Sunday, 8 August 2010

A Rose for a rose

I call them my shadow children, the ones I lost over 30 years ago; the embryonic lives that were never lived. Their spirits stay with me, on the periphery of my consciousness, the what ifs... the might have beens...

Of course I grieved for them deeply at the time, even though I never held them in my arms, never kissed them and changed their nappies, never left them at the school gates, chivvied them to do their homework, saw them launched onto lives of their own, lives that I would have only a small part to play in. I never knew the colour of their eyes, the texture of their hair, the smell of their skin, their personalities. I planted a rose in memory of my lost little ones and it has moved with me from one house to another over the years. It helps to embody them somehow, gives me a quiet focus for my private thoughts.


I was lucky. Despite the early difficulties, I now have three handsome, hulking, grown up sons who have filled the empty spaces in my life and given me little time to dwell on what was lost. But I have been thinking of them recently, following the sudden, unexpected death of an old friend's 16 year old daughter, a lovely young woman, full of bright promise, she had shared her life and filled her thoughts and dreams. She should be eagerly awaiting her GCSE results - she would have excelled - gone into the sixth form, fallen in and out of love, spread her wings, gone on to university, had a career, married perhaps... children of her own. All wiped away, never to be.



What solace can anyone possibly give to a grieving mother? What can ever even begin to help her to heal? She wakes up every morning to experience her loss afresh, as though for the first time.


I shall give her a rose to plant in memory of her daughter . It's not much, but apart from being there for her if she will let me, it's the best I can do.

18 comments:

  1. I think that's a very good suggestion, Marianne. I don't think one can ever really get over the loss of a child.

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  2. Hello Marianne. Your blog is a lovely testament to second chances and new beginnings. Thanks for commenting on my blog--it gave me the opportunity to discover yours. And that frock in your last post was a knockout--worth the price!

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  3. No, I agree, Fennie. I feel so helpless in the face of her overwhelming grief. Such a terrible loss.

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  4. Thank you for that, Violet Hoarder. It was nice to stumble on your blog too. I shall keep an eye out for you.

    The dress looked even better on!

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  5. You're exactly right, all you can do is be there for her, and be kind to her. The rose is just a symbol of your presence and kindness.
    Incidentally, in aromatherapy, rose oil is very healing, in a beautiful, gentle way, so when she smells your rose, if you get a scented one, nature will help her too.
    I've two daughters, 17 and 18, and the very thought of losing them..oh it would be unbearable.

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  6. Thank you for that Mimi, and how apt that rose oil is healing. Yes, it is a parent's worse nightmare.

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  7. Empathy helps in such situations, and I'm pretty sure you have that in spades...

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  8. So nice of you to visit today! Sorry to dissappoint you but I do sail mostly every weekend although my blog is primarily about my decorating. However I often have many posts that I include photos from my weekend adventures on the lake. I only just recently changed my header from one you would have loved that had photos of our boat, the lake and sail club. I also have a link on my sidebar labled our lake house (my boat is our lake house). It will take you to my post about our boat. Check it out! I hope you will come back and visit more. So sorry to hear about the loss of your friends daughter. Loosing a child is a loss no parent should have to endure. Glad to hear you are enjoying your new life of sailing. It can be quite enjoyable!

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  9. Hello Jinksy. Empathy and roses - it's all anyone can do.

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  10. Thank you for your visit Sailing Simply. I shall keep an eye out for you. I'm not altogether sure about this sailing thing - or maybe its the sort of sailing my partner likes... I'm more a drifting down the river on a fine sunny day with a light breeze sort of sailor.

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  11. I don't think that there's anything that one can say at such a time - this is when actions speak. The rose, the offer of a quiet walk, a meal cooked and brought over - just being there......
    I loved your post on the new dress and the prep for going out in it. Lovely!

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  12. Thank you for your visit, Pondside, and the kind comments. See you soon.

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  13. Every parent's nightmare. I can't imagine how either of us here would deal with such an eventuality. Sweet and fitting to give a flower since words have no meaning in such circumstances.

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  14. Absolutely right Dick. There are no words in a situation like this. Giving her the rose helped me - I hope it helped her a little too. Lovely to see you again - thanks for dropping in.

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  15. Oh Marianne. What sadness for such a loss -

    And to read of your own losses... Written with such tenderness. I am so sorry.

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  16. She was such a lovely girl and at one time our families were very close. Unbelievably awful for her mother.

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  17. How very, very sad. I cannot begin to imagine how unbearable for your friend. But your rose - how very beautiful, kept close all these years. Perhaps our lost little ones remain closer than we know. I think to think so x

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  18. I would love to think so, too x

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