Posted by: Louise | October 1, 2015

how long is it now?

How long is it now since Laura died?

Six years I replied. We were sitting around a table, paper, scissors, glue and pieces of card strewn between us. There was an air of industry as we traced and cut and traced and cut.

There is something very relaxing about the repetition.

I could have been sitting around a table with friends. There was an easiness in the air – hugs and kisses before we started work. But this place had no kitchen familiarity. There was a quietness outside the door I knew too well, a busy stillness.

I got a phone call a few weeks ago. We have all these messages, memorial cards written by families to their babies. We want to do something with them to keep them safe before the memorial service this year. She had thought of me. Had I any ideas? We explored ideas. Thought about asking other parents to help. And then I got a message to say the staff in the maternity hospital who care for the bereaved families would work with me.

And so a few weeks later I find myself driving up to the hospital, negotiating careful circuits of the overflowing car parks, walking past the swollen bellied women towards the lift and pressing 4. Nobody knows what that means until you wish you didn’t. 4 south is the silent ward. There are no baby cries here in the maternity hospital. It is all love and care and… silence.

How long is it now since Laura died?

Six years. It sounds too long as the words find their way into the room. Ages ago. A healing of time? Is that a measure?

Hours of  tracing, cutting, drawing and gluing later I am leaving, with a promise to return next week. The task must be completed. I wonder about the passing time that brought me back to here.

I hated time when Laura died. I hated how it moved. Each day was a day further away from Laura living. It was steady, unrelenting in its forward pace. Somehow, despite my best, heart-broken efforts, I moved with time. I was carried forward not just away from Laura living, but away from the blinding pain of Laura dying. Carried forward to this place – back to this hospital, back to this ward.

Somewhere in this meander of thoughts It occurs there is a different type of time at work these days. There is no ‘further away’ from Laura living anymore. There is just a fact. Laura was here and now she isn’t. No stretch of time will change that. There is just the time before and now.

How long is it now since Laura died?

It is now.

All my nows.

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Responses

  1. Oh it is always now. Isn’t it? So long ago and yet . . . always now.

    What are you are doing is invaluable.

  2. As always your beautiful words have really touched me. Yes , time has been such a contradiction since Fionns death. In the early days I wished to be where I am now, five years away from the pain, but of course we are still living our every day with this huge silent void. Living life without, yet with him.

  3. They say that time and distance brings healing … Does it? I’m not so sure. But God. I thank Him for His grace.


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