Friday, April 3, 2009

25 Years Ago...

I have been absent of late...this time of year is often difficult for me, I struggle with March & April, this year has been somewhat more difficult than usual but the fog is lifting, it always does. I will be around more often.

For those of you who know me, even those I am very close to, may not be aware of what I am about to tell you. I apologise sincerely for not having shared with you, please understand.

This is the abridged story...

I gave birth to a baby daughter when I was very young and was really in no position to raise a child at the time. For me the only option was to give her, with all my love, for adoption. I named this baby girl Jess, she/he was going to be Jess regardless of gender. She was born on 1st April, 1984, 25 years ago this week.

On her 18th birthday I made the decision to make my details available for her to find me if she wanted and began the process to get things underway. Some time later I made contact with her adoptive family but the news was sad, devastating.

Jess died two weeks short of her 1st birthday, 15th March, 1985 - SIDS was the cause, or not as the case may be, given that SIDS is a diagnosis of exclusion. I was utterly gutted...all those years of imagining a dark curly haired little girl grow into a young woman, the possibility of one day meeting and knowing her...just gone. Her little life cut short. I've met her adoptive family...as it happened they used to live reasonably close to me when I lived in Victoria. They named her Jessica Katherine and called her Jess or Jessie, they were told of the name I had given her. They are lovely people who obviously adored her, it is very apparent she had a beautiful life with them. The day I received this terrible news was 10th March, 2003...it's a day I have a hard time with, harder than the anniversary of her death. I guess it's the day she "died" for me.

March is a month of contradictions...Jess's death anniversaries and then there is Matilda's birthday between them, 12th March...my birthday is 25th March and then Jess's birthday on 1st April, the same day as my youngest sister's, her birthday celebrations have always been difficult for me.

This year she would have turned 25, how the fuck did all those years just pass me by..?? No-one remembered her death day and only a small group of special friends remembered her birthday. Not many people in my life know of her existence, I am only just "coming out" and telling friends, it has been very difficult I have seen a grief counsellor, intensely in the beginning but rarely now. I am part of an online Forum for bereaved parents at The MISS Foundation. I volunteer at MISS as an Administrator/Moderator and have met an amazing group of people there...women I have never met face to face have become my dearest friends, I am safe there and it's one of the few places I can be Jess's mother.

So there you have it...I apologise most sincerely to those of you who know me well...I have had this huge secret for many years, it feels good to have it out in the open. There have been some people I have let in but very few, my family only learned about Jess last year.

Will share more as time passes, this has been a difficult post to write but I am lighter for having done so.

With love...

13 comments:

Simon said...

Oh Kerrie. Ive written a few comments to your post and deleted them, for lack of a percieved truly empathic response to what is undoubtedly an incredibly difficult reality. I can only say what an amazingy and brave writing this is and what an incredibly strong woman you are. My heart goes out to you. With love, Kel.

Tracy, mom2many said...

Love you and Jess always. I'm glad you are saying it out loud. Jess. I'm so glad you and she are a part of my life.

Carla Hoffmann said...

MISSing beautiful Jess with you, always.

I am honored to know you and to call you my dear friend through Jess.

I love you dearly and I hold you close to my heart on these difficult days.

Carla

Lynda said...

{{{{{ Kerrie }}}}}

Love you, my friend.

Kori said...

I love you as well.

Penelope said...

How incredibly brave of you!
*Hugs*

Fishsticks and Fireflies said...

Kerrie - Thank you so much for sharing Jess' story . . . I have always wanted to ask, but didn't want to intrude or ask something of you that you were not ready to share. I must admit that I spend a lot of time thinking about Quinn and what the years to come are going to mean to me, and that I find comfort in knowing that 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25 years from now she will be as big a part of my life as Jess still is in yours.

The words that you sent to me last April are still save in my Inbox and still mean the world to me. I wish that I could do the same for you during this difficult time. Big hugs from across the ocean.

Lissy said...

I am so sorry that I didn't try to contact you more through this hard month.

You are such an encouragement & blessing to so many women. We reach out to you too in your own grief. I am so sorry about all that potential that Jess never go to grow into - but her life was meaningful & special & she was very loved...

((((hugs)))) dear Kerrie.

buddha_girl said...

I vividly recall the first time you shared this part of your life with me. Know you are loved and that Jess undoubtedly was part of your life during her short time here. I am so very sorry and hope that you'll take some time to treat yourself gently until you're ready for more.

Karin said...

I remember when I first met you at MISS. You and Jess touched my heart and continue to do so. Thank you for sharing Jess and for reaching out. I've been thinking of you.

Anonymous said...

((Kerrie))

I love ya!! I know you as Jess' Mom & a you are dear friend to me.

xoxo
Janice

kate said...

Sending ((((hugs)))) to you. Wow, 25 years...that is so long. I realized when i read this that i never knew Jess's dates were in March & April too. Thinking of you & Jess, belatedly (i have been quiet this year too)

S said...

I cannot begin to imagine the devastation of being in that position to begin with Kerrie, I had always thought you had lovingly put your daughter up for adoption being a young one and having no choice... but did not realise that she had become an angel so soon and just before her first birthday. Her adoptive parents would have also been so devastated and heartbroken. I cannot imagine the grief that you go through as my own path is very, very different, but am thinking of you.

July is the same kinda month for me.

Lots of love,
S