29 August 2010

Your Memorial Day

A day to honour you my darling,
A day to make you known.
A day to thank your Creator
For the love through you, He's shown.

We will thank God for you my darling,
Our girl for all of time.
We're so grateful for the life He gave,
We will cherish it for a lifetime.

A day to show how much we love you,
A day to share our hearts at last.
A day to savour precious memories,
Which we'll treasure when this day's past.

We'll say goodbye to you my darling,
But only for a while.
One day in the courts of heaven,
 We will watch you laugh and dance and smile!

Until we meet again my darling...

"The Lord watch between me and thee
while we are absent one from another."
Genesis 31:49

23 August 2010

Because of Her...

I'm home, living in limbo between our baby's birth/death and her funeral. I am still in shock and living in a dream world. When will I wake up?

"I wandered around the house aimlessly. My arms were the biggest problem. They should have been holding something, but instead they hung like clumsy redundant objects at my side. They should have been pushing a buggy, but my hands were empty. I kept folding my arms across my chest and stuffing my hands inside my sleeves. In the end I had to resort to hugging a hot-water bottle and rocking myself on the sofa. No one had told me how physical the pain of losing a baby would
be."  The Shaming of the Strong - Sarah Williams

I am physically and emotionally exhausted. The after-effects of the pregnancy are taking its toll on me. All I want to do is stay in bed, alone with my thoughts. I need everything to just stop for a while... but time does not slow down for me and there are arrangements that need to be made - so many details to organise - bible readings, songs, order of service, a speaker, the cemetery etc, etc.

"We must choose a burial plot in the local cemetery. As I sit waiting....
I am totally bewildered by the normality of everything that is going on
around me: people going about their daily business. Don't they know
what has happened? Don't they know that these are not normal times?"
Ciara's Gift - Una Glennon

"Many grieving parents speak of a wish for time to stand still, a desire to be suspended in time, because the pain of moving from here is too hard."
Grace and Grief - A. Axelby

As my pregnancy progressed, God gently revealed to me that I 'was' going to loose my baby. As this realisation gradually unfolded, I began the undesirable task of writing down some ideas for the funeral, so that when I arrived home from hospital, I already had a foundation to work from. For days, I sat on my bed and wrote, while Grant made all the necessary phone-calls.

Flowers and cards began to arrive and these were a great comfort to us, as people finally began to hear about what we had been through over the past 4.5 months.

I had so many things that I wanted to communicate through Charlotte's funeral. Firstly, I wanted people to know how much she was loved, even though she hadn't physically lived with us. Secondly, I wanted to communicate know how much we desired to have a fourth child - she was truly wanted. Thirdly, I wanted her memorial service to be beautiful - to honour her life and make her known -  she was real, she was our daughter,she was our child. Lastly, but certainly not least, I wanted to honour God as the Creator of her life. God had ordained the number of her days from the beginning of time. Everything was as it was meant to be.

As I began to work on the details of the funeral, my mental energy grew. I poured everything I had into the day that would be dedicated to my girl. Because this day was for Charlotte and about her, it gave me the time that I needed to concentrate just on her. As long as all my focus was on her, I was able to carry on with the task of organising my baby's funeral.

15 August 2010


~ 14th August 2010 ~

Remembering our precious girl born 4 months ago today
and her cherished great-grandmother
on what would have been her 88th birthday.


Mullaloo Beach

12 August 2010

Our Two Realities

To a new home she's gone,
She has left us behind.
We are left with the sorrow and pain,
Strength and comfort to find.

Wrapped in eternal bliss,
Overflowing joy and love unending.
Gathering the pieces of our broken hearts,
Time will help in mending.

Life is her's forever,
Praising her Saviour and her King.
Sweet memories are with us still,
Faith helps to dull death's sting.

Eternity to enjoy,
Reunited with love ones lost.
Time goes by so rapidly,
Ignoring our pain and cost.

It was her hope and her desire,
Eternal life, eternal love.
We continue life's uncertain journey,
Entrusting her to God above.

Her life continues on,
We know this is not the end.
Free from the pain and toil of life,
In His presence forever she'll spend.

Hillarys - June 3rd 2010
The realities of heaven and earth are worlds apart. Nana's reality is one of perfect joy, love and peace, while the lives of those left behind are shaken and filled with the pain of loss. What a paradox! The hope and the reality of eternal life can be such a comfort to those who mourn.

