A love story : Living without my beautiful red-headed Mia

(996 Posts)

This love story began before Mia was born, intensified when she entered our lives, and it will continue to burn strongly forever. Mia is my red-headed flame, my sweet pea, my noisy sprite. Mia is joy, she is love, she is every good thing you can imagine. And I am so incredibly proud to be her mummy.

Yet she is gone. Mia died totally unexpectedly last October at the age of 13 months. Impossible, but true.

We miss Mia’s cuddles, her weight and her little legs curled around us, her face against our cheeks and her warm arms around our necks, the soothing pats on the back that she would give us as we in turn patted her. She was intimate, coming to us, arms raised, for a reassuring cuddle, but then with a smile, content she would wiggle free, independent and inquisitive about everything around her, exploring her world, looking in cupboards, peeking between the banisters as she climbed the stairs and just revelling in her existence.

I have tried to estimate how many times a day we kissed Mia. Picking her up, putting her down, dressing her, feeding her, washing her hands, just because… it must have been hundreds. Equally, we always made a point to tell Mia every day just how much we loved her. We know she listened.

I cannot begin to adequately describe the love that we have for our little girl. I can only ask you to imagine the most perfect feeling of love and warmth that you can, to double its intensity, and extend it to infinity and you are still not even close to the amount of love that we shared with Mia every second of the her 13 months.

This is her story, and mine, and my reality.

FreckledLeopard Wed 23-May-12 15:26:46

I've just sat here, at work, tears in eyes, as I've read through your first thread after finding this one. I've looked at the beautiful, beautiful photos of your darling girl Mia, with the beautiful hair and eyes.

I am so so sorry that Mia died and that you are having to live with the awful unfairness. Reading the thread makes one's own problems evaporate.

Words seem so inadequate.

Wishing you and your DH all the love, strength and grit to get through each minute of each day. Thinking of you, and your DH and of Mia.

Mia is with me every day.

She plays on the swings in the park with her loyal friend, little Mr Star. He asks DH if Mia is in his big toe...

As her aunt reminded me, Mia is the brightest ray of sunshine which arrived yesterday, despite the sadness of the date.

Mia is entwined in my heart, with the two bracelets twisted together that I wear, and my beautiful "Mama Mia ring", gifted by my mother from my grandmother's estate.

Mia is the song of the blackbird, who trills his lilting notes all day long, sitting on the top of the house.

She is the little "Mia" irises which are being especially grown for us.

Mia is all these these wonderful symbols of love - and so much more. She shines, she glows, she laughs. My darling daughter.

pookiecat Fri 25-May-12 22:03:13

Oh your words bring tears to me, may I add; she is part of the smiles and hugs of all our children and is the beating heart of you and your family. Mia will live on in all your new beginnings and in all the new memories that you have xxxx

BrigitBigKnickers Fri 25-May-12 23:38:32

You really have an amazing gift with words-maybe you always had it, maybe it is borne out of your devotion to the memory of your beloved child. I shed a tear every time I read your posts.

I hope at some point in the future you feel strong enough to realise your gift. Your beautiful daughter would be very proud of her mummy.

Take care x

mrsshears Sat 26-May-12 12:47:38

what a beautiful way with words you have, i cannot begin to imagine how you feel but i just needed to post and say my thoughts are with you x

jmf294 Sat 26-May-12 20:07:35

Mias mummy,
I've not been around these parts much recently but I do keep you all in my thoughts.
With the warmth and sunshine of the last few days I hope you have felt the beauty of Mia around you.

How are the plans for Mia's wood going- any further foward?

Keep writing about your precious Mia and we will all keep thinking, praying and supporting you here.
xxx

It is beautiful weather, and we had spent the last few days in the garden, with a variety of friends and family. So conscious that I should be running around after a busy little toddler girl, worrying about whether Mia is wearing a hat, putting sunscreen on her, and making sure she is drinking enough. I can see Mia so clearly tagging after her daddy as he rakes up the grass, desperate to "help", but more often than not being distracted by the song of a blackbird, the flight of a bumblebee, or simply wanting her daddy to push her on the swing. It would have been slow, but immensely rewarding, and DH would march back, glowing with happiness and pride, as Mia toddled beside him, her chubby hand carefully clasping his finger. if only...

