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What was the hardest

  • Aside from the complete lack of control you feel in this situation - and the fact that there is nothing tangible you can do, other than pray and hope, the hardest thing for us, was not to ask the question, WHY? There are some things that cannot be answered now and nothing can be achieved by going down the road of asking WHY? In fact, the best answer we came up with was WHY NOT? Keeping this in check and keeping the balance between healthy grieving and going too far into the pit of depression and blackness was one of the hardest things we had to face. We literally had to consciously stop ourselves from thinking certain thoughts - again and again. We did not deny ourselves grief, and we cried, screamed, yelled and other things you'd expect, but we also continued through the motions of life. We also talked about her and our experience - and how it makes you appreciate everything so much more, especially having a healthy child - something which is taken for granted by so many.

  • Upon returning to our daily lives, including work, so many people didn't know what had happened. Many times, and through no fault of their own, they would ask how the baby was or yell congratulations at the top of their lungs - only to be told the sad truth. This was largely unavoidable, and again - not the fault of the person asking, but was difficult to continually face this question and the turmoil of emotions the question would evoke. Be prepared for well-meaning people and realize that their intentions are good.

  • Being asked if you have children or, if you are visibly pregnant again, if this will be your first child. We took the decision not to lie and deny the fact that we have a daughter who is not with us any more. It makes it harder and often can put you in a difficult situation, especially with strangers, but for us, was the way we wanted to handle it and continue to do so. We felt it was, and still is, important that we acknowledge Madeleine's time on earth. In fact, one of the first things we did was registar her birth even though we knew she might only live a few days.

  • Special days - her first birthday, anniversary of her death, Mothers and Fathers Days. These are often days that are so easily forgotten by others, especially after the first year, but never by you. We found her first birthday the hardest - even harder than the first anniversary of her death. Mother's day is also a very hard one for me - as many people don't realize the significance because my child is no longer with us. Arnaud and I are, and will always be, her father and mother, and nothing can change that. It is also hard to see little girls the same age as Madeleine would have been and to think, she would have been walking, talking, going to school etc. But we are so thankful for the time we were able to have her with us.