The secrets of babies

I figured something out this weekend. Babies know secrets that we have all long forgotten. They KNOW stuff. Big stuff. We once knew it too I guess.


I watched Maggie bring comfort to many people over the weekend as we farewelled Rob’s Aunty who passed away after a battle for the past 5 or so years from a terrible and very rare neurological condition. This once bright, outgoing, spunky, savvy woman was dealt a cruel hand and given a condition that slowly shut down her body, her capacity to communicate all the while trapped in a body that didn’t work, but with a mind that did.

We travelled over to Adelaide, the last time I was there was farewelling the beautiful Amelia a little while before Mags was born. I managed to visit her then, spend a few hours with her, sitting with her and nattering away talking about the baby that was coming, our trip that was coming up. I left that trip in quite the state having said goodbye to a young woman who was cruelly taken from her young children, in her twenties for goodness sake, and then beautiful Rozzi trapped in this awful condition.

Life in all it’s glory…a new babe kicking away in my belly, a body in a coffin, a woman in a wheelchair slowly wilting away.

Months later we now have Maggie Roslyn with us (her middle name given to her in honour of her Great Aunt) as we travelled the sorry trip over to now farewell Rozzi. I watched her bring such big smiles to some sad people. She beamed at people, instantly making hearts a little lighter, squealing as she does as she was mentioned in a speech by her Grandmother.

I met the most wonderful woman, a little younger than me, who has been through the toughest year you could imagine. Her husband who, like Amelia, dropped dead inexplicably young one day, just like that. A week later she discovered after many IVF attempts that she was pregnant, and she gave birth to a beautiful daughter, just a day after Archie was born. I sat and listened to her talk about her pain and her joy over the year and I saw her look at Maggie, and an unspoken something pass between them. Something from somewhere else, someone else that passed right through the two of them. Tears and smiles flowed, I tell you what, babies are magical things. Little messengers from places with secrets we don’t know.

This strong young woman talked about what sucks about death and what’s wonderful about life. The permanence of death. The awful, ugly truth that you just never get to see or speak with them again. It’s just plain bullshit. And a lesson she taught me, that she still feels lucky. That she got to have love, that she now has a beautiful daughter, that for all that we don’t have, there’s still so much that we do have. We were lucky to have them. There’s so much we can be grateful for every day that we have.

To have love. To be loved.

It’s been a swirl of emotions these past few days. I’ve been thinking about friends lost and all that we still have to lose. About life. How it just goes on, despite it all. About babies and their magic. And how bits of people gone still manage to live on in our memories, in our hearts and even in a name.


We’ll miss you Roo. We still miss you Amelia. Thank you to that amazing woman that I met and all she taught me about BIG stuff in such a short amount of time.


  1. Beautiful post x

  2. Tears.. xxx

  3. To have love, unconditional love, is such a gift. Thinking of you and your family during this sad time. x

  4. As teary as this post has made me, it carries strength with it that is unexplicably peaceful.

  5. Brooke Alexander says

    Beautiful post! x

    PS. It’s a small, small world your darling Husband and I shared the stage whilst at School. Say a big Hello to him from me 🙂

  6. Bless x

  7. Thank you for a lovely post. 2 days after I had an egg retrieval on an Ivf cycle, as our little embryos were sparking into life, my father, unexpectedly passed away. We stopped our imminent embryo transfer and put those sparks of life in the freezer. I travelled with my older 2 sons alone to the uk to say goodbye to my daddy. When we came back we decided to recommence our cycle, Rupert was born on 19th March close to when your friend passed away as I was in hospital when I read one of your posts eluding to her passing. I look at my third son with so much joy as he is here to help me realise life keeps on going and maybe as my father’s spark was dying it passed onto him. Babies are great healers and levellers. Xx

    • Beautiful Clare – congrats. And thanks for sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear about your Dad, I do hope things get easier for you…soak up that Rupert. How gorgeous x

  8. Thank you Beth, for your beautiful, eloquent words. Mum loved you very much and so do we. As for that Maggie Roslyn, she’s a gift xx

  9. So beautiful. I have tears xx

  10. Beautiful Beth.. The circle of life… Wonderful tribute and reflection. Babies are magic. Xxx

  11. This is a lovely post. If Roo suffered from MND, it would be great if you could mention that and bring attention to it, especially given your readership reach. I lost my husband from MND nearly two years ago. He was a spritely, fit, full of life and only 41 yo. We had 20 years together, two gorgeous kids (8&6), and a life of laughter and light right until the very end. People suffering from a terminal illness and their loved ones need to know the quality of life that can be had, even with such a prognosis. And you are dead right – babies are amazing…which is why we decided to have our second in the midst of his illness. Xx

    • Oh Simone I am sorry to hear about your husband. What a loss. Roo had another neurological disease that is very rare – can’t remember its name though. I’ll be raising money for Neura when I can. Thanks for sharing your story x

  12. Having my beautiful eight-week-old Harriet to love and look after helped me keep on keeping on after David died.

    You’re right, babies are magical.

