Honouring My Baby’s Memory

Jul 11

Here is a photo of some playful bubbles my sister blew for my precious little girl, as we marked her 3rd birthday at her memorial picnic on July 1st. Which 3 year-old wouldn’t be fascinated by bubbles? When it comes to honouring my baby’s memory, even the smallest acts such as blowing bubbles count… I generally don’t share much about my daughter Robyn publicly, in fact, this is the most I’ve said on a public forum in the 3 years since her transition. I make exceptions around her birthday for 3 reasons:

  1. Although Robyn is no longer on this earth, I realise I’m no different from any proud mother who likes to talk about their child. I embrace that, and I still honour the very real relationship I had with my baby.
  2. To help eliminate the silence and shame associated with baby loss, as well as the cultural confusion and discomfort that often surrounds a mother’s grieving process.
  3. To encourage survivors (who really want to) to speak openly and guilt-free to friends and families about their beloved little ones who have gone before them, while finding the most beautiful ways to mark the milestones and keep their memories alive.

Bubbles For Robyn

 

In my experience, being able to talk about Robyn has been hugely beneficial to my healing process. It’s shocking how many women I already knew, had suffered miscarriages/stillbirths but I had no idea because they kept it a deep dark secret. What’s even more shocking is that many of them have kept it a secret, not because they really want to, but because they worried about how people would react to them talking  about their child who is no longer alive. One of my deepest fears was that everyone would forget my baby, and I unashamedly confess, that my friends and family haven’t really been given the option of forgetting little Robyn because I really just can’t shut up about her. I’m now forever grateful that I have the most supportive and understanding family and friends, who have openly expressed that they have no desire to forget.

Now, it’s not all doom and gloom, I often have pleasant conversations about my daughter too. My precious girl filled me with a love I never knew existed from the moment I learned I was carrying her, and that love has only intensified since. So it’s probably not surprising that I still think about what she may have been like at different ages and stages of her life, which personality traits she may have adopted, which toy we might have had to buy in multiples because ‘all hell would break loose’ if it mistakenly got left behind at Grandma’s house, and even the foods she may have liked or disliked very much growing up. I don’t know whether there’s a connection here, but I shockingly lost my obsession with cake during the early stages of pregnancy, and it never returned since. Meanwhile, my tolerance for pepper and spicy foods skyrocketed…it was already VERY high to begin with! I remember having high hopes of her being an exceptionally well-behaved baby, just like her Auntie Toni (my sister, 16 years my junior, deserved Best Behaved Baby of the Millennium Award, if ever there was one), and to this very day I wonder whether that would have been the case.

There is no greater love than the love I feel for my daughter. I’ve accepted that my life is now changed forever. To anyone who have experienced baby loss or child loss, never feel afraid to celebrate your child’s life, regardless of how short it was. If it’s helpful to you, then share your thoughts and memories with your loved ones who want to be involved in preserving your child’s memory, keep a journal, write poems, or even write letters to your child. Honour your child in a way that makes you happy. My little Robyn was born on July 1st, but this year I’ve chosen to celebrate her short life for the entire month of July, because it just feels right.

I’m doing this in a number of ways, but here are a few of the many things I’ve done which may inspire you to do something special for your dear child too:

  1. A colourful picnic by her side on her 3rd birthday followed by the release of 3 gorgeous pink balloons.
  2. Lighting candles to mark other special and important dates surrounding my loss – It’s 3 years today since I saw my baby girl for the very last time, and took her to her final resting place. These are small details many won’t remember, but it helps me to mark this day too.
  3. I’ve decorated a special space at home with little mementos, making it the perfect place to sit and write to her, while I reflect on the best memories of the experience of carrying her.
  4. All year round, there’s also a shelf dedicated to Robyn in my home. It always has the letter R, some flowers and something pretty girly with a bit of sparkle.
  5. I’ve created a memory box for Robyn. It holds photos and other items belonging to her, cards/letters of support I’ve receive over the years, dried pressed petals from the flowers from her funeral and anniversaries and a myriad of other keepsakes.

