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.

jmf294 Tue 05-Jun-12 22:35:54

Sending you love, light and the warmest hugs- so sorry to hear of your raw grief hitting you yesterday. It sounded like you were in a warm happy place with your beautiful girl and then hit by a tsunami of grief- and so understandably so.

Thinking of you all xx

jmf you asked a while ago about progress on Mia's Wood. It's all been quiet for a while, but we intend holding an event later in the month of all those people nearby interested in helping make it happen. I spoke to Mia's nursery last week, and they are very keen to be involved in a Mia's Wood pilot project with the beautiful conference centre which is also nearby.

And tonight we looked at a piece of land within walking distance of our home as a possible actual site for Mia's Wood itself. It is probably about 2 acres, and currently quite unloved, with nettles and weeds throughout, but it is encircled by trees, and it could be part of a safe route to school for school children - and best of all, the owners said that when they were small, they used to call it 'the playground.'

LalasMama Wed 06-Jun-12 21:45:12

I followed your last thread and am so pleased I found this.
I feel I know Mia, through your beautiful words and memories. She was truly gorgeous and a complete credit to you. It's hard to believe such a lively little girl has gone.
I think about you and Mia most days, little things remind me of her.
I have cried buckets over your previous posts and am sure I will continue to do so.

Sending lots of love and strength your way xxxxxx

pookiecat Thu 07-Jun-12 18:23:59

As always my thoughts are with you and Mia comes in to my thoughts on a daily basis, that gorgeous red head sprite. You will one day find peace and contentment , Mia will always be with you xx

monstertufts Thu 07-Jun-12 20:44:55

I don't visit MN all that often, but wanted to drop in and tell you that I still think of Mia.

I've just read through the thread, catching up on the new posts.

It is painful to learn of your anxiety that the space Mia occupies in your life and thoughts might diminish as time passes. I honestly don't believe that's an accurate way of looking at things. The memories that you have been accumulating since you lost Mia are not like those that preceded her. Anyone who reads your posts here can see that every experience you have is infused with your love and yearning for Mia. She may not be with you any more, but your time with her has changed you forever, and because of this, nothing you feel or experience now will truly be detached from her.

You are all lovely, coming on this thread to hear more about Mia. And yes, you are right, there is such overwhelming love and yearning always there for my little girl, in everything I do.

Those feelings are particularly prevalent when I see little girls about the same age as Mia would be now... I had one of those moments today at the gym. The little girl was dressed in her swimsuit with the swim nappy poking through, and her mother was just lovely with her, calling her "baby girl" just as I used to do with Mia, and they chatted away in that unique mother-toddler language. The little girl looked across at me with her big eyes - and all I could think of "Why isn't that Mia and me? Why do I have to stand aside and watch? Just why? That was me, that was us... how could Mia be taken away from me?" Still, I had to smile at them both, they were so enamoured with one another, it was beautiful to see. I know how magical that love is.

I have a set of photos of Mia which always make me smile. Mia and her block trolley - standing in a tough-boy stance as she holds on proudly, and then a variety of poses as she shows all the possibilities of the trolley... sitting on top of the blocks, using it to climb onto the coffee table, standing with her legs under the handle on the floor, and then finally, actually sitting and playing with the blocks - all done with that special, cheeky-but-pleased-with-herself look. It just makes me want to pick her up and squeeze her tight, and tell how how much I love her.

I hate that I can't ever hug Mia again. That knowledge kills me, a fresh realisation which brings tears every time.

humblebumble Fri 08-Jun-12 03:12:16

I lurk and read your posts. You write so vividly and beautifully. I hope that writing things down helps you with your thoughts about Mia. I can clearly see her and now she is a part of my thoughts your posts really stick in my mind.

This morning I was woken by a dog's bark, which took me back to a holiday last year, when seven-month-old Mia discovered dogs. We were in the car, and had stopped for lunch, going to the outdoor tables, carrying Mia and all our stuff. Suddenly, her head twirled around, her attention obviously caught by something, and she started to point and squeak excitedly. "What is it, Mia? What can you see?" I said. I looked over, and there was a lovely furry black dog with a long waggly tail. I realised that Mia hadn't probably seen a dog at close range (poor child!!), another living thing which looked very different to people, but could move independently just like her. No wonder it was so fascinating!! I took her over to see the dog better, and her little face was one huge smile, although slightly quizzical as well, as I attempted to explain to her about dogs. When we eventually sat down, even her favourite pieces of cucumber and cheese were no competition for the sight of a dog, and she tipped herself sideways to ensure she had a better view of this new fascinating creature. It was so funny to watch.

Yet another close encounter with dogs wasn't quite so positive, but that was understandable. A neighbour of ours has three lovely dogs, one which is quite huge and furry, with a very deep bark. Mia and I had to drop off something there, and entered the house, and the dogs rushed up to us, each barking as they would normally. All this noise and action was all a bit too intimidating for Mia, who was sitting in my arms. She quickly scurried up my body like a little monkey, as high as she go, to try and escape, and began her infamous high-pitched squeal, this time to signal great alarm and danger! I'm sure she would have tried to sit on my head if it were possible. With such cacophony around us, my neighbour and I decided against a lengthly visit, and Mia and I left quite quickly, unsurprisingly. Again, though, it was very funny.

