My heart went out to Gary Barlow and his wife Dawn when I heard how their baby Poppy had been stillborn. In my work as a therapist with women who have lost babies to miscarriage and stillbirth, I know there are intense feelings of loss around what might have been – the dreams that have been so cruelly taken away – mixed with intense gratitude for the blessings they do have.
A friend of mine recently miscarried her baby. She is a young, healthy woman, who already has a child, so she is baffled why she miscarried. She said: “When I heard about women who had miscarried, I used to think of it as matter of fact. But now experiencing it myself, it is a whole different world. It’s almost like I now belong to a club, where there are so many of us but no-one talks about it and women suffer in silence. Now I think: was there a spirit? Where has it gone? What was God’s reason to take my child away from me?”
I wish I had an answer. The way I chose to respond to her pain was in creative writing, via a poem:
To the twinkle that blinked
The life we have goes by so fast
Whether it’s sunny or it’s overcast.
With a belly full or suddenly bare,
Life throws us stuff that makes us care.
The shadow of the child we lost
Falls by the bootees and the cot,
As we light a flame to feel the soul
Whose loss we can only ever condole.
There are no reasons, only random ones,
Why God screwed up while doing his sums.
He took one away when adding up,
As my uterus began to erupt.
The taste on my tongue is dank and bitter
Shreds of my life lie lame like litter.
It has no sense, it leaves me numb,
I was meant to be again a mum.
We’ll get over this, again we’ll smile.
‘Cos we know what makes this life worthwhile.
We’ll never understand God’s true love ways,
Why he gifts by night and robs by day.
We’ll have to put that spirit to rest
And realise that, actually, we are truly blessed.