Today is the anniversary of when I buried by baby. In a grave also containing her big brother. I thought I would share with you the letter I wrote to her and read at her funeral.
My darling Lyra,
From the moment i first suspected you were there, you were loved. The moment daddy saw the word pregnant on the test i knew he loved you too. Because of what happened with Michael, he was initially guarded, but his feeble attempts to stay distanced from you lasted merely minutes. You were our little secret for so many weeks, hoping and praying you would stay with us. we waited, each day getting closer to believing we would be bringing home a baby. Jadis made a wish on her birthday for a sister and i beamed inside knowing you were there.
Finally we thought we had waited enough time and had enough perfect test results to start sharing you. We told Jesse, Jadis and Charley and they could not have been more excited to get what they had wished so long for.
A few more weeks passed and i started making and buying things for you. Daddy got out the stuff from the shed and cleaned it meticulously. He sourced replacement parts for what wasn’t up to his high standards. These were for his little girl, they had to be perfect. Jesse, Jadis and Charley tried to decide who’s bedroom you would be sleeping in and asking if they would be allowed to just sit all day and cuddle you when you were here. I couldn’t believe i was giving them something so precious.
Then we decided to tell people you were a little girl. Charley was momentarily a little less interested but Jadis was ecstatic. She was finally getting a sister. Jesse didn’t care if you were a boy or a girl he just wanted you alive and safe, that’s all any of us wanted.
In the next couple of weeks We had lots of suggestions of names from Jesse, Jadis and Charley but daddy and i knew in our hearts you would be Lyra Anne. Daddy picked that name for you so many years ago and i knew, like when he picked your sisters name, that i wouldn’t stand a chance against his pleading eyes once you were born.
Just as unexpectedly as you came into our lives you were gone. To hear those horrible words again is something that will haunt me forever. How could this be happening? We’ve done this, we thought we’d had our turn. Our pain was multiplied because we knew we would have to tell the others. How do you do that? Have your own heart broken then have to break The hearts of three little people you love more than life itself? It’s just not fair.
Jesse knew. As soon as someone else was sent to pick him up from school he knew. In an act of true bravery and something i will be forever proud of, he didn’t tell the others. The second i saw him there were no words necessary just a deep understanding of how the other one felt. Jadis and Charley’s hearts smashed into a thousand tiny pieces. We just held them while they let out deep sobs. The kind you know matter the most. The ones reserved for the big stuff. The stuff no child should know.
We had precious few hours with you when you were born. Jesse Jadis and Charley were excited to meet you. Jadis even brushed her hair for you thats how much she loved you. The look on their faces when they first saw you was pure love and pride. Something i will never forget. We cuddled and kissed you, i counted your ten tiny but perfect fingers and toes. we took photos so we would always remember how pretty you were.
I feel some comfort knowing you were welcomed into heaven by your big brother, and to know he now has you to play with. I will forever wonder what you are doing, and what kind of trouble you are getting into. In fact, i feel sorry for everyone else up there, there are two Botterill kids there now!
Its amazing how many hopes and dreams can be formed in such a short time. You would have had it all, everything we could have given would have been yours. So many things we now dont want to do without you.
We planned our life with you Lyra. But not like this. Never was it supposed to be like this. Yet here we are.
So my darling Lyra, In the words of Winnie the Pooh, something that was on Charley’s strict list of children’s television he would tolerate you watching, how lucky i am, to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.
All my love, mummy xxx