Genevieve shares with us the letter she wrote to her daughter, Amalie.
"You are my rose, Amalie. My perfect little daughter. You made me feel whole… complete… for the first time in my life. You were the piece of the puzzle I didn't fully understand how much I was missing having - the piece that rendered almost everything else in my life insignificant in comparison."
A letter to my daughter (read aloud as we planted a tree in her memory)
My darling daughter Amalie,
Thank you. Thank you for coming into my life and bringing me more joy, peace and fulfilment than I thought possible, albeit only for six short months.
I felt you move inside me, and part of me wished I could kept you there, protected, forever. I would have done anything, anything at all if it meant harm did not befall you.
But alas your life journey was tragically short, nipped in the bud. I was lucky. We spent several months together. The rest of the world only knew you for a few short days. But the ripples from your arrival and departure are still being felt, by so very many people.
There have been trees and flowers planted in your name all over Australia and beyond. Like this one. They will grow and flower, celebrating your life. And my hope is that as they are tended, they will not induce sadness in those gardening, but instead, gratitude and wonder at the blessings your short life has reminded us we have.
Your Dad, Nanna, Granddad and I will feel pain too, that is inevitable. Pain that we will never get to see your first steps, your first day at school, your first love, your first heartbreak. Pain that you will never know much love you can feel for a child growing inside you.
But pain is not only inevitable but invaluable for a full and fulfilling life. The lows give life contrast and context. They help breed resilience, empathy and humility, and these are some of life’s most important skills. So much comes down to attitude.
I won't complain because roses have thorns, but instead rejoice because thorns have roses.
You are my rose, Amalie. My perfect little daughter. You made me feel whole… complete… for the first time in my life. You were the piece of the puzzle I didn't fully understand how much I was missing having - the piece that rendered almost everything else in my life insignificant in comparison.
I understand so much more now- about myself, about motherhood, about the world.
And for this, I will be eternally grateful.
All my love,
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Genevieve is a GP, medical educator, medical writer and musician from the Northern Rivers region of NSW. After a long and difficult road to motherhood, her beautiful daughter, Amalie Ella, was born in December, 2014. Tragically, Amalie died of neonatal sepsis after only four days.
Through her clinical work, teaching and writing, she hopes to she can use her experiences to help support both patients and other doctors in managing the complex emotions surrounding fertility issues and perinatal loss, and also encourage more open discussion in the general community.
Her website can be found at: http://genevieveyates.com