Wednesday, August 21, 2013

a common bond

Waking up the day after a funeral is a surreal feeling.  I remember waking last Friday morning, the day after saying goodbye to our Nanna Mc, with an intense awareness of my breathing.  Life giving breath coursing through my own lungs, and being all the more thankful for it, because this breath I take and each one after signifies my living and existence. 

It's a realisation that your life continues, in spite of the life that has been lost.  That although some days it feels like grief can take the breath right out of your lungs, each day you wake and take a knowing breath and continue on with all that life will bring across your path.  No matter how hard those days and those experiences can be.  We all still breathe.

I'm thankful for my grandmother's life.  She raised 12 children in a very difficult time.  She birthed a daughter that was not going to breathe outside of her womb.  She suffered in this grief, along with mourning the passing of her husband, and two of her adult children as she continued to breathe each day.  

I would have loved to have talked to Nanna about her stillbirth.  About the daughter, sister, aunty that I know we all would have loved to have had the chance to know.  I wished I had have talked to Nanna, and told her that I knew.  That I understood that pain of her grief.  That it was ok to long for and cry for the daughter that wasn't going to stay.  

Or to hear her tell me that she understood my grief.

We had an unspoken common bond.  A bond that I know I share with far too many women.  The bond of losing a much wanted and loved child.

Nanna Mc, you will always be remembered as my grandmother.  Your children that you've left here will always remember you and all that you did for them .  

And I want you to know that your precious Kaye will always be remembered too.


  1. That's just beautiful Nic. I could tell you were brewing a blogpost today, and what you've expressed is just lovely.
    In those days women were not allowed to grieve, society didn't allow for it or expect it and there were not the opportunities like blogging. My grandmother lost a child between her first four and her last two, the child was named but nobody by my grandparents attended the funeral and although she had a name the family didn't talk about her. She would be in her 60s now. And even when my sister was born so premature only 40 years ago my mum wasn't allowed to see much of her and although there's a grave with her name on it, there just wasn't the recognition of the place in mum's heart that she filled. It's only since I suffered a miscarriage and then went on to become mum to my two that my mother felt she could open up more about that. I must show you the poems I wrote about my grandmother and my aunt, my mother and my sister, and myself.

    1. I was thinking about what it would have been like for Nanna back then when I typed out this post this morning. It would have been so much more taboo to speak about the death of such little ones, that perhaps she just learned to deal with her grief quickly? It's quite devastating to think about. I'd love to read your poems some day :)


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