I so wanted to make sure that as she grew up, Mia wasn't afraid of dogs.

Love you, my Little Squeak. xx

jmf294 Sat 09-Jun-12 15:24:00

I really loved you thoughts a few days ago about the magical love you were describing and at the same time I felt heartbroken for you reading about you seeing a little girl with her Mummy and your longing to hug your darling girl again.
But the magical love that can't be changed or taken away. Mia is blessed with so much love- hang on to that magic.
The developments on Mia's wood sound really promising- I have a lovely young tree in my garden with the most beautiful deep red leaves- I have no idea what type of tree it is- but I'd love to give Mia's wood a tree like it.

I hope your weekend is peaceful.

flubba Sat 09-Jun-12 19:49:31

I haven't been on here for a while and I'm sorry for that. Your words about getting tearful every time you re-realise that you won't get to hug Mia again make me cry too; me, a stranger (even though I feel I 'know' Mia from your words and descriptions), so I can't even begin to imagine the pain you must feel every time.

Sending you peace, love and light.

x

dubaipieeye Sun 10-Jun-12 18:33:47

Hi Miasmummy,

I saw another of our beautiful desert sunsets tonight, they always make me think of Mia and her warm golden hues.

Just stopping by to offer you a hug and lots of love, we are all still hear and listening,

XX D XX

A big smooshy cloud kiss in the sky today from Mia to her daddy, as we drove off for his first triathlon. We loved her kisses - wide, open-mouthed affairs, inevitably landing on the nose or chin, but done with such joy and love, we always had to smile. That's the sort of cloud kiss it was today.

How I would have loved you to be with me at the finish line today, Mia, waving at your daddy, and I could have handed you to him, and you two could have finished the race together. So proud of your daddy, darling, and so proud of you, sweet girl. Love you. xx

strictlycomedancingdiva Tue 12-Jun-12 00:38:57

I thought of you today, Miasmummy, in the hectic rush of my day I saw a little girl with red curls, I slowed, and said a little prayer for you.

Wishing you peace x

everlong Tue 12-Jun-12 07:05:22

That's so lovely strictly

How wonderful is it that when we see a little red headed girl that we think of Mia?

I agree, it is both amazing and incredibly touching...

Flossiechops Tue 12-Jun-12 21:35:22

Miasmummy I have read many of your posts about your beautiful little girl Mia. I am so utterly sorry for yours and your dh loss. You describe your love in such a profound way that it is tangible in your words. I work very closely with people in terminal illness and their families, the more I see of life the less I understand. Bad things happen to the most wonderful people, and yet they carry on living because they have no other choice. Our lives are never the same, but, like somebody else previously said life goes on both cruelly and wonderfully.

You had said about the leaves of your life carrying on and Mia's not and that you feared your memories would diminish. I nursed an elderly lady who had lost a young daughter like yourself, she spoke about her all the time even though 60 years had passed. Not in a sad way but in a reflective way, she had gone on to have more children yet her daughter was still very much in her heart all of those years later. Your memories will always be with you no matter how much time passes between you. I truly hope that you will find happiness in your heart once more. B x

A few odd experiences over the weekend, and I have been trying to assimilate them before putting them down in words...

...a little four-year-old friend, who herself had been very sick, provided me with her 'solution' to making my life better. "You can have another baby girl, and you can call her Mia" she proudly announced, very pleased that she could help provide solace to DH and I. I couldn't help but smile - that a small child would somehow understand that we are sad without Mia, and thought about it long and deeply, to come up with an idea to 'fix' us.

... I attended the BBQ I had been fearing, and while we only chose to go along because the others attending were real friends with whom I could feel safe, I still ended up being blindsided by an unexpected guest, who is both vague and verbally clumsy, who asked me how motherhood was. One of the hosts heard the question, and quickly came across to put his arm around my shoulders while I explained about my beautiful child. A unfortunate misunderstanding, I thought. But then the other guest went on to insist I should help him develop a project with a Tibetan children's charity, which I refused, explaining about my focus being on Mia's Wood. However, the following day, he wrote to me again, saying I am sure you've come out of it as you mentioned your life has changed, which I am sure would make you a stronger person and find more meanings in life. Life is short yet beautiful and there are still so many people needing our help. I am trying to believe he thinks he is trying to help, but his clumsy words were upsetting.

...the other night before DH's triathlon - we had tried to go to bed early, but various texts and calls kept preventing us from sleeping. Then, when we were finally asleep, a call came through at midnight, and I had a panic as I picked up the phone, worrying it was bad news… not that I have any special reason to think that, just I am now only too aware of how life can change suddenly. It was nothing, but I was a little freaked out and ended up sobbing afterward, thinking about the terrible call I had to make to my parents when Mia died.

Very little emotional resilience, I'm afraid. Just a heart full of love, a head full of wonderful memories, and arms which ache to cuddle Mia's soft body. And a life changed forever. Love you, my darling girl.

jmf294 Wed 13-Jun-12 23:34:45

I just looked here tonight to see if you had posted as you have been quiet this week and I was wondering how you were.

