It seems strange that I'm writing this letter to you.
To 'Baby' Tilda.
You're only a month younger than TC. But he's not a baby anymore. How can this be? It makes me so sad and angry at the world. Life is so unfair sometimes.
I still struggle to believe you're gone.
I never met you, I dearly wish I had. I wish that with all my heart. I did meet your mummy briefly when you were just a tiny little secret growing inside her. She was quiet that night...wrapped in an excited and anxious bubble of early pregnancy. I wish now that I had gotten her to talk more that evening.
I'll never forget reading those words your mummy posted the day after you left the world. My heart flew up into my mouth. I couldn't believe it. Didn't want to believe it.
I felt sick.
My world stopped.
And then I sobbed.
Sobbed for a beautiful baby I'd never met.
Sobbed for a beautiful lady destroyed.
Sobbed for a beautiful family torn apart.
I have thought about you and your mummy every single day for the past year. Even on my happiest of days there is still something that pulls my mind back to you. I see you everywhere. In every star, every rain drop, every rainbow and more.
Sometimes I catch TC doing something for the first time and my heart aches all over again. Aches for the empty arms of your mummy. She is an amazing lady. I know you know that. I just wish she believed it.
I still can't believe that exactly 12 months have passed. A whole year since you were snatched from your loving parents by something so devastatingly cruel. No-one knows the real extent of what they face each day without you. I can't begin to imagine the gut-wernching pain they feel without you in their lives.
But you are everywhere, Tilda.
I really believe that.
Not just in the stars, rain drops and rainbows.
Your little life has had such a huge impact on so many people. Your legacy is something truly amazing. It really is quite wonderful.
Personally, I've been on a journey these last 12 months.
When something awful happens in the world, we stop for a moment. We think about how awful it is. We think about how thankful we are, how we aren't going to take things for granted and then we move on, eventually forgetting and slipping back into bad habits.
This time it's different.
You've had such an impact on myself and so many people, Tilda. Your little life has made some big changes to lots of lives.
Mine for one…
- I am more tolerant of my children's behaviour. If one of them won't go to sleep at the time, I don't stress. I relish the extra cuddles.
- If one of them is ill I stop what I'm doing completely. Even when I'm busy and they don't really need me, I just sit and spend quiet time with them. Again, I relish the cuddles.
- I always checked on my children before I went to bed but now I spend a few moments sat on the bed or sat by the cot. I stroke hair. I wish cheeks. I feel love.
- I don't stress about the small stuff. I'm more relaxed than I ever used to be.
- I've given up my freelance work so I can spend more time with my children. It's where I want to be. They are growing up so fast and I want to be a part of that.
- I've found out about The Lullaby Trust and the amazing work they do. I cut back on cards and gifts this Christmas and donated money instead. Having met Francine recently, it feels great to support such a wonderful charity to help families like yours.
- I am learning to also look after myself too. A happy mummy makes for happy children and that's what's important
There are a couple of other things that have happened.
I've made two very beautiful and dearly loved friends because of you.
Your mummy and Susanne.
They mean so much to me. Susanne and I travelled to your funeral together and we read aloud. It was one of the hardest things I've ever had to do but I did it for you and for your mummy.
I've told your mummy that I will always be here for her and I promise you that, Tilda. I'll always be here for Susanne too - you know how much she's helped your Mummy. She's helped me too.
As much as I love them, I would give up their friendship in a heartbeat to have you back where you belong. In your mummy's arms.
Life is so cruel but something special has happened. It's all because of you and your wonderful mummy.
Look what love can do.
Rest in peace baby girl.
Love Heather xx