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'What the caterpillar perceives is the end, to the butterfly is just the beginning.' Our journey after Beatrice

(856 Posts)
cupofteaplease Tue 06-Nov-12 21:05:40

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.

Goodnight Beatrice'

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

JustFabulous Mon 07-Jan-13 14:01:35

Beatrice Primrose did exist and she is not old news to us. She is a MN baby and if we don't post as much it doesn't mean we aren't thinking of you, your family and Beatrice. It just means, in my case, I don't know what to say and feel like I am intruding. I think of Beatrice every time I see DD's butterflies on her drawers and when I walk past Next as that is where I bought her cheeky bibs from.

NorthernLurker Mon 07-Jan-13 15:08:14

Beatrice Primrose existed. She changed your life. She changed mine. There was a testimony evening at church last night and I couldn't go for various reasons but if I had gone it would have been praying for Beatrice and for Aillidh that I would have talked about. I came back from our church weekend in 2011 thinking I should pray more, thinking I needed to be more upfront about praying for people - and there was your need and Beatrice's need. I prayed for her on this site, with mumsnetters, in a way I had never done before and it's changed me.
Beatrice won't ever be old news for us. She's your daughter, you are our friend. It's shared history.
I hope Thursday goes really well for you.

ExitPursuedByABear Mon 07-Jan-13 15:58:28

Beatrice did exist - and still does in your heart and your memories. And in mine.

Good luck for Thursday and your return to work (and for your conversation with Dr Death).

janey68 Mon 07-Jan-13 18:44:14

Beatrice existed. Her physical presence is no longer on earth, but the most important part of her, her spirit, soul, call it what you will, lives on. Please don't think she's forgotten.

NorthernLurker Mon 07-Jan-13 19:42:06

Cup - thinking about meeting Dr Death. The consultants I work with will now all mostly offer bereaved families a chance to meet with them after a death. Not necessarily because there is anything 'new' to say but because talking over decisions and events can be useful for evryone. If you don't have any outstanding questions about Bea's care then say so. I have always thought from your accounts of her, that Dr D was always trying to ensure that you and dh were not taken by surprise should Beatrice become seriously ill and die. I think she over-did that somewhat - hence her name - but I have always had the impression that she was trying to be honest, brutally honest, about Beatrice's prospects. If tha is something you felt, that might be an area for discussion. Managing Bearice's care is part of Dr Death's career journey now. If there are things she did well she should know it, if there are things she could do better she should know that to. Most of all though Wednesday should be about YOU and addressing anything you want to talk about. I know you found the hospice services useful. That might be something to bring up because as I recall she took her time over the referral didn't she? If you talk to her about that you may make another parent's journey easier in time. Just another way in which Beatrice Primrose changed lives.

Squiglettsmummy2bx Tue 08-Jan-13 00:37:46

Oh cup she existed. I think if her & you often. You don't need to go to her grave if you don't feel like it, she is with you always, where ever you may be.
Sending you hugs xxx

OrangeChicken Tue 08-Jan-13 01:26:57

Beatrice existed. She is not old news ... This morning as I brushed my younger daughter's hair I thought it is almost long enough to tie up in a topknot...and that reminded me of your little Bea. And then I thought gosh Bea had long hair for a little girl just turned one. And i smiled when I thought of her lovely face I have only seen in pictures. And I thought of her when my girls put sparkly butterfly decorations on our Christmas tree. And I thought of you all on New Year's Day going into a year without the precious little one physically being here. You see Bea lives on for so many people, even those of us who never met her. We may not post so much now, but that doesn't mean that Bea is viewed as old news, not at all.
Good luck for both Wednesday and Thursday ...both are likely to be an exhausting mix of emotions, but you will get through them...

saffronwblue Tue 08-Jan-13 09:16:58

Cup Beatrice was very real to me although I never met her. You were brave enough to share your feelings and experience with us all and I feel so enriched by your generosity in doing this.
I hope your meeting with Dr Death helps you in some way.

NorthernLurker Wed 09-Jan-13 08:13:30

Thinking of you today smile

Dutchoma Wed 09-Jan-13 09:48:15

And prayers from me too. I have a 'free' day today, so if you want to text I am available.

foofooyeah Wed 09-Jan-13 12:25:03

I so hope today is not too upsetting - thinking of you.

Beatrice is known and loved WORLDWIDE - she is a famous little girl! She wont be forgotten by us but she will always always be your very special girl.

