Capture Your Grief

Capture Your Grief happens every year in October and was started by a very talented bereaved Mummy named Carlie Marie. These were my first ones I took part in last year and were all posted on Facebook so thought I’d share them on my blog xxx

 

Day One - SUNRISE
Day One – SUNRISE

Day 1: SUNRISE – This picture was taken on the second day of our family camping holiday just after Charlize’s first anniversary. It is at Byron Bay Lighthouse, one of our families favourite places to visit. We had all just seen a pod of dolphins. This photo is symbolic of when I was able to start healing and learnt to re-appreciate all the things in our lives xxx

 

Day 2
Day 2 – Heart

Day 2 – HEART – I thought this was totally meant to be. The kids and I went to our beach, Warriewood Beach and I drew a heart in the sand and they all sat in it. Just after I took the photo Indiana ran to the rock pool and started yelling ‘Hello Charlize’. Just above our heads on the rock face was a beautiful butterfly. In unison all three children were pointing and saying ‘Hello Charlize’. My earth side children and my child of my heart are always together in my heart. I watched her fly near her siblings watching over them and always making sure they are safe and I smiled xxxx

 

Day 3 - Before
Day 3 – Before

Day 3 – BEFORE – The last photo I have before the twins were born and before the world of innocence changed for our family forever. This is me 27 weeks and one day pregnant with Charlize and Lucia. This is only an hour or so before they arrived. I can see in my eyes the excitement and I can still feel my fear of the unknown roller coaster we were about to embark on. This is when I still had control of my life and my children. This is before I learnt the depth of grief that would break my heart. I would love to take my life back to this moment. This is my ‘Before’

 

 

Day4
Day 4 – Now

Day 4 – NOW – I thought a long time about this one. I wish there wasn’t a ‘before Charlize’ and then a ‘now’ but there is.

Now has become the ritual of our family choosing flowers every week for Charlize. Our favorites are the Lisianthus which is today’s photo. They are sitting proudly on our dining table surrounded by our family.

Now is a few photos around our home of our daughter. Special memories for us to forever hold onto.

Now is a beautiful white box in our bedroom with our daughters ashes in it.

Now is living with the terrifying fear and anxiety that my living children can be taken from me. Learning to let them go even on short trips can be a torturous few hours or days for me worrying about what could happen. Because now has taught me that in a blink of an eye your life can be upturned and heartbroken.

Now is looking into Lucia’s beautiful face and knowing Charlize would have mirrored her.

Now is living with a broken heart but seeing all the beauty in our world.

Now is treasuring every waking moment and knowing I’m spending it with the ones I treasure most.

Now is who I am. An evolved me. A deeper person than who I used to be. A me who is still standing and can smile at life and treasure the memories.

Now is loving deeply, purely and with no regrets.

Now is savouring the biggest hugs and kisses goodnight and watching my babies sleep soundly.

Now is watching for butterflies.

Now surrounds us all.

 

Day Five - JOURNAL
Day Five – JOURNAL

Day 5 – JOURNAL
This is my beautiful journal one of my dear friends gave me. She never knew me when I lost Charlize but she knew the symbol of the butterfly was very special to me. I have written a journal for all the children since the week I found out I was pregnant with them but none have been more healing than this one for my beautiful angel girl. Words on paper for me has always been a joy and something I love to do but I never realised until I started writing my journey with Charlize and beyond how it validates my feelings and most important is one of the best ways towards healing. I feel lucky to be able to write in this beautiful journal. Thank you Becca xxxx

 

Day SIX - BOOKS
Day SIX – BOOKS

Day 6 – BOOKS – This is one of my most favorite books ‘Tuesdays With Morrie’. I first read it when I was about 17 and since then I’ve read it around seven times. I have given it as gifts around ten times. It’s a life changing book, a true story about a man dying and the warmth of love from it still melts my heart today. I only read it again last week.

I have loved to read since a was a little girl. I was known to have five books on the go at any one time. When we lost Charlize I didn’t pick up a book for over a year. When I am stressed, anxious, sad, I can’t read because I can’t relax.

Eventually the first book I did read was ‘Tuesdays with Morrie’ and it helped start my healing. This year alone I’ve read over fifty books. I feel relaxed in my life when I have a book on the go.

I am currently reading a book about the age old world of Fairies and the magicalness of it makes all the symbols Charlize send us even more special.

