Living With Grief

The Broken Records

Broken Record (noun): Used to refer to a person’s constant and annoying repetition of a particular statement or opinion

It’s “fascinating” how so many loss mums, seem to experience such similar feelings at the same time. There are a few repeat words and themes, that keep cropping up in conversation, one of them is how it feels like old news now. To you, me, everyone. And yet here we all are, stuck: the broken records.

Record #1: Be Alright, Dean Lewis

So many of the bereaved parents I’ve spoken to, have confided that the only thing that really made their loss any better, was having another baby. That’s not to say that they forgot or replaced their child in any way, rather that this was the only thing that really served to dull some of the pain.

So spare a thought for those of us, who aren’t fortunate enough to have another – either yet, or ever. For those of us who are just existing in grief. Not living side by side with it, just existing in it.

And my friend said:
I know you love her, but it’s over, mate.
It doesn’t matter, put the phone away.
It’s never easy to walk away, let her go
It’ll be okay.
It’s gonna hurt for a bit of time
…But nothing heals
The past like time.


Record #2: I Don’t Want to Wait, Paula Cole

I think it’s safe to say that anyone with fertility/infertility troubles, will be familiar with one thing: the waiting.

Oh, the incessant waiting! For appointments, for tests, for milestones, for results, for answers, for explanations, for advice, for healing, for reviewing, for periods, for a plan etc. Life is on hold. And so we continue to wait. For what? I’m not even sure anymore. Because not only are there no guarantees to this ending, there’s no guarantee for a happy ending.

I don’t want to wait for our lives to be over,
I want to know right now what will it be.
I don’t want to wait for our lives to be over,
Will it be yes or will it be sorry?


Record #3: Dry Your Eyes, The Streets

A phrase I’ve been thinking about is “the right time”.

With so many people, it’s never been the right time to discuss what’s happened. Well, they never made the time to discuss my baby dying. I think they were waiting for the right time to talk about it and now it’s too late. Too much time has passed. We’ve passed over my past. It’s in their past.

It’s often made me think about the Second World War poem “First They Came”. That message has always sat with me, it’s my battle cry for the underdogs: if you are not going to speak now, then when?

Dry your eyes mate,
I know you want to make her see how much this pain hurts.
But you’ve got to walk away now, it’s over.


Record #4: Summer of ’69, Bryan Adams

I’ve been thinking about the word “behind” a lot recently (to the extent, that I googled “hind” to really see if I am “being hind”. Being good, being patient, being hind?!)

Hind (adjective): Situated at the back

We’re not just behind in the obvious sense of the word – i.e. that we’re approaching four years of trying to have a baby, while everyone else now has one, two, three, four – but in the actual act of glimpsing behind. Because I have genuinely come to think, that the best, really is behind me now, in most things: career, travels, happiness, relationships, experiences, friendship etc. I have this new-found conviction that all my significant life events are done.

There’s something to be said for being caught up in the rat race, busy and wholly distracted. Because when you actually have to stop and wonder what it’s all about, you realise the insignificance of so much. I look back at my old self and I laugh at how dumb she was.

And now the times are changin’,
Look at everything that’s come and gone.
Sometimes when I play that old six-string,
I think about ya, wonder what went wrong.
…Those were the best days of my life.


Record #5: Quiet Uptown, Hamilton

I know that I’ve discussed ALL of these themes before. So yeah, although I may sound like a broken record, they’re not ones I can currently change. I don’t want this music playing either, but I’ve no control over it, whatsoever. So remember:

If you see him in the street,
Walking by her side, talking by her side, have pity.
They are going through the unimaginable.


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