Post Mortem 2: 16 April

NOTE:This series is a collection of my thoughts noted on my phone during the first few days after my still birth. It’s not our daughter’s full story just yet. One day, I pray, I might be brave enough to write about it in. You can find part 1 here.

We’re saying goodbye to Bethany today. It’s time we let her go. Michael and I read her Debi Gliori’s No Matter What once again, then we finished off with the story of Samuel, and how Hannah surrendered him back to God.

As we sat on the bed in the beautiful Sunbeam room holding Bethany’s lifeless body, Michael led a beautiful committal prayer releasing our claim on our daughter to our Heavenly Father, asking only that she be welcomed into Jesus’ loving arms. We thanked God for her beautiful soul, that she got to experience all the love that Michael & I had for each other and for her, that she got to experience the excitement of our church family and the wider Church in Skipton. We thanked God that our families got to experience the expectancy of having a new generation come into being through her. She never knew pain, or loss, or any form of suffering, just pure unconditional love.

As I sit on the settee looking out to the patio, I heard the faint cries of a mum in labour. Soon, she will hold her baby in her arms, and I can, at this time, only imagine how magical that moment will be for her, as opposed to the deep sorrow I felt at cuddling my Bethany’s warm but lifeless body for the first time. I am so happy for her, and I hope she gets to make the most of it, that she breathes it all in, and that she memorises exactly how her baby felt during those first few priceless moments.

How do you immortalise a second, really? How do you turn memories into sensation? I guess this is love, painfully sweet love.

Later today, I’ll sit in front of the registrar to officially put my child’s death to paper. The first time I’m seeing Bethany’s name in print is on her still birth certificate. It stings, probably like how pouring acid over an open wound feels like.

Today I will be going home, while my daughter will be wheeled away to a cold, lonely drawer at the morgue. At this time, I hate happy people.

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