Grief - saying goodbye

by Charlotte Fantelli

My dear little girl Jade,

You would be eight years old this Christmas day.

I can close my eyes and see you, year by year, growing more beautiful by the day.

Your long dark hair is straight in my mind's eye, which is strange as both your daddy and I have waves.

But in my mind's eye you can be anything I want, you can grow and blossom, be polite and always eat your greens. 

You may become a lawyer, a doctor, or maybe a shop assistant; to me it wouldn't matter as long as you were happy.

In my mind's eye you always smile. You hold my hand. You love me.

My grief took time to heal. 

A week - I sat writing 'I wan't my baby back' in a pad, day in, day out.

A month - I still could not breath deeply for the pain it hurt so bad.

A year - I planted a tree, I buried a memory box. Frozen in time, treasures forever. I had your name tattooed on my back, a permanent symbol that you were with me always.

Two years - I began sleeping again and sometimes a day went by that I did not sink inside with an emptiness as you danced in my head. I could finally look myself in the mirror without wanting to hurt the person I saw looking back at me.

Three years - I spent a wonderful Christmas with my new love, a man who took so much pain from me. But late that night he found me on the floor in the kitchen curled up like a ball crying for you.

Four years - I have a new little baby, your little brother. He is full of wonder and joy, I feel almost whole again, is that wrong of me?

Five years - I still write you a letter every Christmas and post it, the address reads 'Heaven', I even put a stamp on the envelope to make sure it gets to you.

Six years - My little boy is two and Christmas really has come alive. I have not forgotten you but days, even a week can go by without thinking of you.

Seven years - I imagine what you would be like, seven years old, opening your Christmas and birthday gifts, yet when I do it does not break me apart inside any more. 

When I see you in my mind's eye I actually almost smile at the image of my beautiful baby girl playing with her little brother. I also smile at all I have; a complete family unit that is strong, nurturing and safe. An environment we may never have had if you were here now.

Eight years - Well this Christmas it would be eight. You would be growing into a little lady. For me Christmas will be magic again this year and you will sit as you always do aside me as I watch my family open gifts and sing and eat and watch movies. But I can truly say I have accepted that you will never be there, but now I allow myself to treasure what I have and I am very blessed.

I made you a promise years ago I would live for us both and make you proud, well I can finally say I am living, really living my darling. And I know God has you safe until I get there.

I love you always.

Mummy X

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