The Closing Ceremonies of the Summer Olympics were everything they were supposed to be: all about celebrating some amazing athletics. But if you noticed a tinge of sadness as Take That took to the stage, you weren't wrong. X Factor judge and singer Gary Barlow was performing for the world just over a week after his baby girl, Poppy, came into the world stillborn.
The loss of Barlow's fourth child threatened to keep the entire band out of the Olympics event, but somehow he made it out there last night anyway. I don't think I could have done it, but let me just set the cruel trolls of the Internet straight right now.
Gary Barlow just buried a child. Now isn't the time to question the singer's decision. It's time to marvel at a man who has shown the will to get past what most of us would prefer not to imagine.
Barlow just reminded us that parents don't have the luxury of losing themselves to grief when they have other kids. Poppy was the youngest of four kids for Barlow and wife Dawn. Their son Daniel, 11, and daughters Emily, 9, and Daisy, 3, all need their parents, perhaps more now than ever.
These kids were expecting a new baby sister on August 4, and if you think it's hard for adults to make sense of stillbirth, just imagine what it's like for kids. They've learned Mom goes to hospital, Mom comes home with baby, and any deviation from that puts them in a tailspin. It would be easier to hide away in their rooms grieving than face their older kids, but that's part of parenting.
As for facing the whole world, Gary Barlow would have had every right to call up his bandmates and say, "Sorry guys, but I just can't do it." But he didn't. He pulled it together, went out, and gave a heckuva show for the Closing Ceremonies. And in doing so, he brought international attention to the plight of parents dealing with neonatal death -- in fact his fans already have a site set up to help one of the British charities that helps families in this situation, and more than 1,000 people have already chipped in.
Gary Barlow is helping his kids get through this pain; he's helping the whole world full of parents get through this type of pain. He's pretty much a hero in my book right now.
How about yours? Have you been through neonatal loss? What got you through?
Image via SplashNews