“You haven’t let Ella go, have you?”
The question wasn’t dissimilar to many I’ve received over the past 9 years. When people are new to my story, I understand that initially they can’t appreciate I have been living through it, then living with it, for countless hours. The event – and, Ella herself – is not front and centre in my life any more. But for them it can be quite fresh and raw and confronting to consider they’re with someone who’s lost a baby. How does she move through her day? Surely she must be in some denial, look at her laughing and enjoying life… I’ve almost heard it being thought sometimes.
But see, the presence of my firstborn daughter is inextricably woven into the fabric of who I am now; we are easy travellers together, she and I. No longer do I feel the need to make statements, the realisations have long since settled down to a gentle hum in the background. And for over eight years, I have willingly shared those realisations here on this blog with the trust and faith that the words will fall into the laps of those needing to read them at any given time.
In this time, my audience has also changed. You have grown too, alongside me. Many no longer reading are doing so because they have grown away altogether. That is simply brilliant if you ask me!
The truth of it is, I have worked very hard to get to where I am now. To work out and be aware of the lay of the land in which I travel. Getting to know what affects me energetically, how I can effect change (and learning to be much more consciously aware and responsible for this effect on others). I am still learning. And it sometimes takes much introspection and patience to let the lessons settle.
So this question, while not necessarily out of place, certainly felt out of the blue. It was posed by a relatively new friend, someone I have known barely two years. Her introduction to Ellanor (and us as a family) is, therefore, fairly recent. And I admit – as I did to her eventually – it surprised me and I was a little on the back foot about the inference that I had still not “let go” of my deceased child. It could have plunged me into a soul-searching. But it didn’t. For I know with absolute solid certainty my place with Ella and hers with me. I’m well beyond pop-psych stage on that one and I was about to call bullshit, defensively.
However, as this challenge came while I was already at a low point this past fortnight, where the shock of my accident with the kangaroo had taken hold, I couldn’t overlook it. The timing of her delivery had to have some significance. Of that I was sure. Although it seemed to come like a shot out of the blue when I was already questioning the relevance of all things (and people) in my life now as the truth and further meaning of this accident came spilling out, the question – “Have I let her go? And, actually, do I even need to if I have not?” – danced around the edges of my awareness.
It’s been three weeks since the accident, which in itself has signalled a profound turning point in my life. One that has marked a positive time for great change. Not surprisingly, that is another of Red Kangaroo’s lessons. I have read the following paper on the Kangaroo as totem before, as part of my study over the past eleven years, but this time every single paragraph seems to be telling me directly that it’s time to stop this blog and open myself properly to what is to come.
The nature of my family life is about to change again completely, with the coming of foster parenting in 2014 and the relative bureaucracies and other external families who will shine their own brilliant lights onto us, themselves seeking truth and keeping us accountable. I have reached a crossroads. I am choosing to be in service to these other families for the next “whenever” period of my life.
My friend had served me up a clue. Not that she realised it. She was not asking if I had literally let go of Ellanor herself. It was this blog. To me, over the years the blog came to represent, for want of a much lengthier explanation, Ellanor. I have had and held and shown and shared all parts of my relationship to my daughter with you all.
It’s time for me to move on from that. Not from her, not even from any of you necessarily… but from that experience. And to me, this entire blog (no matter what I’m writing about on it) will always represent the whole concept of infertility and neonatal loss. I have looked at it from every angle and made my peace.
Bit of housekeeping:
This blog will be visible until New Year’s Eve, 2013. When the time comes and I have a new space sorted, I want to be sure those who want to come along will be able to find me. Just in case I can’t reach you via Facebook, please feel free to email me and let me know a contact email so I can include you when I send out a bulletin (just the one!) and advise the new blog details.
So… Next up, on Friday this week I will (finally) post the lessons I learned from Red Kangaroo! (which will also be the last post on this blog). They’ve been a long time coming, but so much has come out of it that I didn’t even realise two weeks ago I would be shutting Sunny Side Up for good. But…
It’s time. xx