My MIL brought up some camera memory cards, and we discovered some previously unseen photos of Mia. Greedily, we both pored over them, anxious to glimpse ant new insights and views of our red-headed girl.

One photo in particular touched me. Mia is cuddled into me, her head on my shoulder, as we sat around the table on that last day. So innocent and happy, in retrospect. I can still remember the feeling of contentment I had, clasping her against my body. What i see most is Mia's little arm around my neck, trusting and loving, as she sleeps. It symbolises everything about love, that sweet, wonderful gesture.

GRW Sun 27-May-12 22:45:42

It's heartbreaking that she isn't here any more, and you cling onto your precious memories and find comfort from them. How wonderful to find some photos that you hadn't seen before. I hope that if any of your friends or family have any more they will pass them on to you x

There were two Mia kisses in the sky during the afternoon yesterday. Signs from our little girl, saying <"Mummy and Daddy, I am always here with you, so rejoice in the beauty around you, and the company of your wonderful friends. I love you too.">

Mia is so much a part of my daily life.

Yesterday, I walked around a lake in the early morning sunshine, one of the walks I used to do with Mia. It was the first time I had been back doing the same thing. It wasn't as difficult as I thought, but I was crowded by happy memories. She did so love our walks, and would look around, so interested in her surroundings, waving at things, clutching her squeaky bee, or just playfully pulling at the nappy which shaded her - she wanted to see what was going on! Off we went, singing and play peek-a-boo all the way. This fascination with a new environment meant that Mia would never fall asleep until the last 15 minutes of the circuit, so I would just keep walking, or we would sit quietly until she completed her nap. I loved watching her sleep, long eyelashes on her cheeks, a little hand clutching a toy, exhausted from looking and learning...

On Sunday, we had a work colleague and his family around, people I hadn't met before. Their three little girls, all older than Mia, were absolutely charming, vivacious and sweet. That evening over supper, the eldest asked us if we had any children - we have photos of Mia around the house, and it was probably confusing for her. I was cooking, but the mother replied quickly "No, they don't." I'm sure she was a little embarrassed. However, I then felt obliged to say "Actually, we do have a daughter, but she died." The little girl accepted this statement, and we continued to have a pleasant evening. I just had to say it - I simply could not deny my beautiful, amazing Mia. She did exist, she does still matter. She always will. I did wonder afterwards if it was appropriate though, as different people obviously deal with death in different ways...

Last night, I climbed the stairs to bed, after a busy day. Somehow, I fully expected to find Mia sleeping in her cot. Even though both DH and I had spent the evening working on emails to our lawyer and medical support for the inquest... it hurts so, not to see her there, sleeping peacefully as I can remember so well.

Tamdin Tue 29-May-12 10:54:30

Of course you were right to explain to the little girl about Mia. She is still very much a part of your life and always will be.
My ds1 had his sports day last week and as I watched this little red head girl in the pre school running race, running with such joy and determination towards the finish line I unexpectedly found myself welling up thinking of your Mia.
Sending you love x

tinkerbel72 Tue 29-May-12 18:31:58

Yes, you were absolutely right to acknowledge that you are a mother and father; you do have a daughter, she's not living any more but her existence is just as valid as it always was.

I have no direct exerience of bereavement but people say that young children often absorb the truth quite simply. We as adults agonise over whether we have said the 'right' thing, whereas children just accept. A few years back a family along the road tragically lost one of their two children. I didnt know the mum well, but bumped into her one afternoon with my two children who were arguing away with eachother! We stopped and said hello and made small talk and then I remember taking a deep breath and just saying , oh goodness, my two are always arguing, were you two like that? And she just looked so grateful, so relieved that I hadn't tiptoed around , I had just asked a real question about her real boys. She told me they had fought like cat and dog!

