I don't know about you, but I can't believe it's been almost 3 months since Poppy grew her wings and flew to heaven. I am astounded that it seems to have been forever without her, yet time still moves at the amazing pace it sets when you're a grown up. When we were kids time seemed to take forever; from Christmas to Christmas seemed an eternity! Now three months have passed in the blink of an eye.
Three months ago, I joined a club that I barely knew existed. The one that people like me join in the depth of their despair. When the hello becomes a goodbye. The stillbirth club. I didn't know that 6 women join it everyday in Australia. That 2,500 families enter this nightmare every year. Now I had joined and I wish I hadn't.
At Poppy's funeral, person after person whispered their condolences in my ear and added, "we've been there too." Many, many of my loved ones and cherished friends had grieved through the loss of a child that wasn't shared with the world. Grieved almost in silence, and often encouraged to move on and have more children to ease their pain. I was shocked at how many people I knew who had suffered through what we had suffered and I didn't know.
When Poppy died, I knew one other person who had also recently lost her little girl at full term. A person whom I'd never met, but for online. Almost a year ago, when I was celebrating my nephews second birthday, she was saying hello and goodbye to her precious daughter. When I heard what had happened I cried, and thought that I was not strong enough to deal with that. How could I ever lose a child? That doesn't happen very often anymore, does it? I saw her photos of her precious baby, longed for and waited for and loved so much. She grieved her child publicly, and I admired her for doing so. She was proud of her little daughter, and so she should be. She was beautiful.
The brave mum reached out to me when I was felt very alone. She offered me a place where I could talk online to other mums who were grieving their angel babies too. It was a life line. Many of them were members of the club too. I didn't feel so alone. In our grief we were united, which sounds super corny, but is true. We can be not OK, whenever we like. We post our photos of our babies and share our stories and everyone understands what we are going through. We have even seen our first round of Rainbow Babies; babies born after the storm of despair that is losing a child, to be the ray of sunshine afterwards.
I wish you could meet these amazing women. But I hope you never do, because it would mean you had joined the club too. It's a club I wish I didn't know existed. But now I know, I can't unknow, it will always be part of my life. I write this knowing that of the people I know, the people who read this, many will have gone through or will go through or will know someone else who goes through what I've been through. I hope they can find the support I've found. I hope they have the amazing family and friends I have who have listened and shared and read my blog to try to understand better. Because if people can understand the grief, they will understand the healing better.
Which I why I am sharing my story, which is really Poppy's story. Because her birth and the grief we felt at her death has changed me. I will never be the same. And I want it to mean something. So, I have decided to be a big more public with my pain, with my journey towards readjusting, to hopefully help someone out there who is going through or knows someone who is going through what I have. And I want to make that a tiny bit less painful for them, just by understanding.
I will share Poppy, because I am her mother, even though she isn't here. I often wonder who has blocked me from the FB news feed because my ongoing pain is something they don't want to read about. But, by reading this, I know you have chosen to remember her too. And if you know of another mother whose pain is unbearable, you will chose to speak her babies name if she wants you too, and recognise that seeing other peoples babies will be hard, and stupid Target catalogues full of smiling children will be painful for her. And if it helps you help her, now that she has joined the club, then Poppy will mean something. And that's what I need to help me heal.