If you haven’t read ‘Tuesdays With Morrie’ text me and ill lend you my copy.

Love, light and books,

Day SEVEN - SACRED PLACE
Day SEVEN – SACRED PLACE

Day 7 – SACRED PLACE – I would’ve liked very much to take a photo of our special place today but time didn’t allow it.

Instead I have attached a photo I took on Charlize’s 1st anniversary, the day after the twins first birthday. It has become our tradition to take six cupcakes, always in purple up to ‘The Bible Gardens’ and sing happy birthday to our gorgeous girl.

I call it ‘our’ sacred place because Saxon introduced me to this beautiful place just after we met. Since then we have made many important decisions up there.

After we lost Charlize, the first place we went together was ‘The Bible Gardens’. We sat there together and just watched the ocean. At this amazing place you often don’t even need words.

All our children love this special place and love nothing more than fish and chips on the table around the bible watching the ocean. I think this photo does it justice and says it all xxxxxx

 

Day EIGHT - RESOURCE
Day EIGHT – RESOURCE

Day 8 – RESOURCE – This is a picture of our ‘Bears of Hope’ teddy bear. All of our children have one and this is the one Saxon and I received the morning after we lost our baby girl. In our home they are known as ‘The Charlize Bear’.

Bears of Hope is an organization who gave us comfort and professional support. Last year we attended their Hope Ball and we felt honored to have two tables of friends and family with us to go our our baby girl. They do such a beautiful job of creating awareness and support.

The second organization who is amazing is Miracle Babies. They do support groups in the hospital whilst you’re on the NICU roller coaster. They hold premmie play groups for babies who have had a rough start. Last year they launched their NICU book which is given to all parents when they arrive in the NICU. Lucia and Charlize’s story was published in their book.

I feel fortunate that we had so many support options because it wasn’t too long ago when these resources were not available xxx

 

Day NINE - IN MEMORY
Day NINE – IN MEMORY

Day 9 – IN MEMORY – There have been many things we have done in memory of Charlize. To name a few …. raised money for Humpty Dumpty Foundation, Bears of Hope Foundation, hosted a girls night in and attended the Bears of Hope Ball with twenty close friends and family.

We have special things that we do as a family for Charlize but my favorite thing we do is what today’s photo is all about. A very large group of beautiful women from all over the world (okay mainly Sydney but even Finland) join forces to sew these beautiful dolls. When i say join forces – we gather at my place with copious amounts of chocolate and cheese and all sorts of goodness and we cut, sew, stuff, stitch and laugh a lot. These nights are known to finish around 3am …. and theres a few of them to get it done.

On Christmas Day all the NICU, HDU and SCN babies at Royal North Shore Hospital wake up to receive a doll. In most cases these dolls are bigger than the babies themselves. All the dolls have a tag that says ‘Made By Orluchiana’. This ensures not only the memory of Charlize but the strength of all my children shine through with these dolls.

These lovely ladies will never know just how special this gift is that they do in memory of my beautiful daughter. It means the world to me.

Every year when Saxon and I walk back into that hospital our hearts are filled with sadness and hesitation for all the hard days we spent in there but after we hand over the dolls we are always overwhelmed with love and happiness. Last year we were lucky enough to receive beautiful heart felt hugs from both nurses who were with us the day Charlize was born and the day she died. We usually see each other and the tears start rolling. I am forever grateful for all of those miracle workers in that hospital and especially happy that my girls story is told every year at Christmas.

In my memory always, etched in my heart forever. Charlize xxxxxx

 

Mum
Day 10 – SUPPORT

Day 10 – SUPPORT – There are so many people that have given me support During the twin pregnancy, when the twins were born, when we lost Charlize, Lucias journey of survival, home and beyond.

My gorgeous sister Kathryn, my beautiful best friend Hilary, my mum and dad, Saxons parents and of course Saxon. All of these people were with us on the most heartbreaking day of our lives when Charlize took her last breath.

There are so many I can mention and to name a few, my dear sister in lawEmma Stephens who called or text me every day to make sure me and Lucia were ok and still does often today. She always remembers Charlize’s anniversary. Maz Smith who at anytime since school I can call and she will have a cup of tea in front of me and an arm around me in no time. Michelle Wineberg who called me constantly and cried with me and comforted me through this painful journey. A friend forever that I’m lucky to have. Alicia Trezise-Segervall my best friend from school who lives on the other side of the world and I’m lucky enough to always feel like she’s right beside me. I get excited and ready for tears when I receive her beautiful hand written letters. Love you darling.