It was very humbling to me to see how such a simple gesture mattered. Sometimes we tie ourselves in knots worrying about mentioning the unmentionable. She was a mum, she had two boys, she wanted that acknowledging.

Ponders Tue 29-May-12 21:16:54

I imagine the girls' mother was worried that talking about Mia would upset you, & was trying to head off such a conversation just in case. You did absolutely the right thing in explaining to the child & I'm sure her parents were fine with that.

Your dignity & composure in dealing with this awful tragedy, going on with your normal lives with such courage, is awe-inspiring, Mia's mummy.

I agree that the mother was only trying to be kind, and I didn't feel bad about her trying... just that what she said wasn't the truth. We do have a daughter. That fact will always be true. Just like I will always be Mia's mummy. After all, after our parents or grandparents die, we suddenly 'don't' have parents anymore. We do, but their physical presence is no longer here. They live in our hearts and in our minds, and in little gestures or sentences or belongings, which gently remind us of the love we hold. Now, in the present, the future - not only the past.

tinkerbel yes, acknowledgement of our children is so important. There is a beautiful piece of writing called "Please say their names" which is so apt. I love it... this is a part of it.

What can be said, you ask? Please say their names to us. Love does not die. Their names are written on our lives. You may feel that they are dead. We feel that they are of the dead and still they live. They ghost-walk our souls, beckoning in future welcome. You say, "They were our children"; we say "They are". Please say their names to us and say their names again. It hurts to bury their memory in silence. What they were in flesh is no longer with us. What they are in spirit stays within us always. They were of our past but they are part of our now. They are our hope for the future. Please understand we cannot forget. We would not if we could.

We know that you cannot know, yesterday we were like you. Understand that we dwell in both flesh and spirit. We do not ask you to walk this road. The ascent is steep and the burden heavy. We walk it not by choice. We would rather walk it with them in the flesh, looking not to spirit worlds beyond. We are what we have to be. What we have lost, you cannot feel. What we have gained you may not see. Please say their names for they are alive. We will meet them again, although in many ways we've never parted. Their spirits play light songs, appear in sunrises and sunsets. They are real and shadow, they were and they are.

Please say their names to us and say their names again.
They are our children and we love them as we always did.

tamdin I love that image of the little red-head running. Thank you for sharing it, and thinking of Mia - I read your words to my DH, and he also smiled at them.

The start of another new month. Nothing very special about the date. Except it is yet another month of my life without Mia. Another month of creating new memories without her. It is so wrong.

slipperandpjsmum Fri 01-Jun-12 15:25:12

I have always read your threads and imagined Mia but her beauty took my breath away looking at your photos.

Mia has touched and affected so many people's lives and I know through you she always will x

Mia is amazingly beautiful. I am so sorry for you. She smiles in thoses photos like she will never stop. She is smiling down on you op, she will never stop smiling down on you.

Mia's two-year-old cousin celebrated her birthday today, and we watched on skype. She is the little girl who is three months older than Mia, and who has had her name changed to add Mia into it as a second name, to honour her red-headed cousin. We gave her a musical instrument set, just like the one Mia was given for her first birthday, as it gave her so much joy to bang and shake and tap. It just seemed right to give this gift.

How I would have loved Mia to be there, amongst her family and little cousins, in the thick of the excitement, tagging along with the bigger kids, doing her special high-pitch scream of joy, undoubtedly consuming birthday cake with gusto. Mia would have been exhausted by the end of the day, over-tired, but having been spoiled and cuddled and kissed by everyone.

I have a wonderful video of the two girls when Mia was four months old. They are sitting on our knees, interacting with each other, totally absorbed in the other tiny person opposite. Mia's cousin squeals, and Mia giggles in response, and they keep on with this unique baby-exclusive conversation, until Mia herself contributes her very first, high-pitched squeal into the mix, looking both surprised and pleased at the new sound she has produced. So she tries again, with greater volume and pitch. And this is how Mia learnt her infamous discordant scream, used to convey both happiness and displeasure!

