As the title would suggest,it is Children’s Grief Awareness Day. To co-inside Children’s grief awareness week.
Many children per day will be effected by grief at some point during their childhood.
1in 29 school children will be bereaved of a parent or a sibling in the UK. That’s approximately 1 in every class room.
I remember losing my grandad at a young age,the thing that frightened me the most was being told that he had fallen asleep, with no real explanation about death.
Personally think some of the anxieties that have come with PTSD also revert back to “he has fallen asleep”. I remember that going to bed at night was no longer,a sweet good night.
The day that Melody died, the day that my children discovered that babies and children die (far too often), I knew then I didn’t want them to become scared of sleep.
I knew they had been told that she had been poorly she’d now died.
I needed to be open but gentle.
Although in the beginning how we dealt with the loss of their sibling was questioned. But it was other bereaved parents I went in search for advice.
We were incredibly open in the fact that death meant she would be never come back.
But it didn’t stop us from finding the brightest star the night she died and blew her a kiss.
It didn’t stop the confusing questions about whether she could climb down a ladder and play.
We did explain that this wasn’t possible.
We went down the route of Melody playing with the weather.
The hose pipes or leaf blowers were out.
We weren’t trying to confuse them, but actually to give them something gentle to think about.
It was tough when we had people questioning our way of thinking, our way if dealing with their grief as well as our own.
It hasn’t been easy.
Death is horrid, yes so final.
I’m the one who has to have the nightmares in my head,about where Melody rests hers.
I needed to protect the children. Some of their innocence had already been stripped,with watching their sister’s tiny coffin being carried out the church to be lowered in the ground.
I was to be sure I was going to make their grief gentle,even if when mine was unbelievably painful.
I questioned my own intuition when other people questioned it too.
But looking back from now to then,it’s exactly what it is, nobody can fully understand the loss of a child, dealing with the aftermath unless they have themselves, no ifs,no buts,no maybes that is the truth.
I spoke to health visitors, and my CONI team about how we dealt with Melody’s death and her siblings. To be told we couldn’t have done better.
Now they speak of her,no nudging from us. Even when we go days without saying her name,they will say Melody.
I am proud of them and how well they have dealt with losing their five week old sister.
We didn’t need to tell them the ugly truth.
The ugly truth is children die.
Doesn’t get much blacker than that….
To add, my son found Cbeebies – Cloud Babies a huge form of comfort, for anyone with young children.
They polish the moon, paint the rainbows, shine the stars…