The loss of a baby – How my life has been changed 9 years on

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Today the 4th of August would have been our daughter Neema Hope’s 9th birthday.

As a Mum who likes to bake for our kids’ birthdays, I can’t help but wonder whether she would have liked a chocolate or vanilla sponge cake, and what her favourite icing would have been. Such thoughts still bring tears to my eyes, but I always want her memory to bring good not sadness. So I’m writing with the hope that I can help others who may be going through a tough time.

This is what I would like you to take away from this post;

  • You are not alone
  • Your life matters
  • You can get through this

I’m also in the process of writing a memoir of our journey from Neema’s diagnoses of Hypoplastic heart syndrome at 20 weeks pregnancy and how we found hope. You can read an excerpt from my book here.

So how has my life been changed by the loss?

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1) We are human and we sometimes get overwhelmed.

We can often get caught up living up to other people’s expectations. While grieving for our baby, people would come up with what they thought were comforting phrases. One of the phrases I heard quite often was; ‘you are so strong!’ Although their intentions were good, I wonder what they would have said had they been able to see what was going on within me. The fears, hurt, anger, worry, and doubt that I was quietly battling with. Being told you’re strong or you’re coping well can create a wrong expectation. We might feel under pressure to hide our hurt and begin to wear a mask to give the impression that we are okay. 

In time, the mask works, and those around us believe we are okay that we are not in need of continued support. So, yes, it’s good to be positive but keep it real with those who love and care about you. 

Don’t’ sit in the dark

Allow light to break through your darkness. Darkness will always seek to invade and overwhelm us, you don’t even have to face loss or illness for darkness to invade your life. It has a habit of sneaking into our minds and whispering lies to us. We become fearful, desperate and ashamed of being perceived as weak. 

When you find yourself faced with darkness, seek to bring in light. Take the first step by speaking about your struggles with the right people – ‘a problem shared is a problem half solved.’ Speaking about our struggles is what exposes the darkness. It’s the first step towards our healing and with the right support, darkness loses its hold on us.

‘the people living in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.’ 

I might shed a few more tears this week but I plan to keep the light shining. I remind myself that Neema Hope’s memory should be one that brings grace and hope just like her beautiful name.

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2) I’m moved by other people’s struggles

It’s not that I didn’t care before but there has been a greater need to connect with people and to see beyond the wall we often put up. I now understand that when we receive help and comfort in our difficulty it’s not just for us, God has other people in mind too. As Paul says in the Bible;

the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ.’ 2 Cor 1:3-5

Sharing any wisdom, truth, and hope by writing blog posts or books or by speaking, brings a sense of fulfilling a divine purpose. I feel that I’m making Neema’s short life count.

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3) I have found a new urgency for fulfilling my life’s purpose.

We often forget that life here on earth is just but for a short time, it’s not forever. I only had a short time to hold my baby in my arms. I would have liked to be the one who decided how long that should last, but it wasn’t up to me. That thought alone should give us a sense of urgency in how we live our life. 

The thought of becoming a writer/author was triggered by our baby’s short life. During the experience, I was helped by other people’s stories and I felt that I should do the same. So, publishing my book Kick Start your purposeful Living brought me a great sense of fulfilment.

4) I’m certain that there is a God and He cares about us

If you’ve ever been through an extremely difficult experience, you will know that the very foundation of who you are is shaken. You question everything; your values, beliefs as well as your own ability to endure. Of course, I believed in God before the ordeal, yet I found myself questioning the goodness of God. It’s difficult to reconcile the thought of a loving God and immense suffering or tragedy

As I dug deep and re-examine my core beliefs I began to uncover truths which became my tangible evidence of God and His supreme divinity. I received a deep conviction about God’s love that goes beyond what He can do for us. This didn’t come easy, it came after overcoming a fierce battle of the mind. But as the storm raged God’s love was unveiled, the anchor that kept us from being swept up and dragged under by the currents. It may sound like a cliché but true to His word ‘He never leaves us.’

 


Thank you for reading, if you need support please get help. I would also like to hear your thoughts or experience with loss.

 For help with Bereavement:

Cruse Bereavement  https://www.cruse.org.uk/ 

Little Hearts Matter https://www.lhm.org.uk/

The images in this post were obtained from www.pixels.com

FREE OFFER – Read excerpts from my upcoming book here

Learn how you can live a purposeful life from my latest book ‘Kick start Your Purposeful Living‘  

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