How I would love to see the girls together, growing up, getting into mischief together and having growing-up adventures. We had planned to move closer to the rest of the family just so Mia could have these experiences. But it's hard to pursue such thoughts now. And no use.

elephant and slippers It is flattering to hear that you think Mia is beautiful. We always thought so, and will always think so, but I expect that is allowable as parental bias.

She is beautiful mias. I am sure she would be just like you sy. Full of happiness.

Every morning, I wake and my first thought is of Mia. When I used to wake, every morning would be unbelievably exciting and wondrous, simply because I would be having another day with my little girl.

This morning, I thought about the Mia-shaped hole in my life. And how, as each day passes, my world creates new memories, each day, each moment, another leaf in a pile. Mia's pile of memory leaves is rich and beautiful, but it hurts that it will not grow any larger. By contrast, my own pile of leaves will continue to grow, and I worry that it will one day its size will diminish those memories I have of Mia.

While I am know that the Mia-shaped hole within me will always be there, I worry that proportionally, it will shrink as my life moves on. I want her to remain a key part of my life forever. I love her so, so much. In a good way, I can only hope that it will grow through the everlasting love I have for her.

But what if it doesn't?

GRW Sun 03-Jun-12 23:21:56

I'm sure she will remain a key part of your life forever, and the love you shared with her will continue to guide and influence you for the rest of your life.
I have seen grief described as like a fried egg- all consuming at first, and then becoming proportionally smaller as your life continues to grow around it, like the white of the egg spreading out.
But it never goes away, just as the love you shared with Mia will always be there. Your memories have been captured so vividly in the words you write, and I am sure that in years to come reading them will help to keep the memories fresh in your mind x

dubaipieeye Mon 04-Jun-12 18:18:06

Hello Miasmummy

I agree with GRW. Having learnt so much about Mia and your love for her here, I am totally certain that nothing could ever diminish her in your world. You world may continue to grow and change from time to time, but I am certain that it will be with Mia watching over you and carried in your heart.

With love and huge hugs, as ever xxxx

jmf294 Mon 04-Jun-12 20:07:50

Mias Mummy,
Just wanted to add my thoughts about memories.
Some memories burn deeper, are stronger, brighter.
Tha accumulation of memories is more of a qualitative than quantitative process.
If you could physically measure how much space your memories of your darling girl occupy you'd see for certain how the memories will remain just as Mia and your love remains deep in your heart.
The memories you have of Mia will be just like the love you have for her- how could it possibly shrink, be replaced or become less important?
The memories and love will grow and endure all time.
Thinking of you on the Jubliee weekend,
take care
Jo

bushymcbush Mon 04-Jun-12 20:14:44

Thank you for sharing Mia's story with us. I have just looked through your profile pictures - what a delightful, beautiful, joyful, adorable girl she is!

I can't begin to convey how sad I feel for you. I have a 3 year old red-headed girl and whenever I think of Mia I have to hold my dd a little closer to me.

Are you writing all your memories down somewhere you can keep them? That could allay your fears that her pile of memory leaves will diminish with time.

we are all imperfect beings, and we are all pretty much trying our best - but it is possible to co-exist with our broken bits and to co-exist joyously with our broken bits.

An aspiration for life. Sometimes hard to envision though.

I think I have been living in some sort of parallel universe for the past few days, feeling euphoric and full of love for Mia, remembering her giggles and smiles and inquisitive looks. And of course, her cuddles. But reality crashed down yesterday, in the middle of our jubilee party, watching the other neighbouring families with their toddlers, second children and second pregnancies, thinking that this should be me, watching Mia run around, fiddling with the various bits of games equipment we had organised... It all became too much. I didn't want to talk to anyone anymore, and I had to come inside and have a huge sob session, under the pretext of putting on warmer clothes, before re-emerging to join the happy throng.

Thank you all for your reassurances about my memory leaves and love for Mia. I feel better that her importance in my life will not diminish. In fact, I think her life will shape mine forever more.

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