After listening to many love songs about unrequited love, or love that could never be - and seeing the true similarities in grief and relationships ending I have decided that grief can be compared to having a broken heart.
People who know me, or have come to know me, will know that I am not one to hide my feelings, I wear my heart on my sleeve and I tell it how it is. Same for my relationships. I fall in love quickly, I express my feelings openly and I am really an all or nothing kind of girl. Sadly, when I was "dating" - being this way has meant I had my heart broken many times. I will admit I was young and naive, I haven't had the best luck but am lucky to have found someone now that wants the same things I do, and while we have had our ups and downs as any couple do, we are both realists and we both live for the moment. But, some of the break ups looking back, were worse than others, but in hindsight there are a few times that stand out for me.
I adored these people and loved every second of being with them. Making me laugh, sharing stories, being silly together and enjoying each others company. I had let myself dream about the future. And then one day, suddenly it was all over. They had changed their mind, or some circumstance or another meant that what we had would no longer work.
The first time this happened, I was beside myself. I didn't know what I could do to make it right again.
The second time, I was confused and left wondering what I had done wrong.
The third time, I felt utterly let down and as though the person I thought I was in love with, wasn't that person at all.
I felt gutted, really sad and so disappointed.
I was certainly miserable afterwards, but after a period of time had passed, I thought I had better pick myself and move on. I would always feel sad that things hadn't worked out the way I had hoped but keeping busy would help me to stop thinking about what went wrong and focus on making myself stronger, better and happier.
This is kind of the same as to how I feel about losing Harry.
Losing Harry was obviously a total shock. The realisation that things weren't going to plan, and sat listening to the dear doctor delivering us the terrible news that Harry had suffered considerable trauma and the outlook was not good..... that was like sitting there and listening to your boyfriend telling you that things were no longer "working out". I remember wishing and hoping that this doctor had got it wrong and that somehow things would turn around and our little boy would be just fine. Just like when I'd been "dumped" I was trying to figure out what I could do, to make it all go away.
When I got to meet Harry, I remember sitting next to his little bed. Staring at him, taking him in, the way that a new mother does. I was so confused. How had this happened? How is my baby so, so poorly? Did I do something to make him be born this way? So many questions, and no answers. Just like being heartbroken before, and wondering what I had done wrong for it to be all over.
After we said goodbye to Harry, I cried and cried. The baby that I had hopes and dreams for, so many plans... it was all over. I had gone into hospital to give birth, I had a bag full of clothes to dress my baby in. And yet, I was returning to the room with all his things, a new teddy, some babygros, a blanket.... and no baby. I felt emptiness. Such total sadness. This baby I had really loved for nine months, was gone. He would not be the baby we all wanted. Just like the last time I was heartbroken, and I sat feeling sadness and emptiness because the man I loved was not that man at all. It was all a fantasy. Just like the life I had planned for Harry.
I truly believe that everything happens for a reason. I have said this many times before.
All those sad times in my past have made me who I am today.
I believe every event in your life has a place on your "life path".
I know that losing Harry was the most terrible thing I have ever endured, and nothing for the rest of my days will ever compare to what happened with Harry. But do you know what? That knowledge gives me such strength. I have battled the worst, and came out the other side. So I feel like, bring on anything else. I can cope with it.
I said that after my heartbreaks, I would try really hard to focus on something and become stronger. Things like going to university far away from where he was, finding a new job in a different sector, or just focussing on a project to distract myself. This is the same way I have coped after losing Harry. Harry's Trust has been the thing that has carried me through all of this nightmare. I tried to find something that would keep my mind busy and it really has! The other side to Harry's Trust has been that his name and memory can live on to help others, and when things get really chaotic and crazy, it is that that keeps me going. I am doing this for Harry and for all the other families, who have sick babies, or babies that die or suffer with vasa praevia.
I was inspired to write this after singing along to a song today in the car (one of my favourite pastimes, but I can't sing too well, so it won't take me very far!) Paloma Faith's "Only love can hurt like this" and it reminded me of how rubbish I had felt when love had hurt me. Even though my life has moved on past those times, now and again I am reminded.
But, the deepest hurt I have ever felt is the sadness I carry for Harry.
And that is because I love him. I love him so much. A mother's love is greater than anything.
The difference between a relationship ending and the loss of your baby is that you might one day bump into your ex, or hear from them randomly, or have someone tell you all about their latest news. Sometimes, hearing certain things can be cutting. On the other hand, I have heard many interesting stories about relationships ending, even in the messiest of ways, and sometimes they get back together. They remember what they had was special. They had missed each other, and their company. I like stories like that as I am big old soppy romantic at heart. Especially stories about high school sweethearts who have been apart for years and years and one day the timing is right again. How lovely. (Awkward note: That is not to say I want to get back with my high school sweetheart, if he is reading this then I am so happy that you are happy!!! I am very happy with my life the way it is ;-) )
The loss of your baby is so final. You say goodbye and that is that. He is gone. I won't get the chance to ask Harry if he remembered "that time" or look through fun photos of us together. I won't get the chance to ask friends how he is getting on. I hope that Harry will always remember that wonderful day we had together. I hope the love I gave him wraps him up like a great big hug, and keeps him feeling safe and secure and happy. I hope that he is watching over our little family, as we go about our days and how we all miss him so very much. And, just like I like the stories where love is reunited, I know that one day, me and my boy will be together again.
Like all wonderful things, it will be worth the wait. <3 xxx