Saturday, 11 September 2010


It is 2 years today since our sweet Alice Buttons was born. Tomorrow it will be 2 years since she died.

2 years.

After 2 years I have nothing profound to say about life and about death. Nothing insightful or all that meaningful. Life can be short. Death can be unexpected and unfair and at the wrong time. I have learned that people don't like talk about death. And when you say you had a baby that died, it is as if they didn't hear you. They move on in the conversation. They leave those words hanging. I imagine that if you could see these conversations, you would see those little-big words, 'dead baby,' just hovering there, waiting for the person to let them into their ears and into their brains. Most people don't. They don't want to think about what that means.

Some very special people do let those words in. They ask you about her and they talk about other babies that have died. They send beautiful balloons on her birthday and messages of love. They are the people that say her name, that say how shitty it is and they talk about her like she was here.

Because for us, she was here. She will always be here. What I have learned about life and death is that every day of every week of 2 whole years you can think about someone and you can desperately miss someone that you never knew. What I have learned about life and death is that I am sure for every day for every year for the rest of my life, I will miss someone that I never got the chance to know. What I have learned is that you can fill up your heart with a new life but a bit of you will always be missing.

Someone will always be missing. Alice will always be missing. Missing and missed.


katiecrackernuts said...

Two years. Goodness. A special milestone for a tiny tot. You must miss her terribly and imagine who she would have been. Hugs.
I did a double-take last night. I was picking up takeout for my weary self and partner because the kids were out and we took a rare opportunity to not cook. I swear I saw your eldest but couldn't be sure and didn't spy you anywhere in the restaurant so must have been mistaken.

beck said...

This is a very beautiful post. I can't imagine your pain and sense of loss, I found your words & thoughts so sweet & sad & powerful. I have a friend who's boy died two years ago, yesterday, and I have seen & felt some of what she has been through. There is no answer or magic way to make it all better, is there? But I do know it's good, as you said, to be with those who understand, who care. Look after yourself, don't forget how important you are too xo

clare said...

That was so nicely put. I think that is the hardest thing, the wondering about what they would have been like, and the sadness about never knowing. (I hope you don't mind, I speak from experience of miscarriage, rather than that of a baby dying) I sometimes get mad at people when they don't know what to say about such things...but really I understand too, because sometimes there are no words for such sadness, and it is hard.
Take care, xo

Kate said...

That is such a beautifully written post Rach. I am so sorry for your loss of your beautiful baby Alice.
I fear that I would be someone who would change the subject or skirt around the edges. Not because I don't care and I don't feel, but because I would want to protect you. Not make you have to deal with it. Obviously nothing that anybody says or doesn't say will protect you and from your words I have learnt that it is there no matter what so better to be spoken about and acknowledged. When I suffered a loss a few years ago I spoke about it to anyone who would listen so I should know.
Happy birthday to Alice and her family. X

sophie said...

Just reading those 2 words together 'dead baby' made me feel uncomfortable because it's so wrong and I just don't understand why babies have to die - and I am amazed that you have come from that place, because you are so calm and peaceful but you have lived through every parent's nightmare. I love her name, it's so happy and pretty and timeless. Thinking of you.

Hope's Mama said...

Obviously I'm one of the ones who gets it. After Hope died, I really wished she would be the last ever baby to die (wishful thinking huh?) And if she was, then Alice would never have died and we would never have met. And as much as I like you, I wish we didn't ever have to meet. Certainly not like this anyway.
I wish she was here Rach, I really do. Both our girls. I miss her with you today and every day.
Happy birthday precious Alice Buttons. You are so loved.

Kate said...

The last two years have gone so fast, and yet I'm sure to you it seems like the longest time. I'm one of those people who is never quite sure what to say, but I cannot ignore your loss, though I have never experienced it myself. Like the other Kate said, not saying anything isnt because you don't care, but sometimes you dont have the right words, and it feels safer to say nothing at all.
Keeping you in my thoughts.

JasperBoy said...

To a very special girl on her birthday,
It is sad and difficult and wrong that you are not here. Today is your day and I celebrate the joy and love that you brought to the world; especially to your mummy, daddy and big sister Minnie (and now to your little brother Louis too).
Alice Buttons, you are most definitely missed.
Jen in Melbourne xxx

Anonymous said...

A butterfly lights beside us like a sunbeam,
And for a brief moment its glory and its beauty belongs to us,
But then it flies on again,
And although we wish it could have stayed,
We feel so blessed to have seen it.

Happy second birthday, beautiful Alice Buttons.

Love from Kylie xox

Barbara said...

I wish you hadn't learned the things that you have had to learn Rach.

And I wish I hadn't learned those things either.

I wish Alice Buttons was here.

And I wish you all so much peace.


jodi said...

Rach, again, I'm so sorry for your loss of precious Alice Buttons. I think about you a lot, you know. Every time I cross the path of a woman who shares her loss with me. And there are many women, out there, grieving quietly and so confronted by the lack of acknowledgement.

Lucky for Alice you have shared her life and her death. She is so blessed to have you as her Mummy. Always x

tea with lucy said...

Powerful post Rach. Tears and tingles.

Thinking of you and Alice.


Jeanette said...

Love to you, and thinking of Alice.x

Hazel said...

A tough post, but an honest one.
My thoughts are with you and your whole family as you remember Alice, particularly over these few days. It must hurt terribly to think about what you will miss.

Kate said...

Hugs xxx

sean the prawn said...

Happy Birthday to your precious Alice. X

Terry said...

All my love, darlings! XXX

Amber said...

Oh rach here i am catching up on millions of blogs and posts and i see this. I always remember with spring comes this moment. I am so so sorry for you, steve and stella. No words do ease your pain. But please know you are in our thought and may little Alice's spirit live in Louis and

Loz and Dinny said...

Big love to you on your wee Alice's birthday. When her name is spoken with such love she continues to be there with you. The words are hard to find so I will just send you a whole heap of xxx

Black Eyed Susie said...

Happy birthday Alice.

And, thanks Rachel, you've just made me realise I haven't talked enough to someone close to me about her losses. I will do my best.

PottyMouthMama said...

Dearest Alice Buttons. I know it might seem strange, but I often think of your sweet Alice. I can not believe it's been two years already, and for you, I am sure it's dragged for some of that, and then BOOM! How did you get to two years without her already.

My cousin-in-law and her husband lost their beautiful three year old daughter, Lara, unexpectedly last year. I think of lovely Lara all the time, taken by death in the middle of the night.

I will always wonder about these sweet babes that we will only dream about what they would be like.

Here's to beautiful Alice Buttons and making memories for her. x

tiff(threeringcircus) said...

I was thinking of her today and wondering, thinking that it had to be soon but I missed it.
Sweet Alice.

You'll always be remembered here.