Goodnight, Sweet Lady

J.J. Barnes, Siren Stories, The Lilly Prospero Series, Rose And Mum And More, Mummy Blogger, Parenting Blog

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Yesterday we said our final goodbyes to a fallen friend, one of our own, a fellow mummy. At 330pm, in the crematorium, whilst surrounded by tears of utter grief and despair, I was struck by something as close to beauty as I have ever seen in such tragic circumstances.

It was June 1st, yet the sky outside would have you believe it was January, and the rain that fell flooded mourner after mourner into the large room. We filled the seats, we lined the walls, we crammed into the centre aisle, and we didn’t make it beyond the entrance hall. For this woman, this mother, her children and her husband, were loved so much that we came in from around the globe just to say our goodbyes. As full of grief as that room was, it was also full of love. There was love pouring from everyone, it was palpable, and there is nothing in the world more beautiful than humanity gathering together for the most noblest of things. Pure, agenda free, unadulterated, deep and true love.

Post natal depression is the cruelest of diseases. It takes a strong, confident, optimistic and independent woman and reduces her to someone who truly believes the world is better off without her, believes her family and friends are better off without her, believes that her own children are better off without her. It changes her, it manipulates her, it takes hold and crushes her until she is broken and there is no light that can penetrate the fog that has fallen and stepping out is the only option she can ever see. Post natal depression takes women from their families, steals mothers from their children, and stops the world having in it women as gentle, strong and loving as our fallen friend.

If any of you read this and feel a glimmer of recognition for what she felt, talk about it. Find someone who will listen. If your partner won’t hear you, tell your doctor. If your doctor won’t hear you, tell your friends. We do not need anymore rooms filled with loving people crying for the loss of one of our own, we need rooms filled with love celebrating that you are here and you are loved.

J.J. Barnes. Siren Stories, The Lilly Prospero Series, Lilly Prospero, Rose And Mum And More, Blog, Mummy Blogger, Parenting Blog

Photo Credit Unsplash

I would like to end this with a message of hope. Ladies, stick together. Mums, support one another. Always be kind, always be gentle. We do not always know who is clouded by fog, we do not always know what battles are raging inside us, and we are all capable of acting irrationally, saying things we don’t mean, and doing things we will regret when caving beneath the pressures of life and motherhood. So be kind. Be understanding. If someone does something out of character ask if they’re okay. If someone seems sad, offer them an ear. Motherhood is the most draining, demanding, and stressful of life choices and, as beautiful and magical as it is, it’s ridiculously difficult too. We are in this together. We are all trying to raise new humans to go out and live their lives as best as they can. We are all tired, we are all stressed, we are all anxious. We are all in this together so don’t put down battle lines and add to it. Take your fellow mother by the hand and tell her you are with her, tell her you care, and tell her you understand.

And for our lost mothers, our fallen ladies, I leave you with the words of Emilie Autumn’s “Goodnight Sweet Ladies”.

Goodnight, sweet ladies…
Goodnight, sweet friends…
You lie but sleeping
Someday we will meet again, sweet ladies…
Goodnight, sweet friends…
You lie but sleeping
Someday we will meet again.

With rosemary green and bright
You’re not forgotten, eternal night
Can’t fade your memory, dim your light
You’ve made a difference, you’ve won your fight

We lift our branches and though we weep
No death could conquer, you only sleep
Goodnight, sweet ladies…
Goodnight, sweet friends…
You lie but sleeping
Someday we will meet again

Goodnight, sweet ladies…
Goodnight, sweet friends…
You lie but sleeping
Someday we will meet again, sweet ladies…
Goodnight, sweet friends…
You lie but sleeping
Someday we will meet again

With rosemary green and bright
You’re not forgotten, eternal night
Can’t fade your memory, dim your light
You’ve made a difference, you’ve won your fight

We lift our branches and though we weep
No death could conquer, you only sleep
Goodnight, sweet ladies…
Goodnight, sweet friends…
You lie but sleeping
Someday we will meet again

Let no voice falter, let die no flame
Let all remember your every name
Let faces turn to the starry sky
Let songs be sung ’til our throats are dry
Let no voice falter, let die no flame
Let all remember your every name
Let faces turn to the starry sky
Let songs be sung ’til our throats are dry

You can check out all my contact info an links on www.jjbarnes.co.uk, I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you can get in touch on there, as well as find links to all my work. There’s also www.sirenstories.co.uk which has all the work by both myself and Jonathan McKinney and loads of extra content such as background stories for different characters. If you want to subscribe on Patreon, its just $1 a month to help support our work and it also grants you access to our extra podcast a week, you can go to www.patreon.com/sirenstories.

Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!