09 August 2010


Doris Emily Siddans

14th August 1922 - 6th August 2010

Beloved wife of Noel (dec)
Cherished mother of Christine, Brenda & Paul
Much loved Nana of Julie, Dean, Kym, Sandy, Mark & Sharon
Great Nana to Mikayla, Tanami, Ethan, Ryan, Caleb, Zac & Charlotte (dec)

When I stand in Glory,
I shall see His face.
And there I'll serve my King forever
In that Holy Place.

Part of our journey...

05 August 2010

Left Behind

All things are changed. One mass of shade... I walk in a foreign town.
Is it changed, or am I changed?
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow~

"His words were written so long ago yet they are just as true today. When I came home from the hospital the world appeared a different place from when I had left it three days before; acute, surreal, transparent. Everything seemed different, but it was I who had changed. I belonged to a new world, a world touched by grief. In the world of grief you see all in a clear, sharp focus. It is well defined, but more cutting somehow. You are tender and sensitive to any fresh pain. Your heart feels as if it has a gaping wound from which you will never recover."
A.Axelby - Grief and Grace

Sat 17th April
"You can go home tomorrow," were the words I dreaded to hear. I had very little desire to leave this 'safe' world of mine - a world of transition, a world of relative isolation and a world that still included my baby girl...

Sun 18th April
Time to say goodbye -
.... to the loving midwives who had shared this part of the journey with us.
... to my safe haven, untouched by the pressures of life.
... for now... to my baby girl. There are no words...


Walking through the corridors
Towards my new reality.
Empty arms, wounded heart,
Mind closed.

Passing faces
What do they think?
Bags... Flowers... Mother... Baby?
Ah the doors... to the real world.

Driving in a bubble of disbelief
A tiny hole... my bubble is shrinking.
Capsule empty, heart crushed
Mind closed.

 Home... everything has changed,
I'm not the same.
I can't get up, I can't think,
I can't do anything.

I am frozen and consumed
With the distance now between us.
The grief of separation...
Arms empty, heart crushed -

...Mind closed.

02 August 2010

A Tear Drop On My Door

"...(she) experienced the loss of her full-term child at just twenty minutes of age. 'Pure exhaustion,' she was informed as they quickly whisked him away, never to be seen again. 54 years ago when this occurred, the hospital in which he was born baptised him 'John,' although he was to become known as Mark to his parents. It was explained to me that in those days, all babies who had died were either baptised 'John' or 'Mary' and that the parents did not get to see or hold the child. Not one photograph or hand print exists of baby Mark. All that exists is a faded memory in the minds of his parents, and a star that is named after him by his mother."
-We Dreamed of You CD - Devon Plumley

Fortunately, our experience was quite different to this mother's tragic story. Our own painful journey was somewhat softened by the wonderful care and support we received from the hospital.
A Perinatal Loss Programme has been developed to support families in grief and to help them create lifelong memories.
We spent a lot of precious time with Charlotte. We took photos and recorded the time we spent together. We were able to create some very special memories. The hospital also provided us with a variety of keepsakes to help us remember the time that we had with our girl - blankets, tiny clothes, a keepsake box, hand and footprints, birth details, love hearts and teddy bears (for the children). A lovely, pretty bassinet was also provided by the hospital for Charlotte to use.
The hospital's chaplain was available to talk to us before and after the birth and he provided us with some excellent council. The social worker was also lovely to talk to. All the staff, including the midwives and our wonderful doctor, did a remarkable job in such a loving and caring way.
I was in the labour ward for the duration of my stay (5 days). The room was spacious but most importantly, it insulated me from the cry of other babies. The front desk monitored phone calls and visitors so that we could have as much privacy as we needed. I later discovered a little tear drop sticker on my door, which was put there to remind the staff who entered our room, that we had lost our baby.
We were truly blessed to have been in a hospital that looked after us so well during such a difficult time. Their care and thoughtfulness will continue to help us through our time of grief.

'Charlotte in the Sand' by Mikayla

"Most effectively and importantly, there is the Lord, Who will patiently listen to your deep cries of anguish and will in turn give you the peace and comfort you need to get through the day. Remember that He understands your sorrow and season of grief. His Word tells us in Ecclesiastes 3 that there is a time of weeping and a time of mourning. He then promises that He will make everything beautiful in His time, thus restoring our lives by His love and grace."
Rebekah Mitchell - Grief and Grace by A. Axelby
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