Monthly Archives: October 2016

#captureyourgrief Grief Rituals

Only rituals I can think of would be to still celebrate her birthday. To include her in all occasions, Christmas, Easter,Halloween. We even include her for carnival celebrations.
We always eat cake on her birthday,and go for lunch,we try and buy her something too. Her anniversary we try and visit the beach,but that’s the more difficult date, one I still cannot cope with particularly well.

We’d like to visit places on her birthday,but as it’s February and usually cold,(apart from the year she was born), we tend just to do lunch. She always has daffodils. And finances dependent, we try and give £35 to charity or buy something for the children.

We also try and get people to write her name,which I shared in Heart work.

#captureyourgrief Healing Therapies

Talking,writing and friendships have been the best form  therapy for me.
I talk far too much,I know I piss people off,I used to care but for most people who are annoyed by my speaking out have no idea, nnd have no right to judge on how I put myself back together.

When I couldn’t talk face to face writing became my number one form of therapy. It was a release, a way of letting go of things that were bothering me. To tell the world what was hurting me,without the need to see the pity,the head tilts.
To keep her memory alive.

Friendships, including my husband and of course my children.
Brought smiles,laughter. They helped pulled me through,we helped each other to pull us all through.

Here is Melody’s story begun in NICU rounded off with our journey of her little sister’s pregnancy, and first birthday.

#captureyourgrief Sacred Space

Sacred Space
Melody is buried. In the beginning we visited all the time,took flowers,spent time with her. I was on the constant clock watch,where I needed to visit. But rather than the time heals everything, we ended up visiting less and less,became harder and harder to walk away,to leave her in the cold and alone. As much as the children enjoy seeing her,we also had to think of them. Their thoughts and feelings. Most of the time when we do visit her outside of special occasions, it is down to them wanting to. It’s not something I can or would want to stop them from doing.

So,her grave is one of her special places. Unfortunately we’re currently deciding whether or not to continue to decorate her the way we have been,due to vandalism of some kind. I find it so hard, thinking we can’t decorate her as we wish, leave her toys lights to keep her company.
But it breaks me knowing she gets interference from anyone but her parents.
It adds to my feelings of not being able to protect and keep her safe,through life and now through death.
We are slowly sorting her space in our back garden,but finances,time and weather are making it slow, but I know it’ll be worth it.

She has a shelf in our living room,with a few bits on. But we’re again in talks of whether or not to put in our bedroom, her memory box is currently in the bottom of our wardrobe, so a shelf in our room rather than the living room,could become a sacred space.

#captureyourgrief Moon Retreat

Peaceful moment, to take in the world. The quiet in the evening air, the smell of chimneys breathing out their smoke. As our moon awakens, the Sun swaps shifts, gives someone a new day, maybe hope.
As our Moon brightens the night sky, it’s not alone, it doesn’t just watch over us in silence; it listens to the cries of families who’ve had to say goodbye to their child, to hear the fears and calls in to the night sky of help, pleas of “Why Me?” “Why her?” “Please, don’t let my baby die.”

The Moon doesn’t doesn’t have a voice, never fails to listen.
The one thing that never lets us down, never judges us.

Most importantly comfort when my children needed gentle answers.
Who Cleans the Moon, Polishes the Stars and paints the Rainbows?
Their Cloud Baby Melody.

Always Missed.

#captureyourgrief Wave of Light

Many hours late writing about my Wave of Light 2016 experience.
As many of you know,I was shortlisted for a Butterfly Award. The ceremony took place yesterday (15/10/16). As part of the evening’s programme, there was a Wave of Light included. With a slide show of all our baby’s names together.
It was truly stunning.

So many,incredibly inspirational people in the room. 
It felt an honour to be there. 
I didn’t take an award home,but what I did take away is the need to raise awareness for baby loss in particular neonatal and post-neonatal in and around my area.
Neonatal (and post neonatal) awareness(I’m not alone in my thoughts), seems to be the lesser known,this makes families feel less important, less connected to the rest of the community.
They mattered too.
So many winners from UK areas, which make it very obvious where the support is lacking.
Don’t get me wrong, there are/were some amazing charities, organisations who offer the support. 
It shouldn’t be a postcode, or a draw to where the best face to face services are.
Care should not be different from one town to another. 
So rather than give up,I’m going to work harder, to ensure the babies who lived,even for a matter of days, aren’t the bottom of the list. 
Their lives,their memories matter. .
Yes I may have had 100 pictures of her,cuddled her a handful of times, she still died. 
She may have breathed for 5 weeks but she still died. 
I want to make a difference.

