All posts tagged: loss

Four People Died in the Biddeston Shooting. Not Three.

Amber Elizabeth Rose died last week. Quickly. Invisibly. Tragically. She hadn’t even reached her birth date. The newspapers reported the devastating news of the murder-suicide in the rural town of Biddeston near Toowoomba. They reported three deaths – Kris-Deann Sharpley, her seven-year-old son Jackson and her father Derek. Amber was not in the headcount. Her life was not counted. Over and over it was reported that Kris-Deann was “heavily pregnant”, that she was on maternity leave awaiting the birth of her daughter, that she had chosen her name and was sharing the excitement with her son Jackson. But no one counted Amber’s life. Before her death Kris-Deann, a nurse, told her family how Jackson spent time chatting to his baby sister through her bulging belly. He kissed her and told her he was her big brother, that he was boss! On Facebook, Kris-Deann shared a photo montage under the words “My Beautiful Children”. The two photos were of her son and a 3D ultrasound image of her unborn daughter. In curling script beneath were their names; …

It Was Never Meant To Be Like This

“We got language so we can’t communicate Religion so I can love and hate Music so I can exaggerate my pain, and give it a name”. You just read the second verse of The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone), the opening track on U2’s surprise new album Songs of Innocence. Which is free. Thank you Apple. The tune is a tribute to punk rock. Disinterested? Me too. But the catchy song is full of deeper hooks to lift a pensive stay-at-home mum from her reverie. I was thinking about death and loss. We said goodbye last week to Launceston deputy mayor Jeremy Ball, offering condolences to family including his wife and two young sons. What a shock. Images of the car wreck, family snaps published in the paper on subsequent days and the chalk sketches by children on the pavement of Prince’s Square during his wake have lodged in my mind. I “got language” but I “can’t communicate” the wrench this news has caused. I used to think grief was an indulgence reserved for nearest loved-ones. I know …

A Baby’s a Baby, all the Time!

Babies.  They begin as a ‘zygote’, are dubbed an ’embryo’ at around two weeks before assuming the title of ‘fetus’ at 8 weeks.  If they die before 20 weeks it’s called a ‘miscarriage’ and thereafter, a ‘stillbirth’.  Technicalities.  Because a mother knows her baby to be life from go to whoa, and a baby’s death is painful whatever the doctors call it.  Anja’s son died in the womb at 17 weeks.  Here, she courageously shares his short story and the reality that “a baby’s a baby, all the time”, in her words.  A This Little Life story. (Please note, this story includes a photo of Anja’s son, born at 17 weeks) “In late October 2009 we were thrilled to discover that we were expecting a baby. We had experienced a previous early pregnancy miscarriage, but figured we were in the clear as, by the time I saw those two pink lines, we were already past the point of our previous loss. As excited ‘first time’ parents we announced our pregnancy creatively to our family, I …

Miscarriage.

My heart has felt the weight of a great something lately; let’s call it a stone. A stone pressing down with immense weight and pressure on my lifesource so that every other piece of me has felt languid, heavy. I have lain awake at night, listening to its beat while thought and breath synchronised in a slow pas de deux. You see, I lost my baby. I was 12 weeks pregnant when my miscarriage happened, about six weeks ago. It’s still raw. Why would I write about something so personal, you ask? Not for your sympathy. No. Rather, because I have learnt that miscarriage is a common sadness (about one in five pregnancies end in miscarriage), one that many women carry in silence, on their own. Let’s not do that. I didn’t meet my baby, didn’t know his or her personality, likes and dislikes, quirks and habits. I just knew there was life within me, life brimming with potential. Yet the grief has been deep and painful and suffocating. A mother’s love for her child is full-blown …