Moments of you


I have always been someone who has taken inspiration from words. There has been many times in my life that I have scrolled the internet or Pinterest for quotes, poems or a funny meme to get me through the mood of the moment: after a break up, falling in love, marriage, pregnancy, and the general highs and lows of life, relationships, work and motherhood. I have spent many a late night scrolling incessantly for those perfect words to steady the beating of my heart and mind.


So in the many sleepless nights after losing our sweet Nora, I found myself once again seeking inspiration from words - something to make the aching in my heart and the pain in my very being feel just a little more bearable. These were the words that did just that:

"For the rest of my life I will search for moments full of you"

- Anonymous


I didn't know it at the time, but this was a natural response after Nora passed - the quote had just given me the words to describe it. I could no longer see and touch her, so instead I was creating and searching for moments full of her. Her photographs, our Nora-bear, her candle, the colour lilac, fresh flowers, butterflies, her toys, her memory box, and our blanket with Nora's pictures (which her brother and mummy use for 'Nora snuggles')...these are all our "moments full of her". We have made a conscious effort to include Nora in our everyday - to speak her name, to tell her story, to learn from her bravery and determination. Our son Tiarnán has recently started saying "I'm brave like Nora" when he is hurt or trying something that makes him a little anxious. We have created a toy box with Nora's name on it full of her toys, clothes and wraps so that we all can 'spend time' with Nora's things whenever we want to. On special family days, we light her candle as a symbol that she is still with us. We include her in some way in our family photos because right now it wouldn't feel right not to. Our lives are as full as we can make it of 'moments' with our Nora. While sometimes we initiate these moments, sometimes they make themselves known to us.


Today, for instance, as I was walking to the park with Maeve and Clodagh, we spotted a lovely bush of pink daisies. We are trying to teach Maeve her colours, so we stopped and talked about the pink flowers, pointed to the purple lavender behind them and the yellow daisies further along the path. I suggested to Maeve we should pick a couple for Nora's vase on the way home. When we returned to that same bush an hour or so later to pick the pink daisies, I was amazed to find there were two smaller lilac purple flowers in amidst the spray of pink that I hadn't noticed earlier. I'm sure there is some perfectly reasonable and scientific reason for those two purple flowers on this pink bush, but our reason is Nora. This was a moment full of her, and for that moment she was there with us, and my heart (which will never completely be whole again) was a little more whole. We took those flowers home and placed them in a vase next to Nora's ashes so this moment of her could last a few more days.


I read somewhere recently that bereaved mothers have a unique way of seeing the world, we see the beauty in the everyday. I think it's because our angels are never too far from our hearts and so we are always searching for 'moments' of them. We see the beauty in the simple things: the glimmer of the sun shining through the trees, the crisp blue of the sky, the perfection of a flower, the raindrops on a leaf...as if we're seeing the world through a high definition lense. As I walked through the park the other day, I was overcome with the beauty of this tree lined path...just weeks earlier my three little monkeys had crunched around in the autumn leaves and these branches stood bare. I took a moment to pause, look up, breathe in the fresh air and feel the glow of the sun through the leaves. Another 'moment' of Nora.


Sweet Nora, mummy promised you that we would take you with us in all of our days - so we do. Our lives are full of moments of you. And we will never stop searching for more.

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Sticky fingers & butterfly kisses is  a place to share my journey of motherhood after loss - my hope is that it will be a gentle place for others who are raising children after loss or supporting a loved one who is grieving the loss of a child - a safe place to share our stories and experiences.

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