Some of us only get the memories and thoughts of what could have been.

‘Like the tide in the ocean it sucks you out and the worst thing you can do is fight against it.
You swim with it. Grief is love and longing swimming together’ Meg Loch.

Oh Henry, how much we are missing you, it almost feels like the shock of it has somewhat worn off and it’s really starting to hit even more.

Yesterday we had trouble getting ourselves going, we got there, we went to the beach and I sat watching your Dad in the waves, as he jumped under as they surrounded him as they washed over him and he took photographs, I watched on as one particularly large wave seemed to pick him right up and swallow him and then push him back down towards the sand. He takes on most of these waves even the big ones with ease, he knows not to fight it, unlike me I have been trying to fight some of these big waves that are washing over me, and well when I do that….. I will only drown.

Yesterday we had lunch near where we laid you to rest we stood and we watched as we munched on hot chips, not something I normally eat but they were my go to in early pregnancy with you… They were one of the things some days that I could actually keep down, they always remind me of you now. As we stood watching the waves dolphins appeared about 20 of them such a large group and they played riding in on many of the waves such a magnificent sight to watch and wishing we could share it with you, but then I heard your dad utter a thank you to you, you were there just not as we wished.

Yesterday I felt anger, the reason for that anger is as I mentioned I am going to seek some counselling, well I had a really good friend of mine make contact with a social worker she knew at the hospital for me, I then was given her number to contact myself… she made contact with the counsellors for me.. who rang me to make an appointment. The reason for my anger was that well the social worker who saw us in the hospital barely said anything to us, she sat and looked at us waiting for us to start the conversation and then when I said I didn’t know what to say she said a few words and said she would leave us and come back later! She never came back and never followed up with us. I then was left to chase up counselling myself, I was asked by the counsellor if we saw a social worker in the hospital I said yes and explained what happened, and that she never came back to see us. The counsellor explained that normally they would receive a referral for us and that she had not received anything and that when receiving that she would prioritise appointments but as she had not received anything she couldn’t fit me in for another two weeks. I felt anger that the system had failed us. As I have mentioned previously if it had not been for particular caring midwives the whole experience would have been even more awful than it was.

Last night we got invited to a friend’s house for dinner as it got closer to the time we both became reluctant to go, hard to motivate ourselves, grief is exhausting. I am so glad we went though Henry, our friends they made it easy, they made it comfortable and we were able to talk and even laugh, we had a delicious meal and they kept the conversation light with funny stories, it was exactly what we needed last night. Their little boy before going to bed said to me “Kristy your baby he had to go to heaven and now he’s an angel in heaven” I said to him yes that s right and gave him a tight hug goodnight and smiled at the fact he mentioned our Henry.

This morning we drove home at 6am, I didn’t sleep much at all last night, so we drove home at 6am and jumped in to bed I finally slept until 10am, I think its time I try some meditations and something natural to sleep, It can be so hard with the brain on overdrive.

Today after getting a coffee I broke down in the car, your dad drove us to the beach I stood there in his arms my whole body shaking from my cries. I just thought so much about what we might have been doing today with you Henry and that’s hard, it is a hard thought to bear.

I have been trying Henry, trying to think of a way to describe this pain, a way I can put it in to words for others to understand, but there truly are no words. I know of death, I know of grief, but this is just so much more, this is so different to those times. It is the having had you grow for 39 weeks, 39 weeks of planning, of preparing, of talking, getting excited, 39 weeks of wondering how we will be as parents, how you will grow, who you will be, who you’ll be like, where we might take you, of wondering about how we would handle night feeds, nappy changes of thinking about how we would cuddle you, how Missy and snickers would react to us bringing you home and then that suddenly all those thoughts, plans, excitement, everything gets ripped from underneath you in a second and is replaced with despair, heartbreak, love and longing and that we will never get to know any of those things we thought we would.

I sat on the beach today in the sun watching your dad in the waves again, as I sat watching a Dad and his son walked along the beach their surfboards in hand, they stopped at a section the dad pointed and they talked, they put on their wet suits the dad helping the young boy, smiled and then ran in to the water together paddling out. Instantly I felt my heart just break a little more, that feeling in the pit of my stomach became deeper and I watched your dad alone in the surf. It is all those missed moments those moments we never get with you, we had imagined your dad teaching you to surf, we don’t get to see as your mouth forms in to that first smile, as you navigate and begin to crawl, those first steps, all those firsts!

We don’t get to find out who you would be, whether you would like to read like me, whether you’d like to be out and busy like your dad, whether you would have liked to surf or play soccer, whether you’d be incredibly active or not.

I know every day life is not easy, I know it’s easy to get caught up in it as I often did. I can only ask Henry that our family and friends can take a moment to think of us, to think of you and as they do so take the time to enjoy. Enjoy your children little or big, take in those small moments, take them in as much as you can.. the smiles as they do or try something new, cuddle them in those moments they show frustration, let them know you are there for them as those moments don’t come back and well some of us never even get them. I know sometimes work, bills, household stresses can get us down and overwhelm us, but despite those stresses you never get this moment in time back. Maybe the stress you have brought home from work, that extra time you sit on the computer out of work hours trying to get something done, just stop and think about is it really that important, can it not wait until tomorrow as those children won’t be young forever and they are there, some of us never get the chance to read that bedtime story, to spend that time cuddling on the lounge as you hear about their day, to kick that soccer ball around the yard, some of us only get to wonder what that would have been like… and the agony of those thoughts is all consuming.

This afternoon Henry, I sit on the lounge, I remember, I have thoughts of the time as my belly started to grow and I joked with your dad it was getting as big as his, so he stood on the deck outdoors with me and held a ruler on his belly and in front of mine to prove I wasn’t as big as him yet. I remember how when we swam in the ocean a few weeks before you were born and the water temp was cold and as I floated on my back, my belly kind of almost went square as you had moved right in to the middle like you curled up because the water was so cold and your dad and I were amazed at the shape my belly was. I remember your dad and I excited and a little scared about parenthood but messaging each other to say we were a team and we got this. Memories of the photo we got to announce you were on the way.

All we have is memories, memories of the short time you were with us, and thoughts of what could have been but never will be.

Fot this afternoon, I will sit I will take it as it comes, I will go through the waves and not fight them and I will try.

180426_RRayner_Henry_ (46)

Author: Letters to Henry

My husband and I live on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia. We are currently learning to rebuild and navigate through life after the loss of our son Henry to stillbirth due to medical negligence in April 2018 and learning to parent after loss with Henry's little sister born in August 2019..

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: