Monday, 1 November 2010

Remembering Alex and Ian 3

Today it is three years since our twin sons, Alex and Ian were stillborn. I wish that they were alive, and we were celebrating their birthday with them. Instead we remember them and the life they haven’t had.

This year I first heard about the Youruba people in West Africa. They have the highest likelihood of having (non-identical) twins in the world and a correspondingly high rate of infant death. When their twins die they have a statue carved (called the Ere Ibeji) to represent each dead child. It sounds like a fine tradition to me.

Our own traditions are more modest and consist of gathering with family yesterday to eat birthday cake in memory of our boys. More on this soon. Happy Birthday Alex and Ian!

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time in 2009: Remembering Alex and Ian
This time in 2008: Ripple in Still Water

15 comments:

  1. Happy birthday, boys! Thinking of you, E and Sylvia.

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  2. Happy birthday Alex and Ian. I bet they know, somehow, that their family is utterly wonderful and will ever stop loving or remembering them.

    *hugs* Thinking of you, E, and Sylvia. xo

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  3. I'm so sorry again for your Johanna

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  4. What can I say other than I can only imagine the heartbreak you suffer at the loss of them.

    Happy Birthday Alex and Ian xx

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  5. Happy birthday Alex and Ian! Think of you today Johanna xx

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  6. I remember reading this story from last year and the year before. It's very sad and painful I would imagine but good to remember them :)

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  7. I wasnt a reader last year and nor do I know you, but I am terribly sorry that you have experienced what you have and that you continue to experience the pain.

    Happy birthday to your boys and imagining them flying freely and full of peace.

    Loads of glass clinking and cake and best wishes to you.

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  8. A lovely tribute, and that sounds like a fitting tradition to remember your boys. Sending lots of love to you, E and Sylvia today and a wish that the boys are happy wherever they are.

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  9. Happy birthday Alex and Ian, and I think it's lovely that Sylvia will grow up with such a presence of her big brothers and a birthday celebration for them. Thank you Johanna, Sylvia and E for sharing this each year.

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  10. So sorry to read this Johanna, I can't imagine how you get through this day every year since.
    Hugs to you. xx

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  11. Thanks everyone for all your kind and thoughtful comments - it means a lot to know you have me in your thoughts at this time of year!

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  12. I have been reading your blog on and off for a while (finally got myself on the google reader bandwagon fully earlier this year), but I did not know about this until now. I am so sorry for your loss. Your tradition of honoring Alex and Ian is truly lovely and touching. Best to you and your family.

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  13. Oh Johanna, what a day to go through. Glad you had your family there to support you and making a birthday cake for your boys is such a fine thing to do. I had a 5 month old brother who died and I grew up with his name barely mentioned. It seems to me that what you are doing is a better way to go, for you and Sylvia.

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  14. I like the Yoruba tradition.
    The death of a child is not just a parent's loss but a whole family's and remembering together is how hearts heal. Lucky Sylvia growing up knowing how cherished she and her brothers are.

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  15. Johanna.
    The past few years I have been reading your blog and I have been reading about your little boys Alex and Ian.

    I am not a parent and I don't know if I will ever be bestowed with the blessing of motherhood, but I admire your and E's dedication and commitment to remember your little boys every year on their Birthday. I know They are a part of your life every day, not just a day. Heart warm wishes my blogger friend.

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