Other than Saxon who I find rather annoying at times because he thinks he’s always right and so many times he actually is – he’s the guy who has kept me standing and im lucky to have him – but the woman who helped me stand and get my strength up is no other best friend than my beautiful Mum.

My dear Mum and Dad lost their own baby when I was only 18 months. Danielle was born at 26 weeks and very unwell. Sadly she never came home to our family. Because of her my Mum was and always will be a giant support. There have been times when I have dialed her number and she has answered the phone and I’ve burst into tears sobbing. She responds with ‘I know honey. I love you’

It’s always enough to get me through the day. This amazing lady has taught me so much about life and sadly death but we have grieved together, cried together, laughed together and had countless cuddles together. She is the most amazing grandmother and my children adore her as much as me – actually they often tell me they love Nanny more than me.

I feel grateful each and everyday to have you in my life Mother Dear. Thank you and I love you always xxxxxxx

 

Day ELEVEN - ALTAR
Day ELEVEN – ALTAR

Day 11 – ALTAR – I may have deliberately left this one out if I could. The day we lost Charlize was the day I lost my faith – which is why I’ve found this one difficult. My picture today is not of an altar but a special place in our home which can change frequently but where we are always reminded of the precious little girl who left us too soon.

 

 

 

 

 

Day TWELVE - MUSIC
Day TWELVE – MUSIC

Day 12 – MUSIC – Music has always played a big part of my life. I grew up loving classical music in particular because my dad used to sing in the Beethoven Choir and I went to many classical concerts with him from a young age.

When we had Lucia’s christening and Charlize’s memorial we played a slide show to the song ‘Rise’ by Eddie Vedder. In our home the children know that song as Charlize’s song. I fell in love with ‘You are my sunshine’ by Carly Simon. If you haven’t heard that version download it and get your tissues out.

A year ago I saw a medium. The medium told me many things and that session was the turning point that actually started my healing process. One of the things she told me was that Charlize was singing her ‘This Little Light of Mine’. She asked me if I knew the relevance and I had no idea. I knew it was a very beautiful
Gospel song but couldn’t understand why she would be singing it. Nearly two days later I realised why … Lucia’s name means ‘Shining Light’. The songs words are ‘This little light of mine, I’m going to make it shine’. I actually burst into tears when I realised how special that was. Charlize also told the medium that music and dancing is going to be a very important part of Lucia’s life.

Today in the car I looked in the rear mirror and there was Lucia singing word for word and bopping her head to ‘Roar’ by Katy Perry. Music makes her smile.

The photo I’ve chosen today is one of my favorites of Lucia …. She is my shining light and she brings music to my ears and a smile to my face. Charlize is right – she is a lovely shining light xxxx

Day 13 - SEASON
Day 13 – SEASON

Day 13 – SEASON

She was born in the middle of Spring, late in the afternoon. It was a hot day.

The day she died I never went outside. I never looked out the window. I was consumed within the four walls of the NICU with beeping machines and busy doctors and nurses trying to keep my babies alive.

The day Saxon and I said goodbye forever and had her cremated was a day full of hot blinding sunshine. It felt wrong that it was a beautiful day. The wind should’ve been howling and the sky should’ve been black with thunder crackling.

The day we had her funeral memorial service with our family it poured with rain. I was devastated until a beautiful NICU nurse told me they were tears from Heaven.

Ever since that day I think of her when it rains and I smile. I love nothing more than to go up to the beach headland and stand in the rain. It makes me feel close to her.

Today it actually rained but I was driving and couldn’t get to the headland to take a photo before the rain stopped. Instead here is a photo of me on the lake just as the sun was setting and the rain had just started. It’s in moments like in the photo that I feel at peace and she is with me.

Regardless of the season or the weather, she has my heart xx

Day14
Day 14 – DARK / LIGHT

Day 14 – DARK / LIGHT

Today is supposed to be about acknowledging the dark and the light sides of grief. The ugly and the beauty, the bitter and the sweet. I wasn’t sure what photo to take and then I came across this one.

Lucia had only just turned one, this was the first time she saw herself in the mirror. The was the first time she thought she found Charlize. This is the look of confusion that she hadn’t really found Charlize.