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18 responses to “Goodnight, Sweet Lady

  1. This poor woman who obviously felt there was no other way breaks my heart.. I struggled with these feelings and its debilitating.. You struggle to understand why you should feel this way .. As you have this little bundle of joy you created and yet you feel numb and useless..
    I was lucky .. I had a fantastic support network. My mum, friends and health visitor, whom one morning was worried about me (after bumping into me the previous day) phoned first thing after I had a particularly bad night .. She just knew.. If she hadn’t I don’t know what would have happened..
    Unfortunately my “now” ex husband wasn’t as understanding and comments like ” what have you got to be depressed about?!” And “post natal depression doesn’t exist.. Just exercise and get your endorphins up.. That’ll do it!!” Were a few of the comments I had to deal with.. So I am in amazement that I am still here to look after my girls.. It nearly wasn’t always the case.. I thought about it all the time.. Just walking out of the house in my nightclothes and never coming back.. Those memories still haunt me now.. The only thing that stopped me was the guilt.. I could never put my girls through the loss of a parent through suicide .. It’s horrible and you never get over it ( my dad did this)
    It can still be a battle . I don’t think you ever truly get over the depression.. You just recognise the looming feeling and have to learn how to live with it ..
    One thing I will say is if you feel the darkness trying to break you .. Please please talk to someone.. You aren’t alone and there are people who love you and want to help.. It’s just hard for them to understand why you are like this.. If you don’t get it then they never will ..
    Big love to all the ones left behind.. And the survivors ❤️

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  2. What a tragic loss 😓 and what lovely kind words to be written in her honour😓 we need more help for new mothers, PND affects women in so many ways, hormones all over the place and rational thoughts become a blur, the government need to provide better after care for new mums as when I gave birth to my first I looked to the midwife and health visitors for all the answers but felt in my case they were ill-equipped. (Although many are amazing) The best medicine is talking, be there for your fragile new mums/friends/sisters, becoming a mother is the most overwhelming and powerful feeling in the world xxxx

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  3. Justine- thank you for your honesty. I completely understand. I am healing, but I certainly understand. I am glad your you are still here to look after your girls. Stay strong. Xxx

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    • Thank you Jodie..
      It has been many years since PND but the feelings and memories around it never go.. You never stop beating yourself up about how you felt.. And that you could have left/ hurt your children.. But luckily I didn’t. But I suppose that’s all part of the scars of the depression?
      Let’s hope other mums find their safety nets and that the stigma many feel is broken down.. ❤️

      Like

    • And Jodie
      I’m glad you’re on your healing path. Keep strong and take each day as it comes ❤️

      Like

  4. Leanne Knapman

    There is so much pressure on women to ‘get back to normal’ after having a baby it can feel very daunting if you are struggling. I was lucky enough to have an amazing support network around me and got the help I needed. God bless this poor lady who felt it was all too much xxx

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  5. I still have days, sometimes frequently, when I feel as though Molly would be far better off without me. Days when I have Mumtrums and when I’m so far beyond my tether that I can’t even see it any more. Days when I drop her off at nursery and feel so relieved, then feel like a terrible mother because I can’t wait to actually get rid of her. But I am getting better, and she is now able to tell me she loves me and give me cuddles and kisses, so that helps.

    Unfortunately my health visitors were terrible and compounded my issues. They accused me of starving Molly because she dropped two percentile lines, and they accused us of neglect after she rolled off the bed and we took her to hospital. The funny thing was, the doctors at the hospital had to eat crow because they told us she couldn’t possibly do what we’d described… about 10 seconds before she did it in front of them and my husband had to catch her as she fell off their bed too! That didn’t stop the health visitor from being aggressive and confrontational when I next took her to be weighed. I know that some health visitors are wonderful human beings, but sadly mine weren’t.

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    • Jeez I’m so sorry honey, it’s ridiculous that people who are supposed to be the care and support we need when we are at our most vulnerable would be like that. Molly is lucky to have you x You’re a wonderful person x

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  6. Carolinejohnston

    God bless her she must have struggle a hard battle rip my heart goes out to her family xx

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  7. What a dreadful thing to happen. I’m so sorry for your loss. What a wonderful post to highlight this issue though, and well done to you for bringing it to other people’s attention and hopefully offering a way out from this happening again! xx

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  8. These stories break my heart and as a women who has suffered and is recovering from post natal depression I can only sympathise with tears in my eyes & a lump in my throat for how this women must have felt. This poor lady and her family, its just heartbreaking. I hope her demons have finally given her some peace.

    What a Beautifully written post x

    My story…
    People ask me how it feels and all I can say is its like drowning (not that I’ve experienced that) but its all I can imagine it to be compared too.

    You should never ever be ashamed to admit how you feel. I personally had a doctor tell me it was baby blues and I would “get over it” or “it will pass”, it never did and a year later after a total breakdown and a battle that I can never ever describe, I dragged myself back to see another doctor who changed my world – An understanding Doctor, Counselling and medication got me to where I am now and finally I am recovering one day at a time – My point is dont ever feel you are alone or that your head and heart instinct isn’t right because you know yourself and you are usually right. I wish I had swallowed my pride and done something sooner as I lost so many months of happiness. Take each day as it comes and for every negative thought think of 2 positives. You can get through this and it probably will be the biggest battle of your life but you get the biggest heartfelt reward at the end of it.

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  9. Cyril Davenport

    As a husband of someone, who all doctors did was issue little blue tablets too, I feel for all, loss of a loved one, no matter how, why, when is so difficult too handle. Can never be justified, accepted easily.and despite what is said, depression is a hard ” Illness to overcome “.

    My deepest heart felt condolences, please be strong for each other, as you that survive have to fight the fight, remember the good times, forget the bad times. And live to support each other.

    C.D.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Pingback: No Vagina, No Opinion? | Rose and Mum and More

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