That day, 12th November 2016, is a day that was so raw, so poignant, so surreal, an out of body experience, yet so very real and painful.
As little Elijah took his final breath in my arms, I too thought I might never breathe again. Truth be told I don’t think I’ve breathed the same since. From that very second, I have felt as though I got transported to a foreign land. A place where I do not know the language. I’d never studied the language of crisis. I do not know how I am supposed to act or behave, it’s as if I do not know the climate or the rituals, I do not know how things are meant to be done. I do not know how to live in this place. This place called, ‘a mummy who’s lost a child’.
Leaving the hospital was so, so hard. Yet at the same time I just wanted out of there. I knew, as I slowly walked through Clark Clinic, it would be the last time that I would do it with Elijah in my arms and that was hard to bear. As we left the hospital, it also hit me then, that while my world had just ended, everyone else’s was continuing as normal. Out of the corner of my eye I saw people get drinks and snacks from the vending machine, doctors draw blood from patients, nurses walking along the corridor. And I wanted to shout, “why are you not stopping everything, MY SON HAS JUST DIED DON’T YOU KNOW THAT?!” And of course they didn’t know, why should they? But I wanted the whole world to stop in respect to my boy.
There are times even now I think to myself – how are you people just carrying on as if nothing has happened? Don’t you get it, don’t you understand. But people don’t, I know that. Strangers I pass in Sainsburys and M&S have no idea. And as selfish as it sounds, it bothers me. People at the till say things like, “having a bad day love?” or, “go on, give us a smile” and it is all I can do not to punch them in the face!! And I know, I know, it’s not their fault. But it has taught me, not to talk crap anymore, not to say silly throw away comments, because everyone, every single one of us is fighting a battle of some sort and what this world needs is more kindness, less crap.
As I got into bed on 12th November I thought to myself, this is what rock bottom looks like. It cannot get any worse than this. As a parent your greatest fear is that anything bad will happen to your kids. The thought of burying them, is not something any parent should have to contend with. But yet here, we were. We had hit the bottom.
As I lay in bed and listened to my 3 other little ones tossing in their beds, and Ben and I talked about how we were going to tell them in the morning, I knew, I had to find my brave. I just had to. I didn’t want to, I never wanted to have to get out of that bed again, but I knew that I had to. I would not let this beat me, I would rise from this. For Ben, for Jonah, for Seth, for Leah and for Elijah I would find my brave.
“Nothing splendid has ever been achieved except by those who dared believe that something inside of them was superior to circumstance”. Bruce Barton.
I knew there was something greater than all of this, even death, inside of me. I knew I had Jesus. I knew I had to cling on to everything that I knew of God before all of this and during all of this, because that was all that I had left. The same God who had answered prayers, the same God who had blessed my life in so many ways, that God was STILL with me, even in this. As we listened to Chris Tomlin’s, Good Good Father, I HAD to believe that God is a good Father and that He would get us through this.
I decided that night that in honour of Elijah, and to bring honour to our heavenly Father, that I WOULD find my brave and I WOULD rise. That I would be a force for good and try to help others find their brave. It felt there was no other choice. I was at the bottom. The only way was up.