|Releasing a balloon at the memorial|
Over the next week, Miss M commented Angel had grown considerably and Bubbles just didn't look right but we persevered, assuring her the fish had experienced a sudden growth spurt (as goldfish do!).
Yesterday, 18 months later, Miss M came to tell me that Angel wasn't looking right. "I think she's sick Mummy," she murmured dolefully. Sure enough, Angel had passed and was resting on the bottom of the tank. "I'm so sorry honey, but Angel has died," I said softly. "Oh, that's sad," she replied, tears welling up. As we went about retrieving Angel and cleaning the tank, my daughters went about creating a resting place for Angel. They placed her in a container on a bed of pebbles with a small amount of water with plants surrounding her. They chose a pretty place in the garden to place Angel and set about digging a small grave and after burying Angel decorated the grave with feathers and pipe cleaners.
I watched the proceedings with complete awe. Just 18 months ago we were unable to present death to our daughter and now, having endured life's worst offering, the passing of their baby brother, my daughters were facing death again on a smaller scale, with grace and dignity.
When I think about what my children have endured, it feels like someone has stamped on my heart. Not only did they witness their mother screaming and frantically try to resuscitate their brother, they witnessed the paramedics do the same, whilst I wailed and clawed at my skin. They huddled in the corner sobbing out their hearts as I begged and pleaded for Hamish to come back to us. They said goodbye to their brother in hospital before he passed and kissed his lifeless body.
|At Hami's memorial|
The memory of these proceedings is frighteningly vivid and causes such intense and unfathomable pain that I'm not sure I can breathe. Sometimes I look at my children laughing and playing and I wonder where they have put that. Where have the put the most devastating life event they have ever known and probably ever will know? How does it fit into their daily lives? We talk about Hami every day. We look at his books, we remember his laugh and I encourage them to talk to him like he's just across the room. I don't want them to ever forget him. Ever. But the dreadful events of 'that' day and the consequent horror, I would desperately love to be erased from their memory. I want my children back untouched, innocent and pure. I want only flowers and fairies in their lives, not death and despair.
The pain of living without him and the trauma will always be part of my fabric, weaved into the tapestry of my soul. Everything has changed. The loops and knots of my life were unexpected, unplanned, unfathomable. But I am forced to live with the story that is interwoven in my being. There is no chance to start again.
I wonder what the final pattern will be? Will the picture ever become clear, or will it just be an erratic display of colour and texture, devoid of an overall theme? Or will the pattern make sense over time? For my children, I hope that the love, joy and utter happiness Hamish brought is forever ingrained in their hearts, if not in their mind. That they love knowing the true depth of love and they laugh knowing the sweet sound of his voice. Perhaps they will hear it faintly from Heaven.
That is my prayer for them.