David John Edwards
(29th Nov. 1986 – 20th Feb 1987)
But, Dear Lord,
Whatever happened to
What David might have been?
David was born to Jo and I in ‘Oxford Street’, Liverpool Maternity Hospital on this day in 1986. Such knowing eyes. Three months later he died – a cot death. The terrible raw grieving is now over. The memory lingers on. Memories of good times and fun days and a day when he was about two and a half months and ‘Everything was perfect’. His death taught me so much and changed me as a person – for the better, I hope. Certainly it made me more understanding. And it has made me ever fearful for my three other children. But the longing for him to have lived overlies everything.
There are various ‘models’ about grieving. None of them can be exactly applied to every individual because we are all different just as our children were different. But most models end with an ‘Acceptance’ stage where the parent learns to accept and deal with the reality of their situation. Acceptance does not mean instant happiness. Given the pain and turmoil the parent has experienced, she or he can never return to the carefree, untroubled person that existed before this tragedy. They are irrevocably changed but they can go on to live their lives as 'normal' people. Shortly after David died I worried that I might forget him in the sense of not bringing him to mind every day. There probably has been the odd day when I haven’t thought of him. But is has been only the odd day in 28 years.
Parents should not outlive their children and today is a day for remembering that. And, because of that, I am also thinking about GB and Carol (parents of my nephew and godson, Andrew); Sue and Dave (Tom’s parents); Katie and Adam (Archie’s parents); and many other parents that I met through the Alder Centre at Alder Hey Hospital. Sadly, the list is endless.
P.S. I'm not seeking sympathy in the comments - I simply had to record the day somehow.