Much of the parent blogging world turned their eyes to the funeral of Matilda Mae today, determined to do their bit to support Jennie and David as they said goodbye to their precious baby daughter. Some bloggers went to the service, to support and bear witness for the huge numbers of bloggers who care so much. Watching Tilda trend on Twitter and the outpouring of love was amazing indeed.
I’ve been in touch with Jennie lots over the last month but, although invited, I didn’t go today. Truly I didn’t think my heart would be strong enough and a piece of me was afraid that I would see all the effort and love and sense of occasion and planning the Jennie had poured into the day and be ashamed of Freddie’s quiet, private service. We were in such shock after his death and the preceding two weeks had been so traumatic; my heart and head just shut down at the thought of anything more than the quietest of occasions. It’s not like me to be that way but looking back, it was the beginning of the change that occurred in me after his life. I needn’t have worried though; I followed Matilda’s day today and was so proud and uplifted and pleased to see it go as they wished- but also knew then that I couldn’t have done what Jennie achieved today. Matilda Mae had her send off in that way because she was who she was, lively, smiling and so at the centre of our online world – and Freddie was who he was, born quietly, lived quietly, died quietly. We both did right for our children and I gained some peace from seeing that today.
Jennie did me two enormous honours this week. She allowed me to write about the importance of writing through grief for me as a guest post on her blog and she asked me to write for Matilda’s service today. Heather and Susanne read out my words (how much of them I don’t know) and I’m profoundly grateful to all of them for letting me be part of a day that mattered to me but I was not quite brave enough to attend.
So here is what I wrote for Matilda Mae. Beautiful girl. Beautiful mother. I will always be here for you.
I was at work when I heard that Baby Tilda had died. Stood at my desk, I put my head in my hands and sobbed for a baby and a mother I had never actually met, for a bewildered family, for a lost little girl, for siblings who would grow up learning the careful answers to questions about family size that my children also speak. I wept for the path they had to walk, the horror of loss that was waiting for them and the endless twists and turns that the loss of a child pushes a family through.
A few minutes later someone, stood beside me at the coffee machine, asked me if I was okay.
This will not be true of Matilda Mae. We will always remember. We will always speak her name. Because of Matilda Mae – her smile, her legacy – someone, somewhere will see light and be comforted. Somewhere good will be done. Someone will be saved. Someone will be thankful. Someone will be loved. As she is loved.