If you read this blog regularly you’ll know that it took me eighteen months to write Summerland, and that I joked that it was the exact length of time that it took to make two whole people.
Two whole people were made during that eighteen months. Unfortunately the second of those two new people – my best friend’s first grandchild – has already departed. He was only ten weeks old.
It’s hard to watch friends go through the trauma of losing a child. Even harder is trying to begin to imagine the intensity of the pain they must be experiencing, and there’s very little one can do in the face of such a devastating loss.
There was no sign or warning – it just happened. These seem to be the words they hear a lot, from doctors and nurses and social workers – it just happens.
Answers can mean everything or nothing to families grieving in this way – everyone deals in their own ways. Personally I like to feel as though something positive can be done even in the darkest hour, so if you are stuck for a charity to donate to this Christmas, please consider the The Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths. For the past forty years FSID has supported thousands of bereaved families and funded extensive research that has led to a significant reduction in the number of babies dying each year. With more research and more knowledge then perhaps fewer familes will have to hear those three helpless and hopelessly sad words.