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My Daughter, My Heart

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In memory of Natasha Whitmore, my beautiful daughter who passed eighteen months ago.

I was awakened around 2 a.m. on September 7, 2007. The phone rang; my husband went to answer it. He hung up shortly after. I thought, thank goodness. When you have children those late night phone calls terrify you.

My husband walked into the bedroom and knelt by the bed. He said Natasha is gone. I screamed, my body shook in disbelief. No, no, no. I screamed and cried. The pictures of her beautiful face flashed through my mind. It’s impossible, how is it possible, she is here she can’t be gone.

I jumped out of bed. I made a cup of coffee. I drank it like a zombie. Then I ran down the street screaming my heart out down the road. I wanted to run this nightmare away. The next week was a blur. Everyone lead me around and organized the details for me. I didn’t cry as much as I thought I should. I just went through the motions. My sons wrote the eulogy and picked the songs for her service. It was what they needed for those broken hearts that were in their bodies.

I wanted everyone to remember Tash alive, that beautiful face. My sons, age twenty-seven and sixteen, needed to say goodbye so my mum, brother, and sister and two sons said goodbye. My youngest fell to the floor. He couldn’t touch her body in the beginning we had to hold him up. He howled. My oldest held me like a baby.

I couldn’t stop touching her. I hoped that the warmth of my touch would make those beautiful eyes open. Her hair was a mess, she wouldn’t have liked that so I tried to straighten it and make it look nice. I could not keep my hands from her face her hair her skin that was oh so cold. The smell of death on my hands in my mind stayed for weeks. I kept smelling my hands; it was the last thing I had of her beautiful body, the one that was part of me. My sister took my sons shopping for her to buy her a most beautiful dress. They were running around the store like two women trying to buy the prettiest dress they could find, so that she would look like she wanted to. I thank my sister for doing that for them.

Eighteen months later I miss her more and more each day. My life has changed forever. I am different. I don’t enjoy the same things. The only thing that makes me happy is helping others in true pain and heartache. It is the only thing that gives me peace. Petty things annoy. Anger and rage that will live with me forever as part of me is gone forever. I have every right to feel this way. I also have so much more compassion and empathy to those who truly deserve it and suffer the pain I feel. I feel everyone’s pain like it is my own I take their pain and combine it with my love for my child. She would love that as she always loved others more than herself. The pain of losing a child is worse, way worse than you can imagine. People say I can’t imagine losing a child and I tell them it’s worse that your worst imagination.

So goodbye my sweet one and only daughter. Your face I see when I want to go be with you. I see it crying and saying mummy please don’t leave my brothers, they need you. So I stay as I love her brothers with all of my heart.

Your mummy forever.


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