To our sweet little flower, our Yuriko-Mae
For those observing, it was easy to tell how much tighter I held you. How much closer I kept you…and how deeply I truly breathed you in…In fact, from the split second of your arrival, the visible range of emotions that you sent your father and me on, was noticeable to all around.
As with all our babies, you exploded my heart and tapped into it’s endless capacity to love. But more than that, I felt that all my emotions and mental faculties seemed to stretch themselves because of you – my complete understanding of all situations, my happiness within any moment – all in such vivid colours, and seemingly endless – became a constant with you. Although, the immense patience that I had suddenly developed, despite the classic rare few winks of sleep I had in the early newborn days, was by far the most notable. I felt I became a better mother in those moments – and not just to you, but to the others as well.
Whilst I love all our children equally, and there is never ever a contest to even be spoken of, there is truly a distinct way in which I love you my darling… No less, and no more than any other…but certainly and markedly different to the others. And it seems inexplicable – where your father and I constantly ask ourselves and each other in blissful bewilderment, how and why each and every time we catch ourselves so swept up in the magic of you, even in the mundane and ordinary moments of life with you. We are dumbfounded. But not in way that we don’t know why. But more in way, that we dont have the words to explain it. I’ve come to believe that those words don’t actually exist. It’s so deeply personal, and the understanding thereof, I believe, lies solely in our hearts; In the way that we are moved by the presence of your soul; In the way that we feel. And I suspect, only parents of rainbows could ever comprehend this.But still I want to try to find a way to let you know…
You came and filled our souls in a way that I didn’t know possible, as well as in a way I not even aware that I needed. It is in your thousand watt smile, and the way it magically lights up one’s entire world. It’s in your eyes, and in the way that they sparkle, that pierce past this earthly facade of skin and bone, connect with me so deeply, that words are never needed.
As devastating as the loss of your sibling was for me…as hard as that wave of heartbreak and clutching at emptiness crashed over me, you seemed to have equally, if not more, washed over me with a powerful tidal wave of love, delight and enthusiasm. You came with that – that’s the flame thats inside of you – and you flared our flames, making sure our fires are burning too. As small as you are my little one, you have huge presence, and even greater impact.
But, with all that being said, one thing you must be clear of my darling girl is that you are not a replacement. I repeat: You are not a replacement. And the void in my heart caused by our loss will always remain. That is not your purpose in this life. Not your responsibilty, nor will it ever be something that we will lay upon your shoulders. It never should be. It is not something I want to bury in any case. For that child will always be a part of me. A part of us; This family. I have zero desire to ever forget that little life. There is no shame in that child’s memory. And I have no intention of ever trying to hide from it.
The loss of a child is not something one merely “gets over”…and I don’t think it ever goes away. But that life is separate unto yours.
No, you are so much more than that – you are a blessed gift all on your own. You are precious, and it must be clear that you would have been just as precious regardless of the circumstances that took place before you. Yet, I can also not deny that those very dark and stormy circumstances also paved a path for you that made your journey into our life that much sweeter. It gave us new eyes, and hearts expanded in way that is so different to what it was…that your arrival and even your pending arrival was certainly perceived through through changed hearts.
You must also know, that as stricken with worry as I was since the conception of the baby we lost, and as logical as it should have been to forever have been tainted by that loss to now always live in fear for every baby I carry, that was not the case with you. Not at all. There was complete and utter faith in your conception.
Also, I never once feared to love you. In fact, I loved you with great abandon from the time we knew you were on your way. As I said before, you were conceived in deep faith and love, that even though my heart still grieved, I knew only love for you. And whilst I can comprehend how, alternatively, this could have been a very confusing time for me…one that could have been thickly laden with guilt; Guilt about allowing my heart to sing, even though it still had a gaping wound in it…Guilt that in celebrating you, others may mistake my joy for forgetting about the loss…But I know love doesn’t work that way – well at least in my head it doesn’t. Love is eternal..and whilst the loss I feel for that baby will endure, so will the love for that very same baby endure as well…There is plenty of space in my heart….and more than enough to allow love, jubilance and celebration of you, to live side by side with my feeling of anguish for your heavenly sibling. Its not very neat inside one’s heart – where everything just has a predefined place – but somehow it works.
But oh, all that joy that you were anticipated in? The covenant of the Rainbow Child?…Let it be known, that none of it was just “hype”, for when you came into our world, there has only been the proverbial confetti popping and trumpets playing in my head..you were every bit of that bright, colourful rainbow promise that the term, Rainbow Baby intended to embody…The sign of hope.
So, I will continue to do my best to honour the memory of your heavenly sibling, but know that it will never hinder the love that gets poured upon you and your other siblings. For I have chosen gratitude.
And I thank God for all our children -those with us and beyond – every single day.
I am so happy you chose us, my darling…
All my love,
Photo credits: Pro photographer Shante Hutton of Roses and Thorns