letter to Laura

Laura Grace Elizabeth was born on 11 May 2009 at 4.50pm. About twelve hours earlier I awoke from a drug induced slumber, knowing this was the day I would give birth to my dead daughter. Through a blur of tears, as K snored gently on his hospital camp bed, I wrote this letter to Laura. In the days that followed her birth, her presence among us was quickly lost to the overwhelming presence of her absence. This is my daughter……

My dearest sweetheart;
Our pretty amazing little Laura Grace. In a few short months you have turned our lives upside down: sneaking in, unexpectedly, to become part of us just days before the gates slammed shut. Our first naturally conceived child, our little ‘against all odds’. A powerful life force from the start.

You taught us so much in that time: how to expect the unexpected; how to open our hearts and our lives to the possibility of difference; how to fear and love intensely in the one breath.

You carved a big Laura space in our fragile hearts and, as we began to hope at last for you, you revealed your own very fragile heart to us. And when we thought that we couldn’t feel any more intensely, our love and fear for you expanded even more again.

You introduced yourself to your sister and brothers – prodding and poking them at will.

You stayed up late, having your own private discos in my belly and I dared to imagine our darling A sharing some of her dance moves with you.

The guys have been so looking forward to meeting you: A practicing her baby-minding skills on her dolls all Easter making sure she’d get it right when the time came. M hugging and kissing you through me at every opportunity, already watching out for you as a protective older brother. And I know he has whispered little secrets to you, for you and he alone to know.

And little O, torn between the excitement of your arrival and the fear of it interfering with his birthday. He wasn’t quite ready to share his brand new toys, but maybe some of his older hotwheels.

But now you have decided to leave us after all. And our biggest fear is realised – not the challenges that might be involved in loving you, but the fact we might never get to love you at all.

So as you begin your final physical journey through our lives I want to thank you for all you have brought to us – an acceptance of change, an acceptance of challenge, a deeper awareness of the wholeness of difference.

In your presence you brought my precious lost sister Rachel back into our lives and have helped us all to grieve her passing too.

You are leaving each of us with a bigger heart, a heart that for us all now has your pretty amazing Laura Grace–shaped hole in it too.

God bless you darling.


  1. My heartfelt sadness of your own loss …

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