A Nightingale's Song of Comfort
In April 1997, we lost our little boy. During our 21 week scan, we were told that he had Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and it was as severe as it could be. We made the heartbreaking and devastating choice to end our pregnancy; to save him from the pain he would have endured probably his whole shortened life. We called him Steven James, after his daddy and my brother.
A day or two after his birth/death we came home to hear a nightingale singing in a tree near our house. It sang constantly night and day. My step Dad is an avid bird lover and knows quite a bit about them, and when we told him about it he was very surprised. Where we live it is very very unusual to hear this bird; it being a built up area and wrong time of year. He was fascinated and wanted us to get a tape recording of it as he had only ever heard one.
The nightingale had, by this time, been singing for nearly a week. I would lie awake in the darkness, consumed by grief and longing desperately for Steven, and most of all wrestling with the guilt that I felt at ending his life. Somehow though, in the silence and dark with just this bird singing, it was as if Steven was trying to tell us it was not our fault and he was with us.
We took the tape recorder with us when my step dad lent it to us, and went home to record it thinking that as usual he would be singing, but all that met us when we got out our car was silence. He had gone. It was a week after we had lost Steven, the worst week of our lives. Had it been a sign somehow? Had he been there to see us through that terrible week but his job being done had gone before anyone else could hear him? The rational part of me knows that how can a bird be there as the Son we have lost, but somehow thinking of the nightingale brings me so much comfort.
And so, that is my angel story. I truly believe Steven wanted us to know he was with us. I know many would not, but it was a very real experience.
Thank you for reading my story and for the wonderful web site.
Yours gratefully, Sarah. xx
STEVEN JAMES SCOTT, APRIL 26TH 1997.
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