Trumpton Wed 09-Jan-13 14:52:29

Bea the Beautiful will always be in our thoughts . When I wake at night I think of your special little girl . She brought so much into so many people's lives .
Wishing you strength for today and everyday .
And every stitch of any knitting I do has a bit of love for Bea knitted into it to send out into the world .

needasilverlining Wed 09-Jan-13 21:44:47

Cup, I've never posted on one of your threads before but I've followed them and you've been much in my thoughts.

Bea is still real to me, too. I've wept and smiled and gasped reading your descriptions of life with her, and have always been in awe of the sheer power of your love and capacity for joy and hope.

The two of you define what love really can be, for me, and I feel grateful to you both for that.

Beatrice Primrose mattered. She still matters. So do you.

eightytwenty Wed 09-Jan-13 22:44:25

Thinking of you cup. Hope the meeting was not too distressing.

NorthernLurker Thu 10-Jan-13 08:18:59

Will be thinking of you as you go back to work

SunsetMojito Thu 10-Jan-13 13:30:25

I have followed your family's story and often check up to see how you are but I've never posted so I hope you don't mind me doing so now.

Beatrice mattered very much. She will always be part of your family, you will always be her Mum and you will all hold her in your hearts forever.

This is a truly terrible time, just take each day as it comes without thinking ahead and don't expect anything from yourself. Congratulate yourself on anything at all that you manage and don't berate yourself about anything you don't. Treat yourself as you would a best friend.

Love and prayers x

mynameis Thu 10-Jan-13 13:40:07

Another follower of all your beautifully written threads about Beatrice

I too think of her often and know that she will always be in the memories of so many of us here.

thewhistler Thu 10-Jan-13 17:11:56


How did yesterday go? And today, back at school?

Of course you are feeling empty, that everything is a sham or just on the surface. And you are a shadow.

You are normal, you are being what is natural to someone in your state.

On one level you are empty because you have been running for so long on adrenalin that when it stops the whole system crashes.

You are doing well to keep going with the daily round, the common task. If at some stage you can't and you need to stop, that is normal too. These things can't be rushed, they take the time they need.

This is a different reality from your previous one, at some stage this too will seem dreamlike. But both exist.

And most of all the love exists. And continues. Noone can ever take that away

You are not old news to us. Everytime you come on here you are news and we want to hear it.

So cherish yourself even if it seems a complete waste of time.

And we are always here, in dribs and drabs and from time to time, with our various experiences but drawn together by common concern.

thewhistler Thu 10-Jan-13 17:15:04

Ps, you don't have to do the headstone straight away, till you are ready to.

DH has only just done one for a much loved family member after about 5 years.

JustFabulous Thu 10-Jan-13 17:36:24

Thinking of you. Your baby brought strangers together in a way no one else could and we are all so sorry she has left this Earth.

Four4me Fri 11-Jan-13 20:53:31

I don't get on mn often but I do often think about you and Bea and the other dd's.

I hope this week hasn't been too difficult.

For what it's worth I think you are an amazing person, who has lived through the most emotional rollercoster that any person ever could. You are still there for you girls and putting one foot in front of the other. Bea must be so proud of you xx

NorthernLurker Sun 13-Jan-13 19:54:04

Continuing to think of you.

MNPin2013 Sun 13-Jan-13 23:44:15

Thinking of you and the Teaset, Cup.

cupofteaplease Mon 14-Jan-13 18:57:59

I hate 7pm. It used to be the time when Beatrice needed the most medicines. Then I'd change her feed over, and get her into her pyjamas. I'd carry her, with her feed pump, trailing her oxygen tubing behind us, up the stairs and we'd all snuggle on dd2's bed and read a story. Then the big girls would snuggle down (they like to share a bed) and I would sing them all a medly of old lullabies that my dad would sing to me when I was small. I'd always finish with Somewhere Over Thw Rainbow then sneak out with Beatrice.
Once in our room, I'd attach the Sats monitor to her foot, zip her into a sleeping bag and give her more kisses and cuddles before laying her, almost upright, in her cot. I'd turn her mobile on, and she'd watch it until she fell asleep. She was such a good girl. I'd turn on the baby monitor and slip out, not before whispering to her again just how much I loved her.
I hate 7pm.

Trumpton Mon 14-Jan-13 19:16:04

Oh Darling , my heart aches for you. The emptiness that Beatrice has left in your life resonates in your writing. I send you love and gentle thoughts .

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