I wish I could sit here and say that it was a grey and miserable day. But, it wasn’t. It was sunny and beautiful outside. The beginning of what I thought would be the best summer of my life. Instead, it was the day that would change me, forever.
I decided it was the perfect morning to go for a run along the beach. My boyfriend and I were up at his cottage, three hours from home. Out we went, iPhone’s in hand, music playing softly through our earphones. We were about halfway through our 5 kilometer run. As I quickly changed to the next song, I realized that my music was being interrupted by an unfamiliar jingle that was my ringer. I looked down to see that my Mum was trying to reach me. I answered the phone call, a little out of breath, explaining to my Mum that we were just out for a run. She told me the news.
My sister, who was 34 weeks pregnant, had an episode during the night and was rushed to hospital in the morning. There was no fetal heartbeat. As my Mum told me the news, it was as if everyone surrounding me was moving in super speed and I was stuck, in this slow motion nightmare that was consuming me. I talked to my sister briefly on the phone. As she sobbed, I sobbed. Both of us were completely and utterly heartbroken. We later found out that my sister was having a baby girl. Isla Alexandra Claire. My first and only niece.
Nearly 3 months since the loss of Isla, my family and I still grieve. It comes in waves. Some days, I feel better than others. But then it hits me. I won’t get to be the kind of aunt that I was so looking forward to being. Many keep telling me that I’m still an aunt. But it just doesn’t feel the same.
I never saw the colour of her eyes. I never saw her smile or heard her laugh.
My emotions vary. I feel numb, frustrated, angry, sad, and empty. I try to stay strong, because I know I need to be strong for my family, especially my sister. But some days, I’m tired of pretending to be brave. I’m tired of seeing all the great things going on in other people’s lives around me. Because, for me…My heart now has an Isla-shaped hole that will never be filled. A missing puzzle piece.
So as I mourn for her, I can only hope that Isla is in a safer place, looking over me and my family.