According to the World Health Organisation; every year worldwide, 2.64 million babies are stillborn, with Africa having the highest rate of infant mortality. In Australia that statistic is 2,000 babies every year, 6 babies every day and 1 baby in every 134.
These statistics didn’t mean very much to me until my son became one of them.
In 2011 my son Alakai passed away in the process of a three–day labour when he was full term. At a time when most parents are expecting to bring home their new bundle of joy and start a new family and life together, my husband Tom and I were left with the shock, emptiness, grief and unthinkable loss of our first child.
What this experience propelled both of us into was our own very real and deeply personal ‘dark night of the soul’; where all of our core beliefs, ideologies, plans for the future and indeed our relationship was put to the test. Our relationship as husband and wife didn’t survive (a common statistic apparently as a result of such a loss), but what I came away with was a way to navigate a new path of heart, purpose and soul.
These points of crises in our lives carry within them a seed ~ the potential for deep transformation. What I have come to realise is that when we have the courage to move away from ‘the story’ of any situation that we experience in our lives, we can (if we choose) come to see the perfection and beauty of ALL THAT IS.
And how do we finish with ‘the story’ ~ by going deeper into the pain, until there is nowhere else to go or hide. The person who is free of suffering has gone to the depths of the abyss and returned with the gifts that the suffering was intentioned to awaken in the first place.
In these moments of great initiation we are given the opportunity to truly become free; to embrace a greater version of ourselves that is not governed by how society, the medical system, the media, friends and family would expect us to behave, feel or be after any such journey of deep loss and grief.
My experience is that when we are faced with times of deep pain, crisis and hardship in our lives; our own daily spiritual practice, trust in Spirit’s infinite wisdom and love, as well as our own path of choice, must be embraced in order to truly heal and reclaim those parts of ourselves that have shattered.
I have come to be in a great space at this time in my life. I am continuing to explore, embrace and step into all that I am, all that I share and all that I choose to be and experience in every moment.
I will always feel a deep sense of love, honour and respect for the enormous journey that Tom, Alakai and myself chose to gift, traverse and experience with each other.
I have spent a lot of time healing and integrating my experience around the birth and death of my son Alakai and parts of what I have expressed may be challenging for some of you to hear.
However, the greatest gift you can give anyone is the freedom to allow that person to be and experience their own journey. You can never fully understand someone else’s journey until you have walked in that persons shoes and even then, it would still be subjective.
The greatest gift of my life thus far, has been my son Alakai ~ the depth of his loss awoke in me a joy and beauty that reconnected me to the sacredness of all life. It allowed me to BE with Spirit in a way that I could never have imagined possible, in a way that inspires me each and every day.
In a world that generally does not embrace death as a natural part of life, we have forgotten how to live as a society. Perhaps it is time for each of us to remember that this life of ours is more precious than any of us know, and that the moment is all we have and in every moment we are free.