Gary Barlow remembers the hours he spent with his baby girl as the "best hours" of his life.
Some things cannot be forgotten nor can it be put into words. The pain of losing your own child is one such an inexplicable experience. Singer Gary Barlow underwent such a traumatic phase after losing his dear daughter just hours after her birth. Though the singer hid his emotions and pain in his heart for a long time, years later Gary opened up about that dark day.
In his autobiography, A Better Me, the artist revealed how the death of his newborn had taken a toll on him and his wife, Dawn. Gary Barlow and his wife were expecting their fourth child in 2012. Just two days before the delivery date, the singer was given the heartbreaking news. “I got a phone call and Dawn said, ‘I can’t think of any other way of saying this but the baby has died’. The doctor had given her a scan and said he had the most terrible news. I just went into this flight-or-fight mode," recalled the Take That singer according to Independent. But Gary was not ready to believe the news, he was not convinced by the doctors nor was his wife.
"You start thinking, the doctors are wrong, I’m dreaming it all. Dawn said she kept feeling Poppy move that day," wrote the father of three. Unable to take in the heart news, the couple met with the doctor immediately. The doctors told them that the birth would be induced and they would have some time to hold the baby.
“We went in the following night and it was a very strange day and the doctor had told me that you get to hold the baby,” recalls Gary. The couple were helpless and knew they did not have a choice. While Gary struggled to keep it together, he also worried about the emotional trauma his loving wife had to undergo.
"The emotional toll, however, was incomprehensible. I was filled with dread for what Dawn had to go through. I couldn’t bear the thought of the suffering ahead for this woman who is my heart, my soul, my best friend, my wife, the mother of my kids, beautiful, gentle, patient, so patient, this loving, constant, unchanging rock of a woman," said Gary. He could not see her in pain but knew the only thing he could do is to stand by her. On 4 August 2012, Dawn gave birth to their daughter Poppy. Though she didn't breathe, for Gary and his wife, she was alive.
Recalling her birth the former X factor judge wrote," When she was born it was like a light came into the room. It was lovely, it was gorgeous, we both took turns cuddling her, and we took pictures. It was one of the best hours of my life I’ve ever experienced in the midst of the hardest time of my life. It was very powerful, that hour was." He continued," Poppy looked perfect and for an hour she was alive to us. She’s in your arms, this beautiful little daughter of ours, a sister to our three other children."
But soon, they were hit by the hard truth, their daughter was no more. "Then the reality comes rushing into the room and all the air leaves your lungs. It felt like someone had a hand held tight at my throat," wrote the artist. He tearfully watched his wife walk around with their lifeless baby in her arms. It was not a sight he ever wanted to watch. “It was a very strange time,” he added, “it was very heartbreaking watching the person that you love walking around the room with their dead baby.”
Soon, the couple arranged for their baby girl's funeral. Gary did not want to involve his other kids so he and his wife bid farewell to her with a heavy heart. Days later, the 48-year-old singer was scheduled to perform at the Olympics closing ceremony. He used the performance as an effective pain killer but that did not help him forget the loss. Soon after he went home and shut himself up from the world and mourned the loss of their baby girl. "There, we shut out the world and made a nest where we could be safe, love each other and grieve,' recalled Gary.
He told the world about his loss through the music he made by he never had the courage to speak about Poppy's death. He later revealed that time could never relieve him and his wife of the pain and trauma. "It is something I don’t think we will ever recover from, especially her.”