I find living without Robyn immensely painful, but there’s still a sense of beauty shining through in her memory, so I continue to mark the precious milestones in the most meaningful and beautiful ways I can, and I keep a record of it all so she too has a legacy. For me, it’s about preserving her memory in a way that brings me even the tiniest moments of joy, despite how deeply unhappy I am that she’s no longer physically here. Although little Robyn was stillborn, there’s no denying nor forgetting that she was still born. She was born silent, perfect and beautiful.

Nova

©ALL CONTENTS OF THIS BLOG ARE ORIGINALLY WRITTEN BY ME, NOVA WILLIAMS OF 18 CHELSEA MEWS LTD, AND ARE MY PERSONAL OPINIONS AND VIEWS, UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED. 

Please leave a comment. I would love to hear from you!

comments +

  1. Avril

    July 11th, 2015 at 16:32

    I love routes you have decided to take to remember your precious child. I am glad that you have been instrumental in remembering and grieving the best way you know how.

    I believe she would have been artistic, outspoken , and beautiful just like her mama. She would have been like most 3 year Olds asking a whole lot of questions wanting to know everything. But mostly she would have kept you on your toes and filled you with that love that only you would understand.

  2. Nova Williams

    July 12th, 2015 at 22:02

    Thank you Avril for such a beautiful comment. It really warms my heart. xo

  3. chattinatti

    July 11th, 2015 at 19:19

    <3 what an awesome mama you are! x

  4. Nova Williams

    July 12th, 2015 at 22:05

    Thanks Natti. You’re a darling. xo

  5. Donna-Marie

    July 12th, 2015 at 00:27

    Wow! Never knew of your baby loss until now so I offer my condolences. I shed a tear…Unfortunately you are still little Nova to me!

    Sometimes I think of my own baby loss but never through the lenses you shared. While I fancy the thought that ‘she’ would have been a girl, I really don’t know… I lost ‘her’ six weeks into the pregnancy. At the time my son was fourteen months old and I thought that another child would have complicated my life, so I wasn’t bothered… I actually breathed a sigh of relief and while I would refer to my baby loss experience as a story/resource for my teaching, I never acknowledged the grief associated with my and by extension, my family’s loss. It was ten + years later that I heard myself saying to my husband and son, “if my ‘daughter’ was alive ‘she’ would be ten years old today.”

    I don’t think about ‘her’ often (thanks for reminding me) but every year at easter time, I hear myself say “if my ‘daughter’ was alive…”

    Thanks for your courage and vulnerability all wrapped up in one…

    While I have not experienced the associated guilt, I understand the concept… I have never felt guilty neither have I ever blamed myself for my baby loss but I have felt the “brunt and butt” of persons blaming me for my baby loss, an event that was completely out of my control. Thankfully my husband is the person he is…

    Thanks for giving me an opportunity to make myself vulnerable…

  6. Nova Williams

    July 12th, 2015 at 22:34

    Thank you so much for your very thoughtful, open and honest comment here Donna-Marie.

    I’m sorry you too have experienced the pain of losing a child; I honestly wish no one ever had to go through that. Perhaps your strength and focus in caring for the baby boy you already had at that time, made your process of grief a bit different from the ‘norm’ (though not necessarily non-existent). The fact that you still think of your ‘daughter’ at a certain time of year, is a clear indication that you still carry ‘her’ in your heart.

  7. Simone

    July 14th, 2015 at 13:04

    What a beautiful post Nova <3 I can't imagine how hard this can be for a woman, I've lost partner many years ago and it was tough, but loosing a child is probably the most difficult experience there is, you are a strong woman. Happy birthday to your baby girl and to you. Great that you are talking about Robyn and celebrating your daughter's life, why wouldn't you, after all she was on this earth for 9 months in your belly. You have now your own guardian angel up there, watching over you and sending you positive energy <3 Thank you for sharing and all the best to you XOXO, Simone

  8. Nova Williams

    July 19th, 2015 at 12:00

    Thank you so much for your kind words Simone. I’m sorry for your loss; losing a loved one is never easy. xo

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