This poem was written by one of the three most wonderful people in my life. The person who has stuck by me, day in and day out, through the most challenging and painful experience I could ever imagine.
Stuart Hollands. Someone who, despite the tremendous strain this experience has put on us as a couple, continues to come back and give me the confidence that we have the most unbelievable strength and we will get through this together.
These amazing words came after a particular time in our relationship, when I had come to realise that we will never understand each other. Something Stuart had admitted himself. That he will never understand how I’m feeling, never understand the bond I had… have… with our daughter, the ongoing excruciating emotional pain of losing her, the utterly overwhelming and heartbreaking yearning for a rainbow baby – to finally hold our baby in my arms, and the realisation that our world has completely changed.
But how wrong we both were.
Stuart understands it all, more than I could ever hope him to.
This is probably the most incredible thing I have ever read, and it totally blew me away…
I don’t think you understand,
No – scrub that – I know you don’t understand
So I cry
“It’s not the end of the world” you say
The first words I hear after coming round
From this life changing operation
My world has ended
“Your time will come”
My time won’t come though
We don’t have the means
The sands of time are marching on aggressively
And our relationship doesn’t have the strength in it’s legs to keep up with them
So I cry
“Well at least you already have two”
Depending on your questionable definition of ‘have’,
And your even more questionable definition of what constitutes a life.
Is it the point at which every waking moment is spent planning?
Or the point at which every potential sleeping moment is spent coping?
I know which one it is
And I cry
“Well you can’t hang on to it forever”
I have to
That love isn’t something you turn on and off
If it was, the world would be a much better, simpler place
I will hang on to it forever
Not because I am stubborn
Not because there is something wrong with me
But because it will hang onto me too
I don’t want it to go anywhere
I want to remember
When I cry
“It wasn’t meant to be, I guess”
Do you say that to people who have found their partner has been cheating?
That their parents have died in a car crash?
Somebody whose house has burned down?
What is particular
About this type of loss
That makes it seem like that is a valid way to comfort?
I get it.
Because it hasn’t started yet?
We’ve been over this, and I told you it started the minute I saw that line
“They were only trying to be nice”
You say to me, as if I am some sort of deranged, ungrateful sociopath
As if I should just be thankful for others clumsiness
That somehow I am at fault for them not knowing the right way to act
I get it
Nobody understands this very well
It is a particular thing that unless you have experienced it,
You will struggle to fully understand
But you can try
You can ask what would help me
And I would reply;
“Say her name”
It doesn’t matter to me if you don’t believe she existed
I just want you to be comfortable with me believing she did.
Let me cry
All the time you deny me
Tell me I’m wrong
Tell me I’m crazy
Well, those are the things that make me crazy
Tell me you don’t understand but you are trying to
Or that you do understand and will respect my wishes
Even if you still don’t fully understand
Show respect for my ways of coping
Even if they seem strange
Just don’t say the first thing
That pops into your head
Because often the first thing that pops into your head
Should be the last thing
To pop out of your mouth
And I will cry
You think I am bitter
I am a bit
Wouldn’t you be?
People become bitter over far less
I will always ask “Why me?”
Even though I am a speck,
I know “we” are legion
I don’t wish ill on anybody.
I may have to avoid people, but
I am avoiding my past,
Not their future
Then one day it happens to you
Or somebody you are close enough to,
For it to have the same effect
That I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy
“NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND?” I cry.
And I cry.