'What the caterpillar perceives is the end, to the butterfly is just the beginning.' Our journey after Beatrice

(770 Posts)

Beatrice died on 24th October aged 1 year, 1 month, 1 week and 1 day. She was buried on 2nd November. As she starts her new life as a butterfly, we are left on the ground feeling bewildered and bereft. I read a short piece at her funeral, and I stand by it:

'I often felt that being Beatrice's mum was much like holding a butterfly. I was in awe of her beauty and felt so privileged that she had chosen to come to me. But, much like a butterfly, I knew that one day she would spread her wings and fly away.

When Beatrice was one day old, a kind stranger shared this poem with me, and it sums up how I feel about Beatrice:

"A butterfly lights besides us like a sunbeam. And for a brief moment its glory and beauty belongs to the world.
But then it flies once again, and though we wish it could have stayed, we feel so lucky to have seen it."

I feel so lucky to have been chosen as Beatrice's mum and I truly believe that the immense grief we must now suffer is still a small price to play for the love she brought into our lives.

Goodnight Beatrice'

I still feel her love in my heart, but I am struggling without her in my arms. I miss caring for her and kissing her. Looking at her and stroking her hair. Singing to her, always singing so many songs. I haven't sung a song since she died, but I don't want the music to leave my life as it means I have let the grief win.

Fly high little butterfly, but please don't forget all of us left behind who hold you, still so fragile, in our hearts and memories. Please don't forget me, Beatrice x

I've added some of her last photos, and a couple of her garden.

I don't know why I am bothering to get in the Christmas mood- it's too futile this year. I just can't believe she's gone. I keep thinking I will see her again, it's driving me crazy. I just look at the lights and the happy families- we used to be one of those. For 13 months we were a happy family. Not anymore. I stood in the shopping centre on Friday where my dd1 was singing with hr school choir. I looked at all the lights and giants butterflies on display and cried. Right there in the middle of the shopping centre. I managed to dab my tears away and I don't think anyone saw. It's so unfair, why should all the other babies and toddlers enjoy Christmas when Beatrice can't?

JustFabulous Sun 02-Dec-12 17:40:37

sad

I just don't know what to say. No words can ever make things okay.

trumpton Sun 02-Dec-12 18:06:30

Oh Sweetheart she looks lovely in that last photo you posted. Her bunches are so sweet.
Tears will never be far away for you especially at times when the rest of the world seems happy.
I know that we can say nothing to comfort you but please know that we are thinking of you. I was looking at my sparkly butterflies today that I had next to Beatrice's candle on the day of her funeral and I sent a little prayer to her.
She will always be part of your family, your third little girl. X

Beautiful, beautiful Beatrice.

It IS so unfair sad.
I know how hard this time of year especially must be for you, cup.
I hope you can find some peace somewhere along the festive season.
I do not have faith, but like the serene and calm side of Christmas - the candles and choirs singing carols and the slowing down of everything (I go out of my way to avoid insane Christmas preparations) during the actual holidays and the getting together of families.
Your family will have a dreadful void in it, but hopefully you can give each other comfort.

thewhistler Sun 02-Dec-12 18:16:47

Oh cup, I do feel for you. It is so hard, especially at this time of year, for those left behind.

It's not going to get easier in the short term either.

Have DH and you thought about bereavement counselling?

Hulababy Sun 02-Dec-12 18:19:46

A beautiful little girl.
I am sorry she couldn't stay with you longer. It's so unfair. I'm so sorry.

expatinscotland Sun 02-Dec-12 18:20:59

Aw, cup. Am not bothering with Christmas this year. Going to my sister's and letting her take over for DD2 and DS and just not even thinking about how that we will never, ever see Aillidh again (I don't have faith or religion, either).

Mintyy Sun 02-Dec-12 18:25:22

Heartbreaking for you Cup and Expat and all other bereaved parents. Am so very sorry that you have to go through so much pain.

QODRestYeMerryGentlemen Sun 02-Dec-12 19:10:51

lOve to both Beatrice and Aillidh

SaintVera Sun 02-Dec-12 19:15:51

Cup, I can't offer any words of comfort as I know how dreadful this is. I lost my disabled son in July. Christmas is an endurance test.

All I can say is, you have every right to cry. I too cry all over the place. I have found churches places of comfort - I find ones that are open in the day, go in on my way to the shops, light a candle and sob. Then I leave and carry on shopping. I am an atheist but God bless the CofE for giving me shelter in my agony xxx

thewhistler Tue 04-Dec-12 09:35:56

Cup,

Not sure if this would help, but today's Times carries an article about the charity Cruse, who provide bereavement counsellors in RL. There was a touching article by someone who said that her counsellor got her through by bring there when she wanted to talk and reassuring her about the normality of her grief and helping .

I don't know if that would help you or DH but it might be worth contacting them.

I agree about churches. They are great places to cry, about the only ones except for libraries.

