I was driving home from the library this morning with Harper in the back reading to herself in her non stop 2 year old chatter when I heard the news about Azaria Chamberlain. That a coroner has found, 32 years later, that it was in fact a Dingo that took and killed that small baby girl. It’s hard to imagine the pain that the family has been through isn’t it? The public way their grief was on show, the spiteful claims from everyone that she “did it”. I hope that today that some of their pain is lessened, a door shut, and perhaps some peace at last after such a very long time.
I cannot possibly fathom the pain that comes with the loss of a child. I don’t allow myself to think of it, to think of the “what ifs” the “imagine ifs”. Sometimes when I am away from my kids my mind wanders, the early hours of a morning will see it drift there, but never for long. I am blessed to have two beautiful children, healthy and well and thriving before my eyes. Who knows for how long, but here they are and for that I am grateful each and every day.
When I was a small girl one of our close family friends lost their son when he was 3 years old. Tom was non stop, a boy that ran, didn’t walk, who was into everything and was a pure delight just as 3 year old boys are supposed to be. One day he got into the fenced pool area, tripped and drowned. As a young girl, probably 7 or 8 at the time, seeing someone I knew and loved and who was just a few years younger than me die, well it was shocking. I remember having his brothers and sisters stay with us while their parents were at the hospital with Tom, sitting at his bedside taking vigil until inevitably having to turn his life support off. I remember the confusion. The pain. The sadness. The sheer weight of grief that sat upon every one’s shoulders at the time. The sound of his mother gasping with pain and grief. I remember it all.
Sunday was the 4 year anniversary for one of the little boys in my Mothers Group Lachlan who died from SIDS at the age of 15 months. I’ll never forget the confusion and utter sadness I felt when I heard the news. The “but how can that BE?” and looking at my own little girl Daisy and wondering why these things happen. Why it happens to one family and not another. The terrible sight of a small white coffin, the pain that no couple should ever have to endure. The sound of poor Jules as she heaved and sobbed into my shoulder. The taste of salt and pain. I remember it all.
What a terrible waste the death of a child is.
Today I’m thinking of Azaria and Tom and Lachlan and all the other children who aren’t around who should be. I’m thinking of their parents pain that may lessen and fade, but that never goes away. Of the cruelness of life sometimes. And of the sheer joy that children bring their parents – for some of us for too short a time, and hopefully for others, a long time to come.
I still remember you.