Beatrice died on 24th October aged 1 year, 1 month, 1 week and 1 day. She was buried on 2nd November. As she starts her new life as a butterfly, we are left on the ground feeling bewildered and bereft. I read a short piece at her funeral, and I stand by it:
'I often felt that being Beatrice's mum was much like holding a butterfly. I was in awe of her beauty and felt so privileged that she had chosen to come to me. But, much like a butterfly, I knew that one day she would spread her wings and fly away.
When Beatrice was one day old, a kind stranger shared this poem with me, and it sums up how I feel about Beatrice:
"A butterfly lights besides us like a sunbeam. And for a brief moment its glory and beauty belongs to the world. But then it flies once again, and though we wish it could have stayed, we feel so lucky to have seen it."
I feel so lucky to have been chosen as Beatrice's mum and I truly believe that the immense grief we must now suffer is still a small price to play for the love she brought into our lives.
I still feel her love in my heart, but I am struggling without her in my arms. I miss caring for her and kissing her. Looking at her and stroking her hair. Singing to her, always singing so many songs. I haven't sung a song since she died, but I don't want the music to leave my life as it means I have let the grief win.
Fly high little butterfly, but please don't forget all of us left behind who hold you, still so fragile, in our hearts and memories. Please don't forget me, Beatrice x
Most mums have more reasons to feel guilty in an hour with their children than you had in Bea's whole beautiful, blessed lifetime. You gave her a life that you were told you she could never have. What a wonderful mother. What an amazing little girl. Thinking of you and your little girl, and your big girls, today as on most days xxx
I used to go to the remembrance services at the cemetery where my grandparents and mum are buried - they were generally quite short and rather peaceful ceremonies. I hope that it goes/went well for you and that you got something out of it. ((((hugs)))) for you - I know I haven't been around for a while but you're in my thoughts. xx
Thinking of you and your family Cup. And I want you to know that your Beatrice living life to the full inspired me to help out a Mumsnetter so that her special needs DD could be given the chance to have the equipment she needs now, to help her to live her life fully. Beatrice still lives in the hearts of many of us on MN. x
Today Beatrice's headstone was placed on her grave. I have put a picture on my profile. It is a hard day, it feels so final, again.
The memorial service at the hospice was beautiful. Utterly devastating and broke my heart all over again, but beautiful. The music therapist lead a group of singers and musicians who played some beautiful pieces of music and one of the best was, 'In the land of begin again'. The version they played was hauntingly perfect, I wish I had a recording of it. It was wonderful to dedicate an hour to think about Beatrice and really cry. I never let myself go, and I think I really needed it.
Talking of music, I've sung a couple of Bea's bedtime lullabies to the girls this week. I never thought I'd manage to sing them again, but 9 months on, I managed it. Dd2 said, 'I remember these songs!' And sounded very surprised. I felt guilty I've left it so long, but it's time to sing Bea's songs again.
I'm glad the music helped you to release some of your grief cup and you also felt able to sing Bea's lullabys. Music touches such a deep place in our souls. Hopefully this will be an ongoing comfort for you.
Bea looks so gorgeous in your photos. Still thinking of you all xx
Oh Beatrice, your mummy is missing you so much. As I think of your birthday drawing closer, I feel utterly bereft without you in my arms. I honestly have no idea how I am still alive when my heart is broken into so many pieces? Your sisters are staying away for a second night and I'm so lonely without any of my girls around. I never wanted this life, to feel so alone. I'm doing well with the acting Beatrice; perhaps I will win an Oscar one day. I keep busy and I'm preparing to go full time at work, but I so wish I could stay at home and play music with you instead. Nothing fills the void, and I guess I don't want it to either. My pain is my constant reminder that you were here. I love you Beatrice and I'd give anything to turn back the clock a year so that I could tell you in person.
Cried when I read this. There are just never the right words to offer, but I did not want you to think that you are not being heard.
Sometimes people just have no idea what to say (when my son died, friends who used to ask after him every day would cross the street because they had no idea what to say). They don't realise that it hurts more to not remember. We were blessed by our butterflies, but their flight is sometimes too hard to bear for those of us who must watch them fly.
Its 37 years for me. I can't tell you that the pain goes away (I so wish that I could) but I can tell you that it changes to something you can be at peace with. Not today, perhaps not tomorrow ...but it does come eventually.