On October 15, we recognize Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day with the story of mother Deborah Phillips who recently authored the book Born an Angel about her first daughter, Jade.
By Deborah Phillips
If my tears could talk, I would have been heard throughout the entire universe. My tears were silent but even if they had a voice, they may not have been listened to for fear of what they had to say. What they would tell anyone would possibly have brought discomfort and heartache. One thing I knew was that anyone who could remotely understand how I felt would have had to have suffered the same kind of loss, and I didn't wish it upon anyone. No one ever wishes for this, but it happens, and it happened to me. You cannot prepare for loss of a child. We all understand we are born and we die, and we are only borrowed to this earth, like a seed planted in the garden to be nurtured and grow and blossom, to see and feel the sunlight and rain, and to know that you are loved.
From the very moment of conception, that is what you do as a parent-- you watch the tiny seed grow inside you and nurture and care for your unborn child and know that you love them with every breath you take, even before you meet them. You prepare a whole new life ready for your precious bundle, and from that moment you know that you could never love anything more. To suddenly and cruelly have that moment taken away from you, to feel as though someone has reached inside your chest and ripped out your heart, is a most intense and soul destroying moment. My heart carried on beating when my daughter's didn't, and I had so wished it wouldn't. I wanted it to sync with hers. I felt as though I had waited my whole life to meet her, and now, I would never get that moment-- never be able to give all this love I had bubbling inside me to anyone else. I couldn't comprehend that anyone could even begin to imagine the pain I felt; I wanted to die. I didn't see a sense in living; my little girl had been my raison d'etre and now I had no reason to live. However, I also realized, being a mother now myself, what my leaving would do to my own mother. After all, she was my rock, my sounding board, and by best friend-- I knew I would have to learn to live again.
For three decades I hardly spoke of my first born daughter. I did learn to live again, though part of me left the day Jade left. I knew my existence would never be whole, but I soon met my husband and had two more daughters. While they knew they had an older sister, they never really understood why she had to leave.
Then in 2017, my youngest daughter became pregnant for the first time and announced she was having a boy. My middle daughter had also became pregnant, for the third time. She already had two gorgeous little boys, but this time, she was having a girl-- my first granddaughter. In the spring 2018, I decided it was time to tell Jade's story.
Both of my daughters were now mothers, and with my divorce, I no longer felt guilty when talking about Jade around my ex-husband. When my daughters were younger, like many other parents, I used to tell them that when you died you became a star in the sky and the brightest one they could see was their sister winking at them. I still look for the brightest star at night and when I find my little star, I blow her kisses goodnight!
I wrote Jade's story for her sisters and they cried in volumes when they read it, but said it helped them understand what it is like to lose a child. They suggested that I publish the book so that if it could help even one person to know they were not alone in their loss or help someone understand more about suffering loss, then Jade's life and memory would have a greater purpose.
Born an Angel (also available here as an ebook) was published by Mereo Publishing on August 9, 2018, which is also the first birthday of my first granddaughter, Lexie Jade-- an ironic and meaningful coincidence.
About the Author
Deborah trained as an accountant and instead of pursuing a strong career, she dreamed of having the idyllic family life for herself, with her own children and with her childhood sweetheart, hoping to give her children the family life she had been fortunate to have had, but the dream soon became a nightmare that would scar her for life.
Almost three decades on, having had much success with her career and now several beautiful daughters and grandchildren, Deborah decided to follow in the footsteps of her heroine, Kathleen Dayus, and write her story for her daughters about the sister they had never met.