Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Lost dreams and the feelings of longing through grief..............

THE BEREAVED – May Williams Ward

In the next room, in the low chair,
In the soft dark, are you there?
I do not ask it when sun is laid
Through the checkered window in yellow plaid-

But in the deep dark…In the low chair
In the next room, are you there?
I want you there….

This morning while trying to rinse dried oats off Peter’s breakfast bowl I looked over at Dempsey who was lost in a TV program…. She was sitting on our sofa, munching on dry vegemite toast, in her jammies…her school clothes waiting to be slipped into, piled neatly next to her.

“Darlin, you’re going to be late if you don’t get organized” I whined at her.

“Mummy, come sit with me and watch,” she said, patting the cushion next to her.

I filled the sink with the dirty breakfast dishes, dried my hands on a tea-towel and decided we had half an hour before we had to leave…..I hate saying no to a simple request of spending a bit of time with her. So I snuggled up on the couch beside her to see what had caught her attention so deeply.

She was watching American Idol which I had TIVO’d for her last Wednesday night.

I had no idea watching this talent show would reduce me to tears….at 7.30 in the morning! After all, it’s just a TV show right? But it was soooooooooo moving……….

And I find now, after experiencing grief that these moments of unpredictable reactions to other peoples’ ‘stories’ can transform me into a blubbering mess! It’s that gift of compassion grief brings into your world….mixed and stirred with the craving for what my child who’s missing would have wanted out of life……

Watching some of the contestants live out their dream, and being told “You’re going to Hollywood Baby!” had such a powerful effect on me. You see it’s the longing for Savannah that prompts the tears…the wondering, and the reflecting, and the not knowing what my little girl’s dreams were is what constricts my throat with pain.

Savannah at a Make A Wish granting experience in Australia.....her wish was to work with the dolphins..a very very special memory!

When Savannah was alive, she would say “I want to be a dolphin trainer Mummy!” That was her dream….  But today, I wonder whether she'd want to be dancer or a writer or a teacher……or just anything! It’s that mystery and unfairness that I don’t get to know, or see, or experience WHAT she would’ve been….even how she would’ve enjoyed sitting with Demps and me watching bloody American Idol!

And I feel ripped off when these emotions hit that I’ll never know…I can only envision…and it’s painful!

The simple fact is I miss my child. I miss the little things, like feeling a tight hug or even a smile from Savannah. I can say with confidence and conviction that I’ll feel like this until I die. For all my days……

I can’t watch movies where they show little girls being reunited into their mother’s arms…. or Gray’s Anatomy when they depict a storyline about curing a child’s disease. It’s heart wrenching as I know my little girl will never be returned to me and will never escape what happened to her.

And I know I can’t change my circumstances…I will always be saddened sometimes and curious…and that's part of being the mother of a child who died, that was stolen and that I’ll never see again. But I can still dream…and imagine………

You see every night before I go to bed, I check in on Dempsey. I stack up the scattered books she’s read that are laying on the carpet. I gently pull the blanket up over her shoulders and tap off her touch light.

I gaze at Dempsey’s innocence, lost in dreamland, tucked up safe under the blankets…she will always be my miracle and I know I’ll enjoy watching her live out her ambitions in this life.

However, some nights she looks like her sister as she sleeps...I see Savannah and the similarities are comforting……. On those nights I linger alone for just a bit longer and imagine……

PS; My beautiful dream Dempsey......  Remember always, always to take the time with your kids...to drop what's not important and spend some special moments with them...they only really want our love and our precious time...even if its watching American Idol on a school day!

Wishing you sunshine if your cup is blue! x


  1. Well said, Diana.
    ((hugs and tears))

  2. Thank you for leaving some hugs.....and the tears are often present, just under the surface!

    Sending ((((bear hugs)))) back to you!

    Love Diana x

  3. Dear Diana

    Martin Cooke here in Munich. I just read your lovely comment on Maggie Mackellar's blog which came after mine and I saw your blog link. You also have a very painful and deeply moving story and it is inspiring what you and Maggie are doing to help people cope with loss and grief and move on in life.


    Martin Cooke

  4. How is it that you can bring me to tears so often, yet I am not mad at you? :) I appreciate how eloquently you put into words, they way I feel so many times. Thank you for sharing. I find it difficult to share those feelings that always lie "under the surface", with anyone. I don't think anyone who hasn't had such a loss, can possibly, truly "get it". Thank you! I definitely DO relish the time spent with Payton and try not to fritter away any time with loved ones. XOXOXO

  5. Martin,

    I just read your comment on Maggie's blog...I'm sorry for your loss! I find it comforting and amazing that us ex-pat's can watch some favorite things from Oz online and reconnect with other fellow Aussies!

    Thank you for leaving this comment all the way from Munich. My husband and I lived not too far from where you are for 4 years in the 1990's for my husbands work....a little town called Friedrichsdorf. We loved Germany, the people, culture and food..I miss their pomme frittes! And it's funny, but back then life was so easy and innocent! I had no idea of what was in store for us.

    Your thoughtful words inspire me to keep writing...so THANK YOU! I checked out your website and it was lovely to see some images of home! Congrats to you on your obvious singing talent!

    with love
    Diana x

  6. Crystal, my special friend!

    Your comment made me cry!:) Your words are always comforting and you are right about others not understanding....how could they....

    Through losing our children we do have the gift of appreciating our loved ones and time spent with them, however, it's a painful lesson to learn.

    Thank you as always for supporting my blog and re-inforcing what I feel...it helps me to understand I'm not alone on this jouurney.

    sending love your way!
    Dee xxxxxx

    ps; PD and I had a giggle about your Valentines Message...I thought I had an admirer!! :) xx to Warren and gorgeous Payton

  7. Dear Val,

    Thank you for leaving this lovely little message..these inspire me to keep writing!

    with love
    Diana x

  8. you´re so cute....
    beautiful blog!!

  9. Hi Diana

    Thank you for the lovely reply. I think what you and Maggie are doing is very important. I gather you lived in Friedrichsdorf near Frankfurt/Bad Homburg?

    I live 25kms west of Munich.

    It certainly is great having the internet. Even though I have been here for so many years and have a lovely family I still miss the easyness of Australia and the weather especially having lived in Manly.

    That is also a sense of loss for me when I think of our little cottage at the end of Stuart St at Little Manly with an unspoiled view right down the harbour. When the ferry was in front of our picture window I would walk down the hill and take it into town. Sunday lunches were lovely too especially a swim in the late afternoon at Little Manly pool.

    Warm regards


  10. Hi Martin,

    Thanks for stopping by again and leaving this comment!

    Yes, we lived near Frankfurt in Friedrichsdorf...a gorgeous quaint little village with the best pizza restaurant I've ever experienced in my travels! :)

    We lived in Sydney for 10 years and often went across to Manly when Savannah was alive for lunch via the ferry so your description of your memories made me smile! Thank you!

    Diana x