Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015


I didn't really know what to write about tonight. The subject brief of suggestions asked for books we had turned to in the wake of our grief or had helped in the life after our loss. I read a few 'grief' books - one I can't even remember the name of anymore (what does that tell you?!) and another about trying again and pregnancy after loss.  Both had their place at the time but neither particularly inspiring. 

After we lost Anabelle I didn't find myself lost in self-help books. 

But I did read blogs; other bereaved parents blogs. I immersed myself in other peoples loss; striving to find connections, finding people who felt like me, to read something I could relate to. 

Today I follow Still Standing Magazine - with its wonderful collection of different writers, from different backgrounds and different circumstances. All with one thing in common - bereaved parents. Regularly I read something there that I could've written myself, or a piece is posted that hits the nail on the head in a way I hadn't found the words for yet. Regularly I share a post from there. 

But still tonight I didn't really know what I wanted to share. Books. 

So I'm going to share this post...  about a book I've shared before. A book that touches on death through a children's story, oh so gently and beautifully. I discovered this book when I was pregnant with Alexander, when I was trying to figure out how he could possibly ever know his sister, or understand. 

At very almost four he certainly does know his sister. Oh how I agonised how he would know her. How she would be a fluid through this family. And now, ironically, I realise that Zac barely knows her all.  Not in the way that Alexander already did at his age. At 22 months Alexander would've been able to point to her photograph when asked 'Where was Belle', Zachary would just look at me blankly. When showed her photo Zachary will tell me 'Baby' rather than 'Belle'. What a failing on my part. Or maybe the agonising of her place in this family is over, when her place is so firmly set. Zachary will know her of course, but I guess his 'exposure rate' has been slower, less 'forced' than Alexander's maybe was in those early days. Her intrinsic part of our household is all around him, around us and very soon Zachary will start to know in just the same way as his big brother does. 

But Alexander, he knows he has a sister. He associates her with gardens and flowers and balloons. Xander regularly mentions her name and brings her into conversation; frequently adamant that if we've bought flowers then they're absolutely for Belle, not realising that sometimes it is ok to buy flowers for other people too. He knows. 

But he doesn't understand. Alexander is reaching a stage now where he is questioning that what is real, and that what is pretend. Sometimes recently he has been confused which category Belle fits in to. He is beginning in his own way to question why he can't see Belle and if she is just an imagination. Some of these conversations have been painful for me, even in his innocence. He is trying to figure out the complexities of his family and I guess will soon begin to learn a bit more about what death means. Death that has been a constant in his life from the moment he was born.  

He knows his sister died but he doesn't know what died means. How can he at barely even four? For now I guess he simply needs to know dead is not the same as pretend, that is his sister is real, that he can see her photograph and visit her garden, but he cannot see her, because she died. We've been very careful to be simply truthful and factual about it, about her, even though I have no idea if we're getting it right. 

Books. Capturing Your Grief. Day 6. 

No Matter What

Small said, 'But what about when we're dead and gone, would you love me then, does love go on?'

Large held Small snug as they looked out at the night, at the moon in the dark and the stars shining bright. 'Small, look at the stars - how they shine and glow, but some of those stars died a long time ago.'

'Still they shine in the evening skies, love, like starlight, never dies.'


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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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