I never expected to watch one of the Piers Morgan life stories and hear profound words about what it's like trying to heal from the loss of a child.
I certainly didn't expect it from an interview with Sir Richard Branson; but that was where I heard this when he spoke about the grief over the death of their first born:
"for me healing was completed when Holly (2nd born child) was born; for the mum (Joan) I suspect it will never be completed." Sir Richard Branson on Piers Morgan's Life Stories.
It is so few words and yet it totally encapsulates how it was for Mike and I. Mike actually asked me, when Rachel was a few months old, when my grief over our babies would be finished. I remember feeling completely stunned; shocked; like he'd kicked me in the stomach.
How could it ever be over?
How could one child replace another?
How could the past be just forgotten?
Had he never cared that much?
It took months for me to get close to forgiving Mike for that simple question; and even then I just accepted that his grief was a mile away from my own. It is very true when they say that grief can be the greatest wedge in a marriage; it's so difficult to accept each other in your differing ways of coping.
All these years have past and I still don't feel "done" with it, can't imagine ever being "finished". I have however learned how to live with it; and in that have come closer to knowing how it might have been for Mike.
I know that for him, Rachel mended his broken heart, she was the perfect space for the hole he had inside. Where as for me Rachel was and is everything, but she can not and should not try or need to fill the hole her brothers left.
Their lives were real inside me;
my love for them continues;
for me it won't be finished ever.
But it will be OK,
more than OK.
Thank you Sir Richard Branson for so fantastically voicing how it was for you and has been for us; I hope your words help others when they need to hear them.
I think the hardest lesson any of us learn is that we all see and experience life in different ways and that my way is neither better nor worse for not being someone else's way.
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