This is our bittersweet. We should have loads of photos with our two babies but we don’t.

The social worker told us it would be hard. We would be sad for a long time. That a lot of marriages don’t survive this.

We survived it stronger and braver than what we started.

They forget to tell you so many things though. That the image of a twin pram can send me into near hysteria; That even my children have learnt to steer our family away from twins in public. They forget to tell you that your heart feels ripped in two. They forget to tell you that uncontrollable sobs can start with the smallest of triggers. They forget to tell you that you begin to envy all pregnant women. You become unbelievably angry at people with twins who whinge about how hard it is … If only I could whinge about my twins!

They forget to tell you that people say the most insulting things;
‘Lucky you left the hospital with one baby’
‘Its gods will’
‘Its all part of the plan’
Fuck the plan and gods will and yes I’m lucky I left with one baby but I should’ve left with two. Nothing anyone says will ever make me feel good about this.

They forget to tell you that a word called anxiety can cripple your life. Leaving my children with anyone or anywhere can turn me into hysteria at the panic at what could happen to them when they’re not with me. Only a grieving parent understands this.

They forget to tell you that you wake up a grieving parent and a completely different person. But a person with so much more determination and kindness. With a fuller heart and so much love to give. A mother with a new type of nurture. A mother with a new look at life. A wife full of emotion and deep love and companionship for her husband – even more than before. A friend who is more giving and puts herself out there without barriers and always available even when she herself is not really available.

Grief initially feels like only a journey of darkness with no light in sight. But somewhere in the darkness you notice the sun is shining and your children are happy and you are surrounded by love and that’s where the real light is. Grief teaches you to always where possible to find the light in the dark. If we hasn’t lost Charlize we would never have considered leaving Sydney but she has shown us the preciousness that life is. She has shown us that when our life is slower she makes herself known to us more often. She has shown us strength that we didn’t know we had. She has shown us that our family can make it through anything. All we need is each other and love.

This photo is the reality that is my grief. Even today when I look at this photo my heart sinks for Lucia. Lucia herself is traveling her own journey of grief and as her Mummy I will make sure that she can always see the shining light that she is that will guide her through all of life’s battles xxxxx

 

Day 15
Day 15 – COMMUNITY

Day 15 – COMMUNITY

Tonight at 7pm around the world a wave of candlelight surrounds us to remember our beautiful babies who we lost. A day of remembrance for miscarriage and infant loss.

Today I am grateful that in our day and age it is acceptable to talk about our loss. We have suffered two miscarriages and a neonatal loss. Losses that are so common in our community and need to be heard and acknowledged.

Today our candles burn in our home for our beautiful daughter Charlize and her Aunty Danielle, my baby sister. Two little babies who were born too early, who battled for some time for survival, who taught our families about grief and a deeper love.

Today our candles burn brightly in our home. We have been blessed with beautiful friends and family who celebrate the wave of light with us.

To all my dear friends and family who have suffered a terrible loss I send you love and light xxx

Day 16 - RETREAT
Day 16 – RETREAT

Day 16 – RETREAT

Today was supposed to be all about having some time to myself to reflect of the day prior. This was the view from the plane today and I felt an overwhelming love for our angel.

Up in the clouds in the morning sunshine I am sure we were amongst all the little angels. I imagine they jump around the fluffy clouds and drift down earth side when we need them xxxx

 

 

 

Day 17 - EXPLORE
Day 17 – EXPLORE

Day 17 – EXPLORE

‘Explore’ could not have coincided more perfectly with our plans today. Because of Charlize we were in a new part of the world immersing ourself in all things new to begin our new life.

If my grief was at any other stage I don’t believe this move would be possible for me to find the strength to leave all I know and the magic support networks of all my friends and family. It is only now that I can confidently say and feel that this is the right thing for our family. A blank canvas for us to create so many new beautiful memories on.

This morning Saxon and I were doing a walk along Lighthouse Beach towards Shelley Beach. We happened to sit on this bench seat overlooking the water and today’s photo is of the plaque on this seat. This was Heaven sent as the purest sign from Charlize that we are doing the right thing for our family.

