Dear Steve. Dear Hayley.
There are many things that I don't understand, like you. Why flowers grow different colours. How the universe could have exploded into being from nothing. How a microwave works.
Why governments never fulfil their promises. Why people make the same mistakes over and over. Why racism is so prevalent.
Famine, war, pollution.
For a third of my 14th year, I studied a term of physics at school, which was two hours a week of absolute gobbledegook to me. Except one part.
I remember reading that the entirety of our universe is composed of atoms. Photons, protons, neurons, electrons, hadrons… Including human beings. Our buildings are constructs of brick and mortar (atoms). Our trees are wood and sap and chlorophyll (atoms). Our bodies are water and salt and sulphur and carbon and ammonia…
We are constantly moving, changing, evolving. We consume fuel and convert it into energy, and like all other atoms, we touch and impact all that surrounds us. Always sharing, always connected.
Whilst alive, the atomic heat we exude comes out as breath, joining the atmospheric temperature, and like a piece of coal that has been burned, when we die, our chemical compound merely changes: it does not cease to exist.
Not one atom is lost. In essence, they live forever.
Not long ago, the atomic energy you both hold within yourselves bonded and created life, a great miracle of nature, a mass with its own consciousness, its own bones, eyes and heartbeat. It generated and shared heat, movement, and grew from something the size of a ballpoint pen tip into a body the size of your hands.
And along the way, 'it' became 'she', and 'she' became Lucy.
I cannot express my sorrow for you both. For the loss of a future together with her and the loss of memories you will never make.
However, please remember that what you created together with love, the atoms that you bonded into a life, cannot be unmade. The atomic mass of your daughter, each and every neuron, proton and electron, will move and change and evolve, and they will live forever.
Lucy may not be in your arms, but she is not gone. She may not be in sleeping softly by your bed, but she is with you.
She is everywhere.
In the warmth of the sun that kisses your face in the morning and in each raindrop that bounces playfully off your palm, you will feel her. When you see the wind move the trees, or watch a puddle ripple around Keeley's boots, she will be there.
In the granite, sand and salt of each stone and ocean wave that meet on the beach, in the fresh green grass you smell in summer and the bright flowers at the market, you will find the colours and shapes she would have made in your lives.
In the sun, moon and stars that watch over you from the heavens to the planets far beyond our sight…
The collection of atoms that made Lucy will continue to live on in the world, ever moving, changing, evolving, because energy and matter simply change form. They do not leave us.
Remember that in the light of each dawn that breaks across the horizon, there will be some of the light that she held in her eyes and her heart whilst you nurtured her throughout your pregnancy.
You are all still connected.
You will always be connected.