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Losing a parent and gaining a child

1
Baby Maeve

My 3rd beautiful daughter (Maeve) was just 4 days old when my beloved Dad, Marc, died. He had been battling (and boy did he put up a battle) Oesophageal cancer for 2 years. The weeks leading up to his death he deteriorated rapidly, the symptoms of his brain metastases were obvious for all of us to see. As I approached and went over my due date he would jokingly ask me daily if I was going to have the baby soon. But I knew he was hanging on for the birth, a

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wonderful Father yes, but an exceptional Grandad without a doubt. Maeve was born on the 19th January, 2 days later he was rushed into hospital and never returned home. I visited him in hospital with Maeve, I kissed his head told him I loved him and Maeve got to meet her Grandad. Minutes later he passed away.

Grieving for your Father and bonding with your new daughter is incomprehensible. The emotions that you go through and feel in a short space of time are a whirlwind. The soul crushing, heart breaking, nausea of pain and the oxytocin, heart

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3
bursting, wonder of love. How do you manage that? How do you not feel guilty for crying on your newborns head over such a loss of a man and then the next minute smiling so wide at your beautiful childs profile as they sleep? Balancing those feelings has been impossible, but the important thing was that I let myself feel them. All of them. I also talked about how I felt, which is a hard thing to do. Its hard to say ’actually I am really fucking sad today’ or actually ’I’m ok today, I’m happy’ (cue the guilt!) I am still grieving for my Dad, probably
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4
more now than those first weeks of Maeves life. The realisation that he is gone is highlighted by the weekly/monthly milestones we celebrate of how long Maeve has been with us.

One thing I know is that Dad chose to go when he did because he knew that Maeve would give us the strength to carry on. If I didn’t have her in those early days I’m not sure how I would have managed. I miss my Dad more than anything in the world and there will always be an ache in my heart for him. But I am lucky enough to have that ache surrounded by an abundance of love,

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not only from Maeve but from my wonderful daughters and supportive and loving husband. One thing losing a parent and gaining a child has taught me is that it all comes down to love, whether that is mourning a love or rejoicing in a new love. It’s all love.
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Linzie O'Keefe

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- 8 May 19

Baby Maeve

My 3rd beautiful daughter (Maeve) was just 4 days old when my beloved Dad, Marc, died. He had been battling (and boy did he put up a battle) Oesophageal cancer for 2 years. The weeks leading up to his death he deteriorated rapidly, the symptoms of his brain metastases were obvious for all of us to see. As I approached and went over my due date he would jokingly ask me daily if I was going to have the baby soon. But I knew he was hanging on for the birth, a wonderful Father yes, but an exceptional Grandad without a doubt. Maeve was born on the 19th January, 2 days later he was rushed into hospital and never returned home. I visited him in hospital with Maeve, I kissed his head told him I loved him and Maeve got to meet her Grandad. Minutes later he passed away.

Grieving for your Father and bonding with your new daughter is incomprehensible. The emotions that you go through and feel in a short space of time are a whirlwind. The soul crushing, heart breaking, nausea of pain and the oxytocin, heart bursting, wonder of love. How do you manage that? How do you not feel guilty for crying on your newborns head over such a loss of a man and then the next minute smiling so wide at your beautiful childs profile as they sleep? Balancing those feelings has been impossible, but the important thing was that I let myself feel them. All of them. I also talked about how I felt, which is a hard thing to do. Its hard to say ‘actually I am really fucking sad today’ or actually ‘I’m ok today, I’m happy’ (cue the guilt!) I am still grieving for my Dad, probably more now than those first weeks of Maeves life. The realisation that he is gone is highlighted by the weekly/monthly milestones we celebrate of how long Maeve has been with us.

One thing I know is that Dad chose to go when he did because he knew that Maeve would give us the strength to carry on. If I didn’t have her in those early days I’m not sure how I would have managed. I miss my Dad more than anything in the world and there will always be an ache in my heart for him. But I am lucky enough to have that ache surrounded by an abundance of love, not only from Maeve but from my wonderful daughters and supportive and loving husband. One thing losing a parent and gaining a child has taught me is that it all comes down to love, whether that is mourning a love or rejoicing in a new love. It’s all love.

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Linzie O'Keefe

Mother of three Wifey to one Nurse to many

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