Reflections of a Grandmother

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The day our grandson Steven was born we were over the moon. “Our first Grandchild”. We were so proud of our daughter and son-in-law. But suddenly our world was torn apart when it became apparent that Steven would not survive. The six days that followed were the worst days of our lives. I had to cling on to the belief that something would be done to save him. He was so beautiful and so big how could he not survive? We just felt numb not knowing what to say to Karen and Andy.

When Steven died a part of us died too. We still did not know what to say and we probably said and did all the wrong things. I felt I could not grieve in case Karen and Andy called in and I upset them. I found myself starting to say things and changing my mind in mid sentence, thinking, “Oh no, I can’t say that”. I know that this infuriated Karen, and that they wanted to talk openly about Steven.

Nobody teaches Grandparents how to cope, and it’s not something that comes naturally. Everybody handles difficult situations in different ways. I wanted to talk about it, but my husband couldn’t, I wanted to have photos out, but my husband could not cope with that. It was so hard for us when Karen and Andy shut everybody out in their grief. I felt that I had failed them. I should have been able to put things right, “I’m a mother, that’s my job”, but I could not put this right. I just had to stand on the sidelines and watch my daughter falling apart, knowing I should have been there for her, but not knowing how.

I felt I was losing my daughter as well as my grandson. It was as though she blamed me for not making it right. I have never been able to grieve properly for Steven and my husband never got over losing him. I have slowly got my daughter back and now I have another lovely grandson Matthew, who my husband sadly never lived to see. The pain and anger that I feel at losing Steven never goes away. The fact that his death could have been prevented and that the people who contributed to the mistakes that led to his death, will never have to stand up and be counted, makes it harder to come to terms with. We never held our grandson and I will never forgive the people responsible for that.
I’m very proud of Karen and Andy and I love Matthew to bits, he is so precious. I just wish I could turn the clock back and have the power to give our darling Steven the gift of life.

Janice

In memory of Steven
Born 1st June 1995. Died 7th June 1995.