“Life is short, take all its worth” xxxxxxx

Day18Day 18 – GRATITUDE

I am eternally grateful for my lover and best friend Saxon. I am blessed and grateful for all these gorgeous people in the photo, the ones I call Mum and Dad who did a brilliant job of raising me (ha ha) and who are the best parents anyone could ask for. For the delightful three children who call me Mummy and for the extra little blessing who calls me Aunty.

 

Day 19
Day 19 – GIVE

Day 19 – GIVE

This photo is November last year. My whole work team spent the day at Westmead Children’s Hospital ‘Giving Joy’.

This was one of the best days of my life. Watching these precious little people who are suffering so much and then just being kids and having fun … There’s nothing else like it. I felt honored to do this.

Last week our family did a whole day of giving to children in other countries who aren’t as lucky as ourselves. We didn’t take photos because we didn’t need to … It was a special day that we enjoyed so much.

I feel that Charlize has taught us that giving in life is even more important now for our family than ever before. Bringing a smile to someone else’s faces makes my heart swell.

Day 20 - BREATHE
Day 20 – BREATHE

Day 20 – BREATHE

In the early days in the NICU I learnt very quickly that going out into the sunshine always helped me catch my breath when I was feeling overwhelmed. There were days driving to the hospital when Lucia was doing so poorly that I would have panic attacks on the way there terrified that when I arrived she would no longer be breathing. The social workers taught me about ‘Mindfulness of The Breath’ a way to help deal with anxiety, to slow your breathing and calm the bodies over-sensitivities. Initially I found this task useless but with lots of practice and no other way to keep me calm through a terrifying process I learnt to slow my breath. I learnt that meditation helped me sleep and I learnt that nature has so many positive ways at calming you down.

When it all gets too much or I’m just having one of those days I love nothing more than taking the children down to the beach and watching them smile and instantly life calms down.

Day 21 - RELATIONSHIP
Day 21 – RELATIONSHIP

Day 21 – Relationship

Without this guy I wouldn’t still be standing. He is the only person who looks at Lucia and thinks the same things as me and wells up with tears.

We cried together, we fought hard together, we nurtured our children together, we walk together and we have healed together.

This guy makes me smile. This guy has my heart xx

 

 

Day 22 - SELF CARE
Day 22 – SELF CARE

Day 22 – Self Care

This is one of my favorite ways to take care of myself. Make some scones, brew a pot of tea, drink my tea out if a pretty tea cup and read some of my book xx

 

 

 

 

Day 23 - INSPIRATION
Day 23 – INSPIRATION

Day 23 – Inspiration

Today I couldn’t choose one photo so here is two of my inspiration. Her name is Lucia and she has many faces.

This picture of her with tubes coming out of every part of her body is what gives me inspiration and the other photo of an adorable little Fairy with no care in the world.

This little girl born too early and too tiny overcame huge obstacles.

I watched this little girl pulled from my belly in heart failure and told it was unlikely she would survive.

I watched her identical twin sister, equally beautiful and precious pulled from my belly struggling for survival.

I watched Lucia’s little body suffering after her soul mate lost her battle.

I looked into her eyes at every moment she gave me a glimpse of them and I told her she was strong and she could survive this.

I watched the determined look on her face when she ripped her oxygen tubes out of her nose and the delight when she realised she got her way for thirty seconds.

I watched the concern on her face when she tried to learn to suck, swallow and breathe and she ended up blue.

I watched the relaxation spread through her face and body when after six weeks she got her first bath.

I watched the comfort she felt when she was nestled against my chest safe in my arms.

I watched when her little face broke into a smile for the first time.

I watched her sleep.

I watched her finally learn to breathe on her own after ten weeks.

I watched her excitement at two years old when she took her first steps.

I watched the love in her eyes for her adoring older siblings.

I have watched this little person for nearly three years evolve into a fiery, determined, caring, loving and adorable little person.

As I’ve watched I’ve always been inspired. She overcame the absolute worst start in life and she is perfect.

Every day each and every one of my children inspires me, the ones in my arms and the special one looking over us all.

The many faces of Lucia give me strength and inspiration. Behind those golden eyes is a burning desire to survive and conquer and that she has done.

Lucia my darling, you are my inspiration xxxx

Day 24 - FORGIVENESS
Day 24 – FORGIVENESS

Day 24 – FORGIVENESS

Today’s picture is of my Mum walking along a path with my girls. This is significant as Forgiveness is quite a journey to walk and one I have not yet completed and may not ever complete.

