How I miss you

Dear Zia,

I often wonder what it will be like to not feel the awful heaviness in my heart when I think of you or what it would be like not to feel this constant ache in my chest whenever I realise you are gone, that you are not going to grow up and you are not going to be part of our lives physically always. There is so much I can do to remember you, yes, as I have been doing, so much more I can take on and so much more I can write but the fact is that I am here and you are not and every day with you isn’t easy. There are so many people who believe that I will get over you someday, that I will have more children and I will get over the hurt of losing you. But how can I when you were supposed to be here, when I love you the way I do. The world is less beautiful, everything has been tarnished since you left. I go about my day in much the same way I did before you, I go to work, I work hard and hardly take time out, I eat, I go home and I eat supper with your dad and brother, I do not have the energy to play with your brother all the time but I do try. I love most to sit with him in my arms and watch a cartoon or movie and get lost in that imaginary world created for children. I chat to dad, load the dishwasher, hop into bed and go to sleep, I wake and start again. On the weekend I laze about with dad and Brady and I watch more movies or play or go visit family. But between all these motions my heart just hurts and I don’t think losing you will ever feel any less painful. I am angry that you are not with us, that there is nothing new to discover about you. I will never see you in any other way than I did all those months ago and that is just the saddest thing. I cannot trace the contours of your tiny body after a bath or giggle into your tummy and kiss you all over. I can’t smack your tiny bum the way I do Brady’s and hear you laugh in much the same way he does. I can’t tease you that I will chew every inch of you because you are simply not here. You are a part of me and always will be but that part of me is now out of sight, out of reach and simply out of everything. I have come to know, not personally, a lot of bereaved parents who are called grief experts now and I wonder what that actually means, they have found healing through their loss and are able to offer that back to the community which is pretty honourable but I wonder how much time they spend being as bitter as I am, angry at the loss of their babies. I sit on the side lines and I participate where possible but all the while I wonder what good is there actually from the loss of a child, no good, it’s an awful thing and it hurts like hell. I am so broken in so many places and I can’t offer any advice to anyone, I can’t offer any support, I can’t be anything to anyone without you. I hate that you are gone and there is nothing wonderful about that. I write my broken poetry and I write my broken messages of love to you but you never get any of that. You never hear them or read them. I don’t even believe in an afterlife anymore. All I know is I am carrying you in my heart as I once did in my body and that is where you live. I don’t dream of you anymore Zia, the dreams I create are what I desire most but will never come true. I am soulless and I am so terribly miserable about that. I am not a perfect mother, but when I met your brother five years ago I knew I would love him with an insane amount of passion for the rest of my life. I do and it is my love for him that often made me wrap my arms around him from time to time and squeeze him or lie staring at him for hours observing him while he sleeps. It is what drives me to protect him like a lioness. I kept a journal for him through my pregnancy as I did for you, his is not full, I still write in it when I have time. I love everything about the boy, how he smells like baked goods and sweet things and how his eyes glisten with love and trust. How he is kind and generous like your father. I wish I cooked more and baked more and did all the other mother things so diligently but I never quite do, I figure he knows me. I will never have any of that with you Zia, I must be content with loving you from a distance, I must love you in a different way, but how do I change that when I hear your name my arms physically ache to hold you, how do I change that I need to see you, that when I talk of you I simply cry, desperately, painfully. I am lost and I am lonely and I do not want to be fixed, I want to sit in the rain and have it soak into my hair and clothes, I want to walk until there are blisters on my feet in the hope of finding you. I want to walk into the ocean and drown with the absence of you, I want to fly off the edge of cliff and fall into the despair I am in. That is my life Zia, my life that will never make sense. I hate writing cards or sending people birthday messages, I say “from all of us” and often brave “From Brian, Jo, Brady and Zia”, but writing your name hurts and it kills me to do. I have no pictures of you, nothing left, nothing to liken you to, you are gone and the world expects me to move along and heal but heal from what exactly when I was never ill, nor were you. I have heard that time heals all wounds, does it really, all of it, am I to expect you to come back to me then, at the end of time.

The Wanderer

A poem about religious freedom…

The wandering soul has left behind the place she once called home
She has discarded the fabricated sense of refuge she once clung to
Castoff her belonging realising belatedly, they were never her own
She walks along down the road of life
Lessons learnt stored clandestinely in her bag
She doesn’t look back
That part of her life is finished
It took with it so much, so soon
She accepts that she was never safe there
Safety was her own duty
She had never belonged
She fit herself into a mould which never fit right
Home she realises is wherever she goes
She wanders down the winding path of life
She stops at odd little towns along the way
To glance in through the windows of the magnificent stores she finds there
She can walk into any of them, if she pleases
Or she can walk on by and on
The blue of sky is more glorious
The sun more warm on her skin
She can rest her head when the day is done
Recreating her freedom day by day
There may be storms, these she will challenge on her own
She can appreciate the benevolence of the odd passer-by
She can show gratitude to the splendour of humanity more easily
Knowing that she is free to do so, that she always was
She is free, free is the wandering soul
From the chains that once bound and ensnared her,
She is Thankful for liberty,
Thankful for life.
© R Joseph


