Over the last five weeks, the parent blogging community has stood helpless as our world has been rocked by the tragic and sudden death of Matilda Mae. Last week, I attended her funeral and watched as her agonised parents were forced to say goodbye to their precious and beautiful nine month old daughter. I watched David carry that tiny coffin from the church. I watched Jennie follow him, leaving pieces of her shattered heart behind her with every step. And every step they took was a step towards the unknown. To the impossible reality of a life without their youngest child.
What a heartbreaking, soul destroying and utterly desolate collection of letters. Sudden. No warning. No time. No time to say goodbye, or to have one last kiss, one last cuddle. No time. No warning. Infant. Matilda Mae. Baby Tilda. Jennie and David’s miracle baby. Unexplained. Nobody can tell these parents why their child was taken, why she was chosen. Why she took her last breaths on that night. Why? Nobody can explain it. Yet. Death. Such a final word. Syndrome. A noun. A group of symptoms that consistently occur together, or a condition characterised by a set of associated symptoms…
The Foundation for the study of Infant Deaths (FSID) works in the UK to fund research into why babies like Matilda Mae die, and they support parents like Jennie and David. They have funded £10 million of research in hospitals and universities. And despite this, there is still no one single reason why around 300 babies die each year in the UK.
Cot death is rare. Since 1991 70% less babies die from it, following new safe sleeping guidance. FSID needs to continue to raise funds for more research so that this precentage can fall even further. So that babies like Matilda Mae need not have died in vain.
Jennie, along with other bloggers around the country, is organising a walk in memory of Matilda Mae. This is in line with FSID’s annual mile in memory event, which you can read about here. Myself, Heather and Lisa are organising a North West walk, which will take place at Clifton Country Park, and I would like to invite you to join us. If you can’t make either of these two locations, keep an eye on @edspire @ghostwritermumm @sahmlovingit and @Hollybobbs as more walks are being organised and their locations are to be confirmed soon. There is a very good chance that you will be able to join one of them. Alternatively, you will be able to donate on our Just Giving page here. There will also be an online auction taking place that same day, May 11th, to raise further funds.
If I may, I’d like to share with you a part of the short tribute I wrote for baby Tilda, which was displayed on a card at her funeral:
You can shed tears that she is gone,
or you can smile because she has lived.
You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back,
or you can open your eyes and see all that she has left.
And this is it. Matilda Mae’s legacy.
If you haven’t, please please go and read Jennie’s blog. Please understand why we are doing this, and why it is so important to raise funds for FSID. Jennie and David are desperate for Matilda’s star to keep on shining, and with your help we can make that happen.
Sweet dreams Matilda Mae.