I'm sorry that man was so insensitive to you and it sounds from your description of him that emotions and social clues isn't something he understands. But he is right in saying you are stronger- your strength is amazing as you face life without Mia, yet fill your life and heart with such love, light and hope. Although it may not recognise your strength when you are struggling - keep holding on.

The sentiment of the little girl is so touching- she could also obviously see what an amazing mummy you are and how blessed a baby would be to be born into such love- prayers and thoughts.

I say a prayer tonight for you all and your parents as I can't begin to imagine the pain surrounding that phone call, not much else I can say but thoughts and prayers of healing love.

Love and light to you all especially darling Mia xx

homeaway Thu 14-Jun-12 20:23:13

How are you ? I do think that some people just mean well and come across the wrong way. You have to do what you feel comfortable with and it is not up to others to judge you . Take care xx

monstertufts Thu 14-Jun-12 20:32:51

How odd that a little girl could understand how you are feeling much better than a grown man! I'm sure he didn't mean to hurt you: he just sounds like he has absolutely no idea. He is living in his own little bubble and is unable to see things from your perspective. (I'm sure we're all like that to some extent.) He doesn't sound like an uncaring person, given his charity work and his remark about helping others, so perhaps he was indeed trying to be helpful and comforting. The fact that he wrote to you soon after talking to you in person suggests this - why would he write to someone who (from what you've said) is nothing more than an acquaintance, unless he was moved by the horrible news about Mia?

Please try not to dwell on his words. We can't expect to be understood by everybody, and must instead cherish the few who do understand us. Hold tight to those who comfort you, and forget the rest.

everlong Thu 14-Jun-12 20:38:36

I won't swear because this is Mia's thread but aarrgghhh how could that man be such a thoughtless idiot.

He can't have children of his own, surely? Well done for staying composed.

Had to smile at that little girl trying to help you, bless her.

chipmonkey Sat 16-Jun-12 15:58:54

Oh, it's all so simple when you're a small child, isn't it?

Mias, that man sounds like he's missing the sensitivity gene! I'm sure you wanted to shake him

I have messaged you on FB about something ds4 said.

Three very emotional days, and feeling tired and tearful, and not a little overwhelmed now I have had a moment to stop and think.

On Friday, we saw the hospital again, but had quite a fruitful discussion about our past and future interactions, and we are hopeful for improvements in the future. Draining, but worthwhile, if they live up to their verbal promises.

Saturday was DH's alternative birthday party, moved deliberately to June as his real birthday will never be the same again for us, with memories of Mia standing up in her highchair blowing out his birthday candles. The night that our world changed irrevocably. So we organised a 'summer' birthday, with a houseful of wonderful family and friends, love and laughter - but tinged with sadness as Mia's little friends rushed around, playing with her toys.

Yet it was an important day too, for both of us, and for Mia. For we announced publicly that I am pregnant with Mia's little sibling, a gift of hope which has been granted to us by Mia. That is something we both feel so very strongly. Upon hearing the news, the room was filled with smiles and tears in equal measures as we tried to convey both the happiness and fear we both feel, and the challenges and new opportunity that a second child may bring to us. It is still a long way to go, and the weight of expectation of others can be heavy. I know everyone wants this for us, but we know the darker side of the world, how it can spiral out of control, and I am taking it a day at a time.

My godmother arrived to stay this morning, and brought with her a very special scrapbooked photo album of Mia, created by my mother with both love and tears. I eagerly looked through it, finding the memories evoked so precious, and seeing our relationship with Mia through the eyes of others. And then I hurt unbearably, because there will be no more photos. Mia looks so adorable in the beautiful selection of photos chosen, and so incredibly happy. As we were too.

It is so very hard to balance the pain with the love we feel, both for Mia and her little sibling. Joy and love and fear, mixed all together. I just want my little red-head back to be here, and to be a big sister, just like one of her little friends, gently stroking the hair of her recently arrived sibling. I want my DH to smile on Father's Day because of Mia. And we can't.

Our loss and our joy both seem very great.

flubba Mon 18-Jun-12 07:32:00

You must be filled with such mixed emotions MiasMummy. Again I'm in tears from your post and am struggling to convey my thoughts adequately. I think you must have to count each day with your growing bump as a blessing and not be hard on yourselves.

Love, light and peace to you all xx

tinkerbel72 Mon 18-Jun-12 17:41:15

I firmly believe that once we become parents, for all of us, that most powerful form of love and happiness is always tinged with fear. Even for those of us who are blessed with healthy children who get throuhh childhood without any major scares or disasters, think about the 'what ifs'. We all imagine what it would feel like for something bad to happen, and even though we can't understand the depth of grief you're experiencing, we know that it is a terrible thing and we try to push the fear away quickly.

So I can totally understand the mix of emotions. Your second child will bring you joy, but will inevitably be a reminder of what you have lost too

Sending you heartfelt wishes for a smooth pregnancy. It must feel like such a long and scary journey, but this time next year your lives will have been turned upside down again, but this time in a wonderful way.

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