I am unforgiving of nature for giving my girls Twin to Twin Transfusion and allowing them to be born thirteen weeks before their time.

I am even more unforgiving of nature for choosing to poison my daughter with overwhelming sepsis and letting her die.

I am unforgiving of people who told us we should do Charlize’s funeral on our own. In our overwhelming grief we agreed and it wasn’t until we were standing in front of our daughters little white coffin alone that we realised our terrible decision. If I had my time over all my beautiful family and adorable friends would’ve been standing behind us holding us up and crying with us.

I am even more unforgiving of people who would normally be considered family who never once bothered to visit Lucia in hospital or to see if we needed help, anything at all. They are no longer family in my eyes. These same people caused a scene at Lucias christening and multiple other events because we told them they couldn’t touch her due to risk of infection.

I am angry and hurt at many people who became annoyed that they couldn’t visit our home if they had children with them. An understanding of immune suppression would empower them with knowledge that wouldn’t cause a disruption in friendship but instead an acceptance of us protecting our child to keep her alive.

I am angry and hurt at persons who suggested when Lucia was only six weeks old and unwell on her NICU roller coaster that we should’ve ‘just let her go’. Only someone who has never suffered a loss would say such a hurtful thing. Who wouldn’t fight for their child to the ends of the earth?

Since the twins were born on the 14th November and when we lost Charlize on the 15th November 2011, I changed as a person. I am less accepting of people’s stupidity. I don’t accept that someone just ‘didn’t think before they spoke’. I don’t accept that someone can’t pick up a phone and see how you are or drop in and meet their newest family member.

I realised for many years I accepted people like this in my life just because and then life showed me that it can be taken from you so suddenly and then I knew.

I knew I would no longer let these people hurt my family. They just wouldn’t be part of it. Life is about compromise and understanding and the most important part of life is love.

If I don’t truly love those family and friends who can’t alter their lives slightly for my seriously ill child then they have no place in my heart or my life.

My family and I just like everyone else are only here for a short time. I don’t want to have to continue forgiving stupidity and hurtful ness. I want my life to be surrounded by laughing, cuddles, good times, quality times, memories I can savour and lots and lots of love.

My journey of forgiveness has been a difficult one. I feel guilt that I haven’t forgiven these people but then I realise my journey has taught me to accept that people come in and out of your life for a reason. Some people have a place for a lifetime and some don’t and that’s ok.

Lucia and Charlize taught me many things about life and the greatest gift they gave me was to trust and believe in me. To give and to love and not to worry about the other stuff. The other stuff can be soul destroying and there is not enough time in our lives for that.

A journey to forgiveness is whatever you want it to be. Today I wonder if ill ever understand why nature took my daughter but I am equally thankful that nature has given her back to me in so many ways that I can’t describe. Everyday my angel walls the same path with us and although I know I’m not ready to fully forgive so many things – I am blessed that nature chose me to be their Mummy. The greatest gift of all xxx

Day 25 - MOTHER EARTH
Day 25 – MOTHER EARTH

Day 25 – MOTHER EARTH

I’ve deliberately had to delay this one as I waited for my roses to bloom.

Saxon and I renovated our front garden not long after we lost our angel and I insisted it be filled with roses.

This delightful pink rose is a traditional scented rose and is called Heaven Scent.

Today my garden is in full bloom with Heaven Scent and it makes me smile.

When we move we will plant the same roses once again to always remind us of her.

Day 26 – Healing Ritual

There is no better way to help yourself heal than to talk it out over a cup of tea, some scones and a good friend to hold your hand.

There have been so many of these days in my home and I feel very lucky that I have so many adorable friends who are equally happy to sit in my home and sip tea with me.

This trait inherited from my Mum and my Granny who both love nothing more than to drink tea out of fine bone china and have a natter. One of the best ways to solve problems in life xxxxx

 

Day 27 - EXPRESS
Day 27 – EXPRESS

 

Day 27 – Express

Today is about saying whatever is in my heart so here it is.

When I take pictures of my children, when I’m doing things with my children I’m always noticing there is one less.

Yes I’m lucky I have three but the fact is I should be getting four little people dressed in the morning, four little people into car, four little people holding my hands and I only have three.

On Fridays, Lucia and I spend the day together just her and I.

