Last week I went to the ‘Baby Loss Hour Live’ event. This was a meeting up of lots of people who are active on social media in relation to baby loss and are parents who have lost babies. Everything about this group is brilliant in my view; it’s inclusive, sensitive, open, non-judgemental, honest and supportive. And its run and chaired by the marvellous Jess who runs the blog #legacyofleo which she started after the loss of her son Leo, a few years ago.
One of the key topics of the night was ‘Legacy’ and it got us all talking on the topic and me thinking again about this idea of ‘continuous bond’, which I’ve written about before. This is what the song ‘I Can Love You From Here’ is actually about. It’s an expression of the limitless love that I have for my child which will always continue, even though Liberty’s is gone.
We parents of babies who are gone, need to retain our bond with them and it is a healthy and positive thing. We need to use their names and to continue to speak of them and celebrate their lives, however brief. Because they were here and they were real and they were and always will be, our children. When I wrote the song, about ten weeks after Liberty had died, I felt a real sense of relief – like I had cracked some code. I realised that I can always love her and that I must speak her name every chance I get, even though others may feel confronted by the fact of life and death. Her life and death is a reality, and my love and respect for my child will always be more important than any stranger, or indeed friend’s, discomfort when coming into this topic.
Over time, I have come to realise that Liberty’s legacy is so very many things. It’s everything she has taught me. It’s the strength and love that she has embedded into this family of five. It is the song that I wrote for her and, I hope, the love that the song will spread wherever it goes. The song is about love’s triumph over grief. Because grief is incredibly hard, but in the end, love is stronger, and the love that Liberty left behind has made us all strong. It is a strength filled with, and fuelled by love. I hope that all parents who lose their children can find a way to feel the same.