Spring brought with it an immense amount of sunshine,
A gentle breeze,
But there are still some trees, brown and empty
They stand, the sun burning into every branch
They stand after enduring the harshness of the winter
Their leaves have withered away,
They seem dreadfully alone
The spring brought with it the inflow of birds,
flying back from a long winter away
they chirp happily every morning and inhabit the other trees
building nests, making homes,
Those trees began bearing leaves again,
But there are still trees brown and completely empty,
Awaiting the rain to grant them life again
The winter cold has abandoned me
Taking coldness to another place in the world
I am in the spring with the grass which has started to green around me
The sprint with winter trees still brown and dry,
With a yearning for rain which may never come
And when it does
the brownness will end,
It may flower again,
But Just not now,
Not today,
Today those brown and dry trees are a reflection of me
© R Joseph

Prayer Flag 19 August 2014 – Day of Hope

I am so honoured to be your mother, so honoured to have known you the way I did in our time together, to have felt you move inside me, to have felt your kicks, flutters and hiccups, to have watched as you developed from just a tiny spot on the screen to the lovely baby I held in my arms a year ago. Today would have been your birthday in another lifetime, where babies don’t die, the day of your birth, your due date, so today I honour your life with this prayer flag, on this day of hope and remembrance, I remember you. I remember everything about you Zia.

It was not the easiest project to undertake but it was deeply fulfilling to have completed it on the eve of your should have been arrival day. Hanging it out this morning with your dad and Brady was so special. Watching as the morning sun reflects off the pearls and as the light fabric swayed in the breeze was like being in your presence somehow. Every part of the flag is special to us all:

The lace cut from a curtain representing “home”

The string of pearls is mine. A suggestion from dad, a beautiful and very relevant one, you see, the pearl is the oldest known gem, and for many centuries it was considered the most valuable. The pearl has become the symbol of purity and innocence which is all you are.

The feathers, in the colour I most associate with you, yellow, the colour you wore the last time I saw you, the colour of the sun.

The butterfly, your spirit animal. There has been many a day when a single yellow butterfly has visited our garden, and it reminds us of you, our tiny yellow butterfly

Feng Shui medallions representing the elements of EARTH and GOLD (METAL)
Earth is the element of the mother to child relationship. This element is also regarded as central to balance and is the symbol of stability and being properly anchored.
Earth is represented by the colour yellow which I find most fitting.
Metal is the force of gravity, the minerals within the earth, the patterns of the spiritual bodies and the powers of electrical conductivity and magnetism. This element is also associated with immense strength. Metal is represented by the colour yellow

The starfish from our holiday in Durban last December. Looking at it always makes me happy, I remember a time of peace after the storm of losing you. It reminds me of your brother and dad in the sand or being hit by waves, it’s a happy thought and putting it on your flag is a prayer of hope for more happy days. Incidentally the Starfish is a universal symbol of divine love.

The flowers are also from our holiday, I bought them for sand art, I drew butterflies on the sand and placed these on them. I remember sitting on the sand and listening to the waves, the flowers sticking out of the blue carry bag next to me. Swaying gently.

The Ruby, the July birthstone, which we received from your grandmother, dad’s mum on your first birthday.
And of course, your name, Zia, my light.

My prayers float up as the wind gently sways the fabric
I whisper prayers of hope
Gentle prayers of peace
Prayers all simple in nature
But they mask a deep longing
A longing to truly be hopeful again
To truly feel peace

I love you little baby Zia.
Note to reader: Unfortunately my prayer flag isn’t uploading here. But please see this link to the facebook event where you can view it.!/events/787582064606072/813406372023641/?notif_t=like

Feeling Lost

Sometimes there are no words left to say, because there is such a deep sadness without you, nothing truly makes sense. I look at the Return to Zero movie everyday, lying on a table in the dining room on a pile of books, still in its packaging, the poster too. I can’t unwrap it because I don’t know how, its almost two weeks since it arrived. I committed to take part in the sacred project but I don’t know where to begin. I am supposed to have long started your prayer flag but I havent. I am just lost, I am just empty, nothing feels right, none of it feels enough . I want to see your name in those honourable in loving memory end credits. I want to see the story of our stories, I want to show the world my feelings and thoughts reflected on a beautiful prayer flag, I want to honour my committment to this amazing project but I don’t know how my child, how do I pay tribute to your life when all I truly want is you, right here in my arms. I love you Zia baby. I love you so much.


I wonder sometimes about those other pregnant bellies, of who grows in there. Will they make it live and well into their mothers arms. I wonder how far long are those women, how much longer, is it a boy or girl. I can’t bear to look at their bellies but I catch a glimpse. I see expanding noses, see them wobbling along and I wonder, will their babies die? Or was that just me! Do they not speak of pregnancy in front of me because they pity me or is it because they are considerate. What will it feel like to hold a live baby again. I felt that once but I have almost forgotten. I am tainted. A stain in the tapestry. I am the sad grieving mother that will never know her daughter. I long to know you. I long to hold you. To feel you grow within me. I long to hope.