Friday, 23 August 2013

Melinda Grace Currie

Melinda Grace Currie.

Never have a met a little baby more wanted, more loved, more needed in this world than you. 

So for you to leave this world, so soon but so close, so unfairly, without even taking a breath of just seems so.......wrong.

The day your Mummy told me she was pregnant, I was so excited! I was so thrilled that finally, after suffering and struggling so much when she lost your brother Jonathon, finally she was going to have a baby, her happy ending. Her beautiful precious rainbow baby.

And I was pregnant too. It made sense to us, it seemed destined, that we finally were going to travel this journey, the best worldly journey there is, together. Then at 10 weeks, I said goodbye to my baby, who I named Charlie. I was filled with grief, but I was ok. Knowing your Mummy was still safely carrying you. If anything made losing Charlie bearable, it was knowing I could dote on the little one growing safe and sound in my best friend.

Then, after telling me they wouldn't tell anyone whether their baby was a boy or girl, she let slip. She shared her momentary disappointment, knowing you were to be their last baby, that she wouldn't have a son, at least one here on earth. But, that never diminished the love she had for you. Cautious, sure, but still, so obvious and at all times overwhelming.

Excitement grew. I watched, from my long distance, as your Mummy blossomed. Grew to accept that God was in fact gifting her with another baby. We celebrated you with a Blessing Way, a gathering of those that already loved you, and were so excitedly counting down the days until we met you.

Then one morning, unexpectedly, I got a message "can't find heartbeat on doppler. Please pray, heading into hospital".

Instantly, my heart dropped. But I brushed it off. Bubba must just be sitting in a weird angle or something I thought. It can't be happening. I said a little prayer and messaged back, and then I got the message I never expected to see.

"No heartbeat on ctg or ultrasound. I can't believe this has happened again"

I couldn't believe it. Literally, I was beyond shocked. I cried. I screamed. I ranted. I sat quietly. I waited for the phone to ring, for the message sound to buzz saying, it's all a mistake, she is fine, and I am in labour. 

But it never came.

I went to work, but I couldn't do it. I couldn't handle people, I couldn't handle being "normal". How? How can life continue normally? How can people be shopping for stationary when this little babies life has been stopped short? Don't they know? Don't they understand the world has changed forever?

I did the only thing I could when I came home. I planned. I booked flights to go down. We had no money, but it didn't matter. Normally I hate to ask my Dad for money. I will do anything, sell all my belongings before asking for financial help. But there was no time for silly pride now. My Dad, also heartbroken, said if this is all he can do to help, he does it gladly.

Melinda Grace Currie, you arrived into this world at 8.45pm on Wednesday 17th July 2013. Your were born sleeping peacefully, and you were perfect.

I was angry. I was beyond heartbroken. And knowing how i felt was nothing compared to what my friends were feeling, that just made me feel worse. I could barely function through the next few days. I kept busy making arrangements to go to Melbourne for a week, organising kids, work, home. 

At night, when there was nothing left to do, when Muddled Hubby and the family were all asleep, and I couldn't sleep, I cried. I cried so many tears. I prayed, well actually, it was like yelling, to God. I begged, I bargained, I tried bartering, I accused. He performs so many miracles, why? Why couldn't He perform one now? How? How could he do this to them again? If she was going to be taken away, if that was Your plan, why wait til the very last second to do it? It is cruel, it is sick. I was so very mad at God. 

I arrived in Melbourne, and stayed for a week. It was emotionally exhausting, but I would not have been anywhere else. I felt useless, I felt unneeded. But what I felt didn't really matter. My friend needed me there, so I was. I was a presence, I was doing what I could to show I cared. I helped, practically, where I could. I did whatever I could with the limited resources I had.

I talked and spent time playing with your big sister, who, like you, I could not love anymore if you had been my children. I watched her swim (she is a fantastic swimmer!), I watched her play with other kids. I saw her moments of sadness, I saw the sadness cross her little face and my heart broke. I hugged her whenever I could. I watched her play with her Little Pony's and marveled at her imagination! 

I missed my family, and within a few days I realised, I can no longer do these things on my own. I was grieving. I was hurting, but I was trying to not let my friend see just how badly. She needed an emotional wall up to get through until the memorial, so I wasn't going to bring it down with my own grief. I went back to my motel room at night a cried, so much I had a constant migraine. Within days Muddled Hubby was organised to join me, as was another dear friend who was minding Mini Miss. With their support, I became stronger, and although my friends saw me cry, they never saw the raw depth of my grief. 

In hindsight, maybe I should have shared that rawness. Had I had more time, I probably would have.

On Thursday I met you. You were wrapped snugly and laying peacefully in a bassinet. You were so perfect. You looked like you were sleeping. It honestly took all I had in me not to pick you up and hug you, because I felt like, maybe I could will you awake. Surely you were just sleeping, and enough hugs, enough love, enough WILL, and you would wake up? Really, if your Mummy and Daddy couldn't will it with their love alone, then nothing I did was going to make a difference. So instead, I stood there. Tears rolling down my cheeks, soaking in every little detail I could see, your long eye lashes, your perfect little nose, your chubby cheeks that looked so rosy with life. Your little lips, so like your sisters they could almost be the same lips. I wanted to kiss you, to snuggle my face against yours. Instead I gently stroked your baby soft cheek gently. I wanted to hold you close and smell the new baby smell on you, but instead I stood there and promised with your mummy's closest friends, that I would love and protect and care for your mummy as best I could. Already, I have fallen short of that promise, although I will never give up trying.