    A x

  13. @fairview_farmhouse says

    Wow, great post. Sitting here feeding my 4th child, I am still amazed what you learn from babies. They are one of life’s true wonders.

  14. beautiful and heartfelt, thankyou beth!
    much love mx

  15. And Maggie is one truly magical baby. So wonderful to squeeze you both this past weekend xx

  16. Gorgeous post. I remember feeling the same when my beloved Uncle died unexpectedly when my youngest was a newborn. The circle of life. The inevitability of death and the joy that babies bring. All at once. x

  17. Beth, I’m in tears. A beautiful post. Your love for family and friends is so evident. Thank you for the reminder to be grateful in the midst of my troubles.

  18. A beautiful, reflective post Beth. I think babies are such vehicles of love and healing. My mother in law passed away 4 months before our first born arrived and when he did he brought such joy and we know he was sent for healing. He filled up so many pockets that we’re left empty with the passing. He was/is such a gift in that sense. I’m so glad your friend got to experience this too. We’re there is loss there is remarkable beautiful life and that is such a wonderful lesson.

  19. Beautiful Beth xx

  20. My dad said babies make us immortal. I find that extremely comforting.

  21. First, I am sorry for your losses/
    Babies are magic.
    My nieces came along a year after losing my father, what joy and healing they were/ And not one baby, but two,and we had lots of loving arms for them.

  22. We went to a service today held by the heart foundation for families who asked for donations in lieu of floral tributes today. I sat there looking at the families, who like ours, have been struck by the loss of someone who they loved very much. And I looked at the babies amongst the crowd and thought how there innocence is a true gift. Then a man sang in the most beautiful way, a Persian chant. And I cried. Again. This year has been so full of tears for me. In losing my grandma I have lost someone who was so much part of me I have truly lost a little of me as I said goodbye to her. I will bear the scar of her loss forever. I’m so sorry for your loss Beth. Sending you much love. xxxx

  23. Beautiful post Beth.
    There is something special about babies…they do seem to know things and are able to connect in a magical way.

  24. Made me cry. Mostly happy tears, I think. x

  25. Beth, your words are so thought provoking and heartfelt. I am so sorry for your loss and equally moved by Maggie’s magic. As I read your last few posts on Facebook and Instagram, my niece was preparing funeral arrangements for my nephew. He tragically passed away after life support needed to be turned off. He leaves behind three babies. It is early days for my niece but those three gorgeous humans will bring her life and light. Full circle “to have loved and be loved” makes so much sense among so much chaos. Thank you. Much love, Kathy x

  26. Wow. The tears just pricked my eyes as I read about that beautiful woman and Mags looking at each other. I felt that bite of loss sharply inside. Beth this is a wonderfully written post and a timely reminder to be grateful for all we have in life and in memory xx

  27. Beautiful xo

  28. Debs Sutton says

    Beautiful Beth, a privilege to read.x

  29. Amanda (Archie Lane) says

    This bought an instant & huge tear to my eye. Birth and Death in its many manifestations teaches us lessons that are imaginable. Bravo to the lady who got up to fight another day. Beautiful post Beth, one of your finest. xx

  30. My Pop passed away when Jack was born. Jack’s middle name is Donald, named after him x

  31. I miss Amelia too. I think often of her billy lids, my heart bursts and aches all at once when they pop up in my facebook feed. It is bullshit. xxx

  32. Thank you so much Beth x

  33. Beautiful words.
    My dear Dad never got to meet my babies….but as the 6th anniversary of his death approaches, I take comfort in their joyful giggles, their sweet innocence, eyelashes on sleeping cheeks, fudgy little baby arms……and know that the rhythm of life continues and I’m blessed to have my memories of Dad.

  34. You’re so right, babies are healers and they know! I got some terrible news a couple of months ago and all I wanted to do was sit and hold my one year old. And she let me. My little crazy ball of energy let me sit and breathe her in and count her little fingers until I was ready. Thank you for reminding me of those sad but beautiful moments with my daughter and thank you for sharing your beautiful perspective on life and loss. X

  35. A perfect and truly poignant piece of writing, Beth.

    I have such trouble with Death.
    Such a lack of understanding.
    I remember reading your post about Amelia’s death and I couldn’t fathom ‘how/why’.
    And Eden & Cam.

    I just don’t have the emotional integrity to face Death with grace.
    Having very little Love in my life makes ‘loss’ near impossible to process.

  36. “Babies know secrets that we have all long forgotten.” – I loved this quote when I first read it on your Instagram (or was it FB?)…if only we could keep that wisdom with us instead of conforming to rules and regulations…if only we could hold on to the sense of wonder that babies and children feel every new day…
    Beautiful post 🙂

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