me a story for days.
Or why I haven’t had a bath.
Mummy talk to me.
Daddy, why are you crying?
I saw you in the bathroom trying to shave
but big tears fell through the foam
and you stopped and held your face in your hands.
I slid away before you saw me.
Daddy talk to me.
Grandma, why aren’t you crying?
You are hoovering and polishing and emptying all the bins
but they aren’t even full.
You are busy and fleeting.
You are tight-lipped and angry.
Grandma, talk to me.
But no-one talks to me.
The house is quiet.
The radio isn’t on.
No-one is singing anymore.
I sit on the big wooden stairs
my legs dangling down through the slats
dreaming of the sister I will meet in heaven
wondering what we will do with the heavy white cot in Mummy and Daddy’s room
and hoping someone will let me hug them soon for a really long time.