Difficult, and hard to please.

8:41 am

Sometimes, it's hard to say the right thing to me, sometimes I'm an awkward bugger and nothing you say or don't say will be right. I'm grieving, and pretty much reserve the right to sometimes be awkward, and possibly a bitch.
Sometimes, people I love and who I know love me say the "wrong" thing and I don't mind one bit, because I know their heart is good.
Mostly, I'm blessed to have a life full of wonderful friends who are truly supportive.
Christmas though means that on occasion I've been out of my comfort zone, of home, my family, my closest friends, and "out there" with extended family and family friends, all of whom I know do have a heart, and probably do care,but for whatever reason choose to ignore my beautiful daughter, choose to not say her name. Maybe they are afraid I will cry.
There is the odd stroke of my arm and a meaningful "how are you ?" and I appreciate that, but it cuts me like a knife when Florence is glossed over, ignored, forgotten.
I guess by next Christmas she'll be nothing more than a footnote.

Don't be shy, say hello!


  1. i have thought of florence over the christmas time. x

  2. I really, really get this Jeanette.

    I just read this and let out the most enormous breath. It's so difficult to openly remember your baby, I find myself being that awkward person constantly. I wish I could describe it in a less juvenile way but all I can say is: it sucks.

    Love to you. Thinking of Florence x

  3. Again I sat and wrote a dozen replies, all of which sounded wrong.
    In the 'real world' there's only one real shot at it and Id like to think Id at least give it a shot to give you a hug and just tell you how much Florence has touched my life. That I hug my children that little bit longer and no longer take tomorow for granted.
    But perhaps I wouldnt for want of not causing you more upset, not realising that by doing so Id cut you further than the hug would.
    I make no sense and Im not sure what I wanted to try to say even now. We Brits are 'funny' with public emotions.

  4. Oh Jeanette,
    I get it,I really really get it. Sometimes people don't know what to say and so say nothing at all, which makes it worse. People do the same thing about Rhys and it makes me angry because it seems lik;e they don't want to even acknowledge his existence for fear of upsetting me. I think of Florence, you, and your family every day. It's okay to be awkward and a bitch about it. She will never be forgotten by so many people, ourselves included. Huge hugs for you.
    Lizzy x

  5. I'm sorry Jeanette. I think I am guilty of it too. Florence will never be a footnote. She has had made a big impact on my life as I am sure she has had on others outside of your family. She will continue to be remembered xxx

  6. In their defence people are probably worried that if they openly talk about Florence that they'll upset you. I know it's ridiculous, you're thinking about Florence all the time and also people are frightened of grief and don't know how to comfort other people. Some people are better at this than others. My Mum has some fantastic friends who will always contact her either by phone or note around the anniversary of my brother's death (it was almost 30 years ago) and some family members didn't even acknowledge that day or his birthday.

    Your beautiful daughter Florence will never ever be a footnote, even for those of us who don't know you but were moved by the story of her birth and passing.

  7. They probably didn't mention Florence because they were afraid of upsetting you. We are not very good at dealing with grief in the UK.

    Florence will never be a footnote, she will contiue to be remembered.

  8. It's awful and I also feel/experience so much of what you've said way over here thousands of miles away. I hate feeling awkward and I hate making other people feel awkward. I feel devastated that some of my closest and longest-term friends haven't mentioned George at all over Christmas. Nothing. I have to think that you're right - that people don't want to upset us. As if we're not thinking of our babies not with us. Florence will never be a footnote and neither will our George. (((Hugs)))

  9. I know exactly what you mean.

  10. You know, I can understand it from both sides - you desperately need people to speak about Florence and most folk are petrified of putting their foot in their mouth and saying the wrong thing.
    Someone I know on a forum saw a picture of the squares I'd made for your blanket today - they read your blog and told me that they'd cried for you and Florence - that little girl will travel so much further than the rest of us can ever do.

  11. I know what I want to say but can't get it to come out right in a message, so will be thoroughly boring and send you as usual many keyboard hugs.
    San xx

  12. I will never forget her.

  13. This all makes perfect sense to me.

    I find it very eerie indeed when a child, so dear to us, just disappears. I sometimes find myself wondering whether I just made my other daughter up.

    But I know in my heart that most people are trying their best to help me. Just like I try my best with the grief of others and probably get it all wrong. Sigh.

    Remembering Florence. xo

  14. I know what you mean. Sending love your way. xx

  15. I've seen this poem on several babyloss blogs and I thought of it when I read your post - which is a long winded way of saying, I understand too.

    "Go ahead and mention my child,
    The one that died, you know.
    Don't worry about hurting me further.
    The depth of my pain doesn't show.
    Don't worry about making me cry.
    I'm already crying inside.
    Help me to heal by releasing
    The tears that I try to hide.
    I'm hurt when you just keep silent,
    Pretending she didn't exist.
    I'd rather you mention my child,
    Knowing that she has been missed.
    You asked me how I was doing.
    I say "pretty good" or "fine".
    But healing is something ongoing
    I feel it will take a lifetime."
    by Elizabeth Dent.

  16. Wishing you a better year....wishing the last had less low points....thinking of you all

  17. Florence will always be special and important to all of us, never just a footnote. it is so hard to know what to say to someone that has had a terrible loss, you don't know whether it is best to say anything or not...we don't know if you might just be hoping noone mentions anything..now we know, thankyou for letting us in xxx...she will never be forgotten, always be so so special and hopefully now more frequently remembered in words too xxx

  18. Our culture tends to be very "buttoned-up" when dealing with grief and grieving, talking about death etc. Which is not helpful for you when you want to talk about and remember Florence.

    I would say that every day I think of Florence, and so it seems do many many others xx

  19. I wanted to reply as soon as i read this post but i'd forgotten my log in details! however in a flash of working memory i remembered it.

    Jeanette - i think you describe grief brilliantly in this post.

    Its barely understood and unless people have either experienced raw grief themselves or maybe had some training in 'the grief process', (which sounds naff) they just don't know how or where to begin when they are with the ones who grieve.

    I hope that Florence Violet will never become a footnote to your extended family, but that she may be a light and teacher to them about how to grieve. Your precious baby certainly won't ever be a footnote to those of us who read your blog.

    with much love and thanks for teaching me about grief in a new way.

  20. I am sorry few remember to mention Florence. It is so painful. I used to think that only I experienced that, but I've learned from my Compassionate Friends group that nearly all grieving parents experience the same. Even if their child lived many years on this earth, their family members and friends become mute on the topic of the child who died. I am sorry you are part of this group. I am right there with you.

    Peace, my friend.

  21. we will always remember her today next year and the year after Jeanette xxxxx

  22. She will forever be in our thoughts and memories. I know what you mean though, it hurts me to see how much less Peyton was mentioned this Christmas versus last.

  23. Florence will never be 'just' a footnote amongst your friends my love


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