Sometimes living with grief is described as like being on a roller coaster. But a roller coaster has both ups and downs, highs and lows, excitement, anticipation, that moment when everything stands still and then a terrifying, exhilarating rush. For me grief is more like a treadmill and I am stuck facing the wrong direction. Or an escalator, a crazy long one like on the London Underground, where you bravely step on without being able to see where it ends. My escalator is moving down, and down, and down, but I am trying to go up, climbing and climbing, but getting nowhere.
I stop to take a breath, I close my eyes, and in my mind, I am holding my baby girl. I remember how it felt to kiss her soft cheeks, how she fit perfectly in my arms, where she was meant to be forever, not just for a day. I want to stay in that moment, but I’ve stopped for too long, I am starting to go down. I need to climb again, but it’s so hard. I could just stop, let the escalator carry me down into the darkness, to a place where there’s nothing, where it won’t hurt any more. Or I could put one foot in front of the other, just one step, just one will lift me up, away from the dark. One step and then another, not further from Maeve, but towards a future with her in it, not in the way she should have been, but in beauty, in memory, in love. And so I climb, for Maeve, because of Maeve, because I owe it to my baby girl not to give up.
. . .
Jess McCormack became both a mother and a bereaved mother in April 2013, when her beautiful Maeve died during labor. Now she is so grateful to have Maeve’s little sister to hold in her arms, while both her daughters have a hold of their mom’s heart.