The Mother of All Mothers.
A message of hope for the grieving heart.
This beautiful book, by fellow bereaved mama Angela Miller delivers on its promise.
While a year on from Hugo’s death the grief is not as acute or raw as it once was, the pain remains. While, a year on, the feelings of guilt: that I did not do enough to protect Hugo, or to stop him dying, or that my illness and his death were in some way a punishment for misdeeds have diminished, those feelings remain.
I had bought spot for Hugo on the memorial page (with a copy of the book) at the end of last year, and eagerly awaited its arrival.
Almost as if it knew when it was most needed, the book arrived on a day shortly after the first anniversary of Hugo’s death, on a day when the presence of this ever-lasting grief and the knowledge that the life of a bereaved mother is forever was a heavy, exhausting weight. As Angela says in the book, “It is the heaviest, most torturous burden there is.”
The book is simple, yet profound. Simple is good for a brain steeped in grief-fog. Too many books about child loss waffle on and on, and are overly sentimental (‘unicorns farting rainbows’, as I like to call it) meaning I gained little benefit from them.
Angela’s short but so sweet nuggets of wisdom act, as promised, as a balm against the feelings of guilt, and the seemingly bottomless pit of pain.
The profundity of her words cut through my heartbreak, fought through myexhaustion to soothe the very facets of what hurts the most. Words that can come only from a mother who has also lost a child, who understands the depth of the hurt, the pain, the eternal torment.
Every page is meaningful, but I would like to share with you pages that I found particularly resonant:
Angela’s words of reassurance: that Hugo’s death is not my fault, it is no punishment for misdeeds, that I could not possibly have done more were words I very badly needed to read. While I have been told similar words countless times since Hugo’s death, they reached those parts of my heart, my soul, my mind like the biggest, most comforting hug.
Short, simple, succinct, pulling no punches – from someone who truly gets it.
Every page is beautifully illustrated with calming colours.
It is a book to sit and read in the future for comfort and hope, when such words are most needed. For this journey of grief is forever.
I am proud that Hugo’s name features on the ‘In Loving Memory of…’ among other much-loved, much-missed children from all around the world.
I first became aware of Angela and her work at last year’s Butterfly Awards (I was honoured to be shortlisted in the author/blogger category). Angela won the online support category for A Bed For My Heart, and her acceptance speech (read by a toastmaster; Angela lives in the US) was utterly beautiful. Paraphrased from memory, it read “There are no winners in baby loss. Each of us has to watch other children exceed the age of our lost babies, and other children doing things our babies will never do.”
Following the event, I checked out Angela’s Facebook page – anyone suffering the heartbreak of child loss may find the words of comfort and range of other plentiful resources helpful.
While nothing can ever take away the pain of not having Hugo in my arms, this book is something that eases that pain, just a tiny bit. Anything that eases pain of this magnitude is a great gift, a comfort, a balm for my broken heart.
It gives stokes my reserves of inner strength, will help rekindle my fighting spirit, encourage me to be more kind to myself.
For I fought for my child, I fight still.
I love Hugo in death as I did during his life.
I am a superhero Mama.
I am the mother of all mothers.