It was six years ago today that Sarah and I found out we were going to lose Bethany. Seems like someone else’s life when now reflecting on that period. I wasn’t thirty-two for a start, but a mere twenty-six. Sarah was younger. The world was younger. Life has a habit of going on, and yet despite the intervening years, that time has never left. The loss was unconsciously buried, but slowly I’ve learnt to face up to the pain. Shamefully, I still can’t bring myself to tend to her grave. It’s the very least she deserves, but it’s her territory, and it feels as though somehow I wouldn’t be wanted. It’s as though my presence would disturb the natural equilibrium between daughter, mother, and nature. I’ve been an outsider my entire life, and it’s as if the same applies here, too. I remember when we were told the news at the maternity wing of the hospital, and how I had to phone both sets of our parents to let them know. Each time I got through to one of them, I broke down and cried while trying to get the words out. The rest is murky. The room we were in is still with me, though. That small, shoebox room we waited in not knowing what was going on. The colour of the walls and the paintings of boats on the ocean that hung from them. So much has been and gone since those hours. With every passing year, the chain of events blurs a little bit more, but the emotions are still there. Although Sarah and I are no longer a part of each other’s lives, I still think of her as the beautiful creature she was, and how even when we drifted apart, she meant so much to me. How strange to look back on the people we once were, and of all the things that could’ve been. The older I get, the closer it feels as though I’m moving to the truth, and yet those moments in my life that touched me more than anything continue to fade from view. Estranged and betrayed, I lose myself in the wish of meeting the daughter I never got to know, and yet with every typed word, I’m trying so hard to cling onto life because there’s no other way. That day; I can still taste the air upon my tongue. Two young lovers with everything and then nothing in the space of hours. A boy who crawled inside himself and did his best to numb the pain with silence and alcohol. The seeds that were never given a chance, and those that were fatefully planted.

17 replies »

  1. I can’t imagine your loss. You are so incredibly brave to write about it; I imagine digging into these memories must have been excruciating. My heart ripped when I read this. Again, I’m just sorry you went through this.

  2. What a heartbreaking but powerful write. I am so, so sorry (trite as it sounds) for what you went through, but you did the right thing writing about it, it is indeed very cathartic and a fitting and honest homage for a soul taken far too soon. Hugs & ❤

    • Thank you, Nathalie.
      Unfortunately it happens, I guess the trick is to take something from it. To create something beautiful out of the loss, which is why I’ve got into writing so much- to make up for all of those numb and silent years ❤

  3. A beautiful and powerful piece. The loss of a child is something I’d never wish on anyone. It’s not a subject people talk about, yet it’s something that’s touched myself and so many of my friends. Really interesting to see it from a male point of view. Thank you for sharing this and I’m sorry for your loss.

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