Friday, your memorial day, it was really just a blur. There were so many tears, so many smiles, so many hugs. Your little coffin, so heartbreakingly small. No parent should ever have to look upon their childs coffin, so very tiny and small, and say goodbye. I honestly do not know how they did it, other than their love for you and faith in God was keeping them standing tall. 

And yet, through it all Melinda, that day did something to my heart. I was still so angry at God. In the 9 days that you had been gone, I had shut God out. I had turned on Him. I had basically said NO. If You can allow this to happen, this much pain and sorrow to afflict my friends, if You can take this innocent little life away so so close to being born, then You are not the God for me. 

Watching your Mummy and Daddy sing praise to God, despite all their pain and grief still so raw and overwhelming, they stood there are praised Him. My eyes were open. My heart was opened. And I sung, with all I had. I sang praise to God, in way I hadn't for a long time. I still hurt, I still grieved, but I no longer felt anger. It slipped away that day, and now, now my heart is God's in a new way. A more open and more honest way. 

Now I am at home. Life has continued. I still look after my family. I still clean my house. I still get up and go to work. I still struggle with money. I still struggle with life. I still struggle with illness. Through all of it, you are there Melinda. You, and your mummy and daddy and sister, are never far from my thoughts.

On the day you were born, a good online friend of mine also gave birth, to a beautiful healthy baby girl. Watching her grow through social media, is so painfully bittersweet. At first, I couldn't even look at her pictures. I would simply be overwhelmed with grief. Even now it is bittersweet. I can see that she is not you Melinda, and yet every time I see a picture, she is a reminder of what you should be, how you should be. I have come to love seeing these pictures of her though, she is a truly beautiful baby, and her family are blessed each day to be able to hold her close. 

When I walk through shopping centres, or when I am working and there is a new baby crying, it hurts. It hurts so much I tend to gasp quietly to myself. What should have been is thrust firmly once again into my mind. 

And I feel so useless. I feel unable to help. I hate being so far away. I am so grateful for the friends your Mummy has in Melbourne, but I am also, selfishly, jealous. They can not only express, but SHOW how they feel. They can be there, in person, remembering you, talking about you. They can do practical things to show love and care and support. They can hold your mummy when she cries. It is harder from this distance to do anything, although your Mummy, being the amazing woman that she is, is guiding ME, yes, guiding me, on how I can help HER! I have never been good with dealing with grief, but I hope I am learning.

And, and this will sound mean and selfish, but it is the truth, I miss my friend. I miss the person she was, the person I knew. That is not to say I don't still love her, because God knows I do. I miss the easy flowing conversations, the talking about mindless rubbish for hours on end and not realising the amount of time we had been talking. I miss laughing about something so random that anyone else would think we are weird. I wish I could simply heal her heart, put it back the way it was. 

But, at the same time, i would never wish that. Because that would be like saying I wish you Melinda, never existed, and that is a world I wouldn't even want to know. 

So rather than wishing for what was, I will now strive forward with your Mummy. I will hold her hand as she finds her way. To think she cannot be changed by you, that is just foolishness. To think that one day we won't laugh together again, that is foolishness. To think that one day we won't have mindless conversations about mindless rubbish again, that is foolishness. My friend has an enormous journey ahead of her, and I would never in a million years, let her walk that journey alone (not that she ever would). I still love her just as much as I did 2 months ago, a year ago, 5 years ago, and that is one thing that will never change. It is my turn the be one of the rocks in her storm.

Not a day goes by that I don't wish you were here. There are mornings when I wake, and think you are here, and wonder, for a brief moment how you and your Mummy are doing. Then I remember, you are an angel now, and it hurts. I think losing you, watching your Mummy and Daddy lose you, watching your sister struggle and come to terms with losing you, and all the sadness around her, that has hurt more than losing Charlie did. There was so much love and hope in you. I never realised that. You were supposed to be the healer for all of us, the promise that sometimes life DOES have happy endings.  

Melinda, you have already touched so many lives, so many hearts. You have put life into perspective for me. You have brought me closer to God.

But more importantly, you have given your Mummy and Daddy so much. They now know their place is in Melbourne. They have been swimming in a sea of uncertainty for so long. But you have shown them they have an amazing community around them, so many people who know and love them for who they are, and rightly so. You have shown them they have an amazing church that fosters their relationship with God. You have given them certainty where there was none. You have helped them find a home. You have shown your Mummy she has amazing friends down there who care for her as much as I, and so many friends who are far away, do. I just wish God had chosen an easier way to show them all this, and so much more. There is so much more you have done.

But I don't think you are done yet. I think there is so much more to do in your memory, in your honour. Lives will be changed, people will be restored in your memory. 

I will help keep your memory alive Melinda. I will talk about you, I will remind people about you. I will look at butterflies and rainbows and see not only God's love, but be reminded of you and how much you are loved. I will remember the milestones, the anniversaries, I will light a candle and say a prayer in your memory. 

Because Melinda Grace Currie, I love you.

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