I’d hoped as life went on, as she got older that things would be easier and less obvious to my tender heart. But when I sit at a cafe and have a baby chino with her, when she smiles up at me, when I hold her hand and run along the beach collecting shells I know my other hand should have the physical presence of her identical being.

How fun it would’ve been to dress them the same, to watch their personalities grow, to smile at their love for each other because there is no other sibling bond like that of identical twins. A perfect egg split in two – a freak of nature that my body blessed me with. A total miracle.

My heart will always be a little heavier and my eyes will always see my missing child and my hands will never feel her touch again.

I know I am blessed… but every day I would just like one more cuddle of my tiny little girl. I’d like one more sniff of her baby smell. I’d like one more kiss on the tip of her nose. I’d like to hear her breath one more time and whisper in her ear ‘I will always love you baby girl. You will never be forgotten’.

I carry your heart xxxxxx

Day 28 -
Day 28 – WISDOM

 

Day 28 – WISDOM

I took this photo in June this year when we were on a Farm Stay. It made me instantly feel like Charlize was with us.

I have learnt may things about grief and grieving. I would not say I am an a wise old elf on it yet but I can say this…..

Never tell anyone it’s meant to be or it’s gods will. It isn’t and wasn’t meant to be. A baby or child dying should never happen, they should grow old.

Never say once you have another child you’ll feel better. You won’t. You’ve still lost a child.

If you don’t know what to say give them a really big hug and hold their hands. Words aren’t always required.

Grief doesn’t end in a months time or at the first anniversary, it is a journey that each couple and individual takes personally. It can take as long as it takes them and that’s ok. A mothers journey is usually quite different to the fathers and that’s ok too. We are all different.

My biggest learning through this journey is to surround myself with only those who are dear to me and real. Let go of what isn’t real or lovely in your life.

Embrace life with everything you’ve got and smile.

Love deeply.

I’ve said this over and over, but the greatest gift I was ever given was to be Charlize’s Mummy. I got to show her the deepest love their is between a mother and her daughter and although there will never be enough moments that I got to spend with her – I’m
Happy she gave me thirty two hours.

I’m happy she was gifted to me forever xxxx

Day 29 - REFLECT
Day 29 – REFLECT

Day 29 – REFLECT

This photo was taken on the 14th May 2011. It was my 30th birthday party, the day after my actual birthday. This was when we thought our family was complete with our two children Orlando and Indiana. This was when we had already conceived the twins after too much alcohol celebrating my birthday. This was when my life was simpler and safe.

Unknowingly in only six months after this photo our life was turned upside down with love and sadness with the birth and the death of our daughters.

Obviously if I could re-write time I would make sure Charlize is in it. However, since her loss my life is more full because she taught me all the important things to appreciate.

As we prepare to move our family away from everything we know and love there is a huge reflection on the person I have become since losing her.

My life has become symbolic and holding on to only those special pastimes and moments that keep the happiness alive in our family.

In a few months we will be in a whole new town and although there are many nervous unknowns the excitement gives me butterflies in my tummy.

I will miss our northern beaches. I will miss Mondays with Kelly and her girls Isla and Ella who are the same ages as Indiana and Lucia and who count down for Monday play dates.

I will miss Fridays with Jo and her little man Finn who is the same age as Lucia. Fridays with Becca with Oscar and Clara and baby cuddles. The fun we have on these mornings is what fills our weeks with love and happiness (and much needed coffee, tea and sanity checks).

Ill miss being able to call one of many of my girlfriends for a latte and a chat when I feel like it.

Ill miss so many things but in the past three years I’ve become a stronger woman. A woman who can mostly stand up to anything that comes her way and I will still be smiling at the end of it. My determination and fighting spirit is what is giving us this new life which will open many exciting new doors of exploration for us.

So, when I look back on this photo, on the past three years I am proud of the person I am today. My journey of grief has helped me in more positive ways than I care to note to enjoy every moment of life and live it filled with joy.

Thanks again baby girl for bringing butterflies into our life to help us explore what lies ahead of us.

Ill leave you with my favorite quote:

“What if I fall?
Oh, my darling,
what if you fly?”

Day 30 - INTENTION
Day 30 – INTENTION

Day 30 – INTENTION

My intention is to ensure everyday is filled with smiles as great as this and to make everyday count for me and my family. This is what I pledge in honour of my daughter Charlize Ersilia Stephens xxxxxx

 

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