8 Years on; The Flowers

Day 7: Memory

As I take some today to sit quietly and remember the lead up to the night that our hearts were broken forever, the pit in my stomach churns.

I relive the days in November 2011 every year from early in the month when it all started to go wrong. When the universe took control of the two tiny humans growing within me and set our fate. I never really had control and none of us actually do but we hope that the decisions we made in the lead up to these tragic events are the right ones. I gave up feeling guilty many years ago when I learnt that nothing I did or didn’t do would’ve saved my daughter. Letting go of that guilt was hard, harder than you’d imagine. As a mother it’s our instinct to protect our babies even when at times life doesn’t enable us to.

Eight years ago yesterday we brought two tiny little girls into the world. Much too soon but nonetheless with as much excitement as any other delivery. The elation at being parents to identical twin girls was like feeling your heart explode out of your chest with all the happiness you have in your body.

It’s all the hopes and dreams for those little girls that will never be, which is equally a loss we all carry. There is no single day that I don’t honestly look at Lucia and imagine Charlize right beside her holding her hand. It’s the days when she sits in the playground all alone waiting for her friends that breaks my heart the most because how can I not think “She should have her forever friend by her side.”

Eight years ago tonight at 10.55pm we lost our daughter. I recall every tiny detail of that day. All the things I should’ve done, all the things I wish I’d done and everything in between.

When you birth a baby your surroundings nearly instantly become a florist. You are inundated with flowers like you wouldn’t believe. Our first bouquet of flowers arrived on Wednesday 16th November 2011. We had woken up exhausted with grief and with little strength to realise our nightmare was no dream but our new reality. It was perfectly beautiful and there was no other like it. The card said “Congratulations on the arrival of your twin daughters Charlize and Lucia.”  Every single other bouquet that arrived used the words “sorry for your loss”. The congratulations were no longer and the condolences came in abundance.

Today, our home is filled with flowers. It was the first year since we lost Charlize that due to the drought conditions we could not get Lisianthus. My girls were worried it would upset me. It didn’t. The lisianthus will return again and today marks a new milestone in our grief journey of new flowers. Our home is filled with beautiful flowers and our lives have been filled with deep kindness and love from all around us. The love has filtered in far and wide and every year on this terribly hard day I take a moment and tell Charlize that this is because of her.

Darling girl, you have touched lives of strangers, of friends, of family all around us. You have made our lives richer from learning the harsh realities of grief but more importantly you’ve taught us healing and strength. To live a life of sadness is to not be living in my eyes. I live my life at full speed. I want to learn all the things. I want to try all the things. I want to absorb joy. I want to live a full life so your brother and sisters will live a full life and so that they will too be surrounded by kindness and love. I do it all for you Charlize and for Lucia and for Indiana and for Orlando.

Where there is joy, there is love.

Where there is love, there is warmth.

Where there is warmth, there is kindness.

Where there is mother nature, there are butterflies.

Where there are butterflies, you will be.

Fly free today my darling, for every part of you is entwined deep within my heart.

I love you, I love you, I love you. Happy 8th Birthday my sweet angel.

Love Mummy xx

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