Are you Leah’s Mum?

Are you Leah’s Mum?

If-you-know-someone-who-has-lost-a-child-and-youre-afraid-grieflossquote

At work yesterday I encountered somebody who looked vaguely familiar. I looked at her for a minute, then I asked “Do we know each other – have we met before?

She thought for a minute, then she replied by asking “Are you Leah’s mum?” I smiled and said “Yes I am.” There was no trace of embarrassment on her part and no tears or display of emotion on mine. We didn’t even go on to discuss Leah, we identified a situation (non illness related) in which our paths had crossed before, then we talked about other work related matters.

However, for me it was a very special moment and my heart was warmed. This woman gave me that opportunity – so rare nowadays – to say out loud “Yes, I’m Leah’s mum”, and it meant so much.

When I phone the High School for some reason, or go to Parent Teacher meetings, I regularly introduce myself as “Miriam’s mum“; at the Grammar School I introduce myself as “Simon’s mum” and when I happen across former school friends of my eldest, I become “Rachel’s mum“. Sadly I rarely have opportunities to identify myself as “Leah’s mum” anymore.

Nine months after Leah died, shortly after I had returned to work in the Health Service, I was being introduced to a work colleague whom I hadn’t met before. The colleague who was introducing me momentarily forgot my name and inadvertently introduced me with the words “This is Leah’s mummy.” The person I was being introduced to immediately showed recognition and greeted me warmly. Of course, I then gave her my name as well. There was no evidence of awkwardness on anyone’s part and for me it was another very special moment.

Even though Leah is no longer on this earth, I will always be her mummy.

Leah and Vicky

Hiya Honey

Hiya Honey

Leah appears much the same today as yesterday and the numbers on the various monitors appear unchanged.
Dr Uncommunicative is on duty so I’m not holding my breath waiting for an update.
The ICU generally has about 8 patients between ICU and HDU (High Dependency Unit) so it’s a relatively small nursing team.
The ICU patients are nursed one to one.
We are here two weeks now so we’ve got to know many of the nurses well and they are just lovely.
Two of the younger nurses have had cancer treatment themselves in recent years & one of them showed Leah photos of herself with her chemo hair loss which Leah really appreciated.
She’s a very cheery friendly girl & Leah always seems to respond to her no matter how sedated she is.
Yesterday when this girl came in the room & greeted Leah with “Hiya Honey” in her strong Belfast accent, Leah lifted her arms & joined her fingers to make a heart shape in reply.
This was no mean feat as Leah was very sedated and her limbs are heavy with retained fluid from prolonged immobility and the reduction in her kidney function.
It is lovely that despite everything relationships develop & communication continues.