A Poem by Rebecca Goss for baby Loss awareness week

It’s Baby Loss awareness day, the day in which, at seven pm, thousands of parents who have suffered the loss of a baby will light a candle to create a wave of light. Some lights will be for early miscarriages, some for late miscarriages, some for stillbirths, some for neonatal loss, but they are all lights that represent the love. because that’s what it is, isn’t it, grief? It is love. It is love that has no where to go and no one to be invested in. Like a beautiful, painful physics equation, grief and love weigh the same and act and react against each other.

We mourn, we connect, find small spaces to remember our children. We share their pictures, we celebrate our time with them, we make sure that the world knows that they existed, that they are not forgotten. Matilda, you are not forgotten.

Today’s organisation is Abbie’s fund, a charity set up by a couple who lost their beautiful daughter, Abbie, in her memory to provide memory boxes to Hull Royal Infirmary Women and Children’s hospital. My husband and I have our IVF cycles at Hull and it’s likely that if we ever manage to have another baby, they will be born at this hospital. I know first hand how important these memory boxes are. When you are leaving hospital with no baby carrier, no balloons, no flowers, when you are leaving wearing maternity clothes still, passing all the pregnant women and new mums and dads the emptiness is dreadful. Being allowed to stay with your baby in a bereavement suite makes a huge difference, it makes a huge difference to be given a card with your baby’s footprints on, with your baby’s name on, with their hat and their blanket in. It doesn’t seem like much, but those physical, caring touches help you to feel like a mum, like your baby is real and like people care. I am so thankful that charities like Abbie’s Fund exist to put such things together, and I’m so moved that it is in memory of a little girl lost to stillbirth. What a beautiful, loving way to remember her.

Today’s poem is very special to me. It is by the poet Rebecca Goss, whose book, Her Birth is one of the most moving collections of poetry I have ever read. I feel incredibly honoured that Rebecca and Carcanet have given me permission to use the title poem. Rebecca writes so honestly, openly and elegantly about the loss of her daughter.

Her Birth

On the wall, petunias,

painted in Walberswick.

I call to you, say

That’s a good omen,

that’s a good sign,

before buckling,

gripping the hospital bed...

Walberswick is where

I holidayed, every childhood

summer. It’s where we announced

the news. Sixteen months

after the effort of her birth,

we collect a faux-walnut

box from Jenkins & Sons.

Inside, a clear sachet,

weightless as dried herbs...

..

We drive two hundred

and eighty-one miles

for the cold, unstoppable

wave to suck the sachet clean

and I ask you, She is all right now,

isn’t she? She is all right?

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One thought on “A Poem by Rebecca Goss for baby Loss awareness week

  1. Pingback: A Poem by Rebecca Goss for baby Loss awareness week | Observations of Life seen through autistic eyes by Andy Smith

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