10.15am on March 7th 2013.
The time and date I think will be in the hearts and minds of many people forever.
The time and date we say goodbye to precious Matilda Mae - beloved 9 month old daughter of Jennie and David.
I feel honoured that Jennie would like me to speak at Tilda's funeral. She's asked me to mention when she told me she was expecting Matilda. I'm not going to lie though I'm terrified but I want, with all my heart, to do a good job. I'll have Susanne there to hold my hand and I, in turn, will be there for her when she speaks.
I think the youngest persons funeral I ever attended was 20 years old (a school friend). I never expected to be at the funeral of someone so young but...9 months old.
I am still struggling to believe it all.
As this post goes live, so many people will be thinking of Jennie and David and holding their hands, either in person or virtually. Social media will be alight with thoughts and prayers for them and I know they will take great comfort in this.
Whatever you do today, promise me this. Hold your children extra tight. If you don't have children then hold a loved one tight. Tell them you love them. You really never know what life will throw at you.
I'm now going to end by sharing what I have written to say at the funeral*. I just hope I have the strength to get through it for Jennie xx
If you've not been part of an online community before, you may find it difficult to understand exactly what it means.
How can you care so much about people you've never met before?
The world of blogging is an extraordinary place. It's a world of love and support. It's a world where there's always someone to listen. It's a world where you can laugh. It's a world where you can cry. It's a world where we share our lives. Our highs and our lows. Our ins and outs. You may not be able to get a physical hug but you get the most incredible level of love and friendship that, sometimes, it can completely take your breath away.
I've met Jennie before but, sadly, I never got the chance to meet beautiful Baby Tilda. The first time I met Jennie I knew about the incredible secret her and David were carrying. You see, Jennie told me she was pregnant with Matilda before she announced it to the blogging community. Only her family and her best friend knew. She told me as I had just announced I was pregnant too and she was bursting to let someone else know. I remember her excitement at finally being able to tell me and I felt honoured to be carrying her secret too. We met at The Mad Blog Awards where we sipped soft drinks and shared nibbles to fight off early pregnancy sickness.
There were a large group of ugs all pregnant at the same time. And, even though some of us had never met each other we all shared such an incredible journey. Through our blogs, Facebook, Twitter etc. we all exchanged our thoughts, excitement and fears about our pregnancies and the highs and lows of those first months of babyhood.
Through Jennie's writing we all grew to love Matilda as a part of this amazing community. A community that has been completely rocked by the tragic loss of such a beautiful baby girl. A community that will never be the same again.
Rest in peace Baby Tilda.
|Photo by kind permission of Jennie xx|
On Saturday 11th May 2013 (what would be just over a week after Matilda would have celebrated her 1st birthday) we will be walking a 'Mile In Memory of Matilda Mae' to raise money for FSID's. You can read more about it on Jennie's blog and I will be writing a blog post in the coming weeks with details of the North West event.
* These words are correct at the time of writing my blog post. They may be different to what I actually say as we are still working with all the speeches and we will be reading words from others too or we may not be speaking at all