Hope

Time is too slow for those who wait,
too swift for those who fear,
too long for those who grieve,
too short for those who rejoice
but for those who love, time is eternity.

When I gave birth to Arthur, I looked in his eyes and knew something very special had happened. For months I had been fearing how I could possibly love another child as much as I love William, but those fears were completely unfounded. During my pregnancy with Arthur it took me such a long time to realise that it was okay to love another baby, that it wasn’t betraying William some how. That is was okay to smile again, to laugh again, and to hope again. I know that despite how much I love Arthur, it doesn’t mean that I stop loving William. It’s very strange to feel as though you have a basket of love and to have another child was somehow detracting some of that love from William to give to Arthur, but that is simply not the case. I very quickly realised that I was adding to the basket of love. Nothing, NOTHING will ever stop me loving William, nothing will ever make me not miss him or yearn for him every minute of every day. I know that however much I smile on the outside, there is always a part of me missing.

Very early on I felt that Arthur was a gift, sent from his big brother in Heaven, a message. A message to me from William to say ‘mummy it’s okay, it’s okay to live again.’  There was a time that I wouldn’t have been able to say that. A time where my life wasn’t worth living, a time when my darkest hours were spent in a psychiatric unit for my own safety. I have sunk to the deepest depths of despair, I know what it feels like to not want to live, I know what it feels like to make that decision to end my life. In some kind of strange unparalleled universe, William was the reason I didn’t want my life to continue, to take the same journey that William took, from this earth to Heaven, to be with my baby once again. But it was William that kept me going, it is William’s life that ensured that I kept on with mine, that day by day no matter how slow time passed, I put one very heavy foot in front of the other.

I had to fight for William. Fight for the answers to the reasons about why he died. I had to fight to make sure those reasons were heard, and it still is the reason I fight today to make sure that by sharing William with the world that it doesn’t happen again. It has been an incredibly hard journey thus far. To talk so much and so publicly about William’s death and not just about what happened, but to describe what happened to us, how finding him shattered our lives, to explain to people what it feels like to give your child CPR knowing full well that he had already gone. To share our deepest most traumatic moments with people. But I know that by talking about our darkest moments, sharing William and the little boy who lived, others won’t have to experience what we do. I just cannot believe how much impact William’s short life has had, and I am incredibly proud to call him my son.

Silently and behind closed doors, Paul and I suffer. When the cameras are turned off, the microphones put down, we slowly retreat back to ‘life’. We have become expert at putting a mask on, not necessarily hiding our grief, but not always showing it. This journey has played out so objectively, always seeking to achieve something constructive, there are no ‘buts’ or ‘at least’s’ when your child dies. I know that because William died, many other lives will be saved. I am thankful for every person who sees me on television and doesn’t turn over, I am thankful that every person listens and shares my message. But most of all I am thankful that millions of people have seen my beautiful little boy, I am thankful that my child is a hero, because he is my hero.

After having to live a paralleled life, one that is objective and constructive to achieve change in William’s name we are now able to be subjective again, to love, physically. I have always explained grief to be love with no place to go. When Arthur came along he gave us an outlet for our love, but not only did he do that, he has given us a future again. It has only been recently that I have been able to say and believe when I say it that it is okay to live again. It was very difficult when we found out we were pregnant to believe that we would be able to be happy again.

This is a journey, one that isn’t planned out, we don’t know the next steps. We don’t know how we will feel from one day to the next. It is a path we haven’t chosen. It is path we tread very carefully with a fear of the unknown. But what we do have again is hope. I can honestly say that it is truly isolating to live without hope. It completely robs you of energy, of motivation and depletes any reason you have to live. Hope keeps us going. William kept me going until I found hope again. William gave us hope again and for that I will be forever grateful.


www.justgiving.com/williamoscarmead

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Your definition of hope, my definition of hope…

“Hope” – noun

  • a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.
  • a feeling of trust

“Hope” – verb

  • want something to happen or be the case

Today I answered a question when submitting content for a book, What is your definition of hope? No-one has asked me this question, nor have I spoken of hope. This word has peppered so many conversations since William died, but never mentioned by myself, because what do I hope for? Honestly, I hope that when I close my eyes tonight, it is for the last time. That when I wake it is with William.

My desire to be with William constantly squares up to the pain that I feel. A daily battle, there is no choice, there is no mercy, no resolve. The only desire I have is for William to be here with me. My life dictated by this desire, some days the hope of not waking for another day over-rides the pain, the hope that tomorrow might not happen. Other days, the pain paralyses me in its unforgiving grip. You see, the only desire i have, will never happen, not ever. Stripped of this desire leaves me with nothing apart from the hope that tomorrow is the first day of my eternal life with William.

Have you tried to live without hope? It doesn’t matter what I have in my life, a good man, a good job, wonderful family and friends, the list is endless, but it’s not William, my son, my world, my life. There is nothing that I wouldn’t sacrifice including my own life to give William his, to give him the chance to breathe, to love, to grow, to learn, to live the life that we gave him. Everything pails into insignificance, there are no variable factors, there is nothing that I would rather have in my life than the opportunity to be with William. I am focusing on William’s Legacy, I am busy, I do work, I am fundraising, I am doing my degree, but these are not reasons to stay here, these are not hope. They are part of a life that I have been left with, not by choice, but forced upon me.

I suppose what I’m trying to say is I would like you to try to understand the difference between your hope and the hope of a bereaved parent.

You hope that your child will sleep through the night so you can get a few hours sleep. I hope that I don’t sleep, because sleep induces nightmares of the day that I found William  in his cot, never to wake again.

You hope you’re doing the right thing, the guilt that disciplining your child brings. I hope that William doesn’t blame me, I hope he doesn’t wonder why I couldn’t save him, the burden of guilt I carry, a heavy weight around my neck, always.

You hope that your child’s first day of school goes smoothly, hope they will be full of smiles when they greet you at the end of the school day. I hope that one day I will get to actually see my child again, hope that I get to see William with my own eyes.

You hope that as your child grows up, makes friends, becomes more independent, that they return to you when they need a hug. I hope that one day I will be able to hold my baby again, physically, be able to smell him, to touch him and to never have to ever let go.

You hope that when your child has flown the nest, you secretly hope they have washing they need to bring home so you get to see them, hope they come home for a meal. I hope that William will be waiting for me, when I arrive in Heaven.

Hope for me is defined as being relieved of the sheer pain that emanates from my heart daily, but knowing this will never happen until I am with my baby again. Hope is that one day people will understand William isn’t replaceable, I don’t want another child, I want the child I had. Hope is that there is more understanding and compassion in a world that can feel so harsh and isolating.

Hope is knowing that one day, I will close my eyes and when I open them, I am with my forever child. I hang onto this. This is my only hope, and I hope that day is tomorrow.


http://www.justgiving.com/williamoscarmead