MorningPurples Thu 06-Dec-12 08:24:53

That is a lovely photo of Beatrice with her little bunches - beautiful. I wish she could still be there with you.

ChippingInAWinterWonderland Thu 06-Dec-12 14:01:11

Christmas is really hard when you'd rather just climb under the duvet and ignore the world sad

You are doing well to get through each day and to be there for the Big Girls.

Lots of love and strength.

CotherMuckingDude Thu 06-Dec-12 21:17:49

I think of you everyday and I'm praying for.... I don't know really. Strength to get through each day normally. But I also ask God to give you peace in your heart. I really hope you get that.

Trumpton Thu 06-Dec-12 22:31:20

I see the countless Christmas trees around the world below,
With tiny lights, like Heaven's stars, reflecting in the snow.
The sight is so spectacular, please wipe away that tear,
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I hear the many Christmas songs that people hold so dear,
But the sounds of music can't compare with the Christmas choir up here.
I have no words to tell you, the joy their voices bring,
for it is beyond description, to hear the Angels sing.

I know how much you miss me, I see the pain within your heart,
But I am not so far away. We really aren't apart.
So be happy for me dear ones. You know I hold you dear,
And be glad I'm spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

I send you each a special gift, from my heavenly home above,
I send you each a memory of my undying love,
After all "LOVE" is the gift, more precious than pure gold,
It was the most important in the stories Jesus told.

Please love and keep each other, as my father said to do,
For I can't count the blessing or love He has for each of you,
So have a peaceful Christmas and wipe away that tear
For I am spending Christmas with Jesus Christ this year.

Anon

Daer Cup,
I hope you dont mind me posting this but it resonated within me. Peace to you and yours.

Only ever a heartbeat away....

thewhistler Sat 08-Dec-12 23:54:16

Cup, thinking of you in this dark time when the lights will seem so hurtful.

cafecito Sun 09-Dec-12 01:37:51

cupoftea I've taken a lengthy MN break (a few years) but I have read your and Beatrice's story. I am absolutely moved by how eloquently you write about her and what happened. Your love for her is so powerful, she was so loved.

I'm really posting because it struck a chord with me, after spending months and months HDU/ward/PICUing with my DD she died when she was only a bit older than Beatrice, she was 14 months old. That was nearly 4 years ago.

Some days I don't know how I've survived. Others I know how I survive, by not even registering it as reality. I am usually fine but found DDs PICU book and lock of hair the other day in a white envelope, didn't know what it was, opened it up and it hit me all over again, a tidal wave of agony and disbelief.

Keep posting, keep writing, keep talking. PM anytime. I don't yet know where you are geographically but if near London I'm happy to meet you (don't mean to patronise, but it can be so isolating).

Thoughts are with you. Something that helped me, though it sounds silly, was this:

eternal presence, glancing light, does not depend on touch or sight

EverlongLovesHerChristmasRobin Mon 10-Dec-12 19:01:31

Dear cup just thinking about and Beatrice and sending hugs.

zebrafinch Tue 11-Dec-12 03:30:53

Thinking about all the Teaset

JustFabulous Tue 11-Dec-12 09:33:40

I have been thinking about you, cup and the rest of your family.

Thank you for thinking of us, and thank you for the poem and best wishes.

Nothing changes. Life is very normal and dull without her. No living on a knife edge, no racing here, there and everywhere for appointments. No corners to fight, no meds to give, no feeds to prepare, no nappies to change, no outfits to choose,no oxygen to administer, no sats to monitor, no walks to take, no physio, no swimming, no conductive education, no hospice, no music therapy, no nurse visits. But above all, no warmth in my arms, no smiles, no kisses to give, no songs to sing, no gentle squeezes and stories to read. No snuggles with blankets, no music and lights.

Nothing. That's it now for me.

Things go on around me, I participate when I can. I think I say the right things and go to the right places at the right times. I keep the house clean, the fridge stocked, food on the table, clothes clean, children tidy, homework done, teeth brushed, hair styled, Christmas presents bought, nativities attended, after school commitments mostly kept. I've even been socialising on a regular basis.

But I'm not living anymore. I drag my feet and exist. I smile and laugh, but I don't feel.

God, I miss her. So, so much.

JustFabulous Tue 11-Dec-12 16:14:12

Your pain is tangible and I just wish there was something that someone could do to ease it a little.

You loved Bea so much and had so many people who never met her thinking of her. You still love Bea. We still think of her.

TCOB Tue 11-Dec-12 21:27:38

I am just so sorry. I can't express how much. It's wrong and unfair that she isn't here, and I know all the words in the world can't give you back what you want and deserve so much - more snuggles with your lovely, lovely girl.

InExitCelsisDeo Tue 11-Dec-12 22:38:40

For Bea, Cup. You have to do it for Bea. You have to live the life she didn't. Please.

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