(Taken by committee members of my children’s majorette troupe, love it). 

#captureyourgrief Beliefs and Spirituality

Short entry today.
I’ve mentioned a few times, I’ve almost no belief to where Melody is. My brain cannot think the way in which I’d hoped it would.
My heart would love to believe she’s flying solo.
But my head knows where she is. That is where she stays..
It isn’t something I want to imagine or feel. I wish I had the spirituality others have,I’d much rather that that trapped in my own thoughts.

I hope one day it’ll click,I’ll be free to believe, that she’s in a better place, at peace with the world. Of course there is no place better than being with us,her family. But to believe there is something greater than the cemetery I see her at.

Today,I’ll add a photo of the place I feel at peace with. It may well be a spiritual thing,I’ve no idea. But the beaches in North Devon for some reason give me peace.
I love being there.

I’m hoping it’ll bring Melody’s spirit to me one day.
For now I’m OK with the way I feel,and no longer beat myself up over not relying on fluffy clouds to get me through.

#captureyourgrief Dear World

“What is on your heart that you want the world to know about your kind of grief? 
This is your day to choose your own topic. Some topic ideas are pregnancy or infertility after loss. Anxiety or PTSD. Forgiveness. Trust. What is it that you want to talk about?”

There is so much I’d like to say,please bear with me as I ramble.
I’ll try not to rant…
Melody died, she may have never came home,she may have only lived for 5 weeks. But her death changed me.
I still get surprised when people expected me not to change.
Even before she passed away,having a premature baby in hospital was a step towards that change.
Our lives revolved around our children, hospital visits, exprrssing breast milk took time,trying to keep a normal happy home for my two older children was also top priority.
Yet we were made to feel bad for having no time for anyone else aside from our little unit.

It didn’t get any better once she died, family members, telling us to get over her,days after she died, but before we’d even buried her.  Leaving our already battered souls to drown.
I’m not ready to share further,I don’t think I ever will be.
Forgiveness for this something I simply cannot find peace with.

Friends come and go, circle of life as it were,at times leaving me finding it hard to gain trust.
I open up, I share Melody because she’s my baby girl, but then after a while it gets boring.
I get bored, over and over again teaching the world about our daughter. But what choice do I have? I can’t forget her,I’ve tried stopping, hell I said I wouldn’t do this project this year,yet here I am,because if I don’t set aside this time for her,I’ll feel guilty,for not having this time for her.

I do apologize to new friends in that,I’m desperate to make new friends, but I also need you to know Melody,for me to trust that six months down the line you won’t walk away.
I am a good person,I make poor decisions, I am most likely off putting. But I’m human,I’m a bereaved mum.

I’ve come this far a better person,I think.
I’m different.
But I’m still me.

Parenting,life in general has changed. I have anxieties that are through the roof.
I struggle at times with the idea of a rainbow baby. It is beautiful thought, I assumed the rainbow would mean the end. But it’s not. Rainbows come after a storm. AFTER. But this “storm” will never go,actually until recently I thought I was alone in these thoughts, but surprisingly I’m not. I use the term rainbow simply because of ease,a way of saying we’ve had babies after loosing.
 I’m terrified I’ll have to bury another child,there is nothing bright and colourful about that.
Scared I’ll have to say goodbye to my husband.
My own mortality brings it’s own host of anxieties.
It’s not about needing help. I can’t erase the things that put these fears into my brain.
Our daughter died in our arms.
I’m extremely lucky to have a husband who has been incredibly understanding, little things like letting me know he gets to destinations safely. Doing all the driving, because some of it scares me.
I’m getting better at it,the way it effects me, I don’t reveal this side of me, because of the trust I lack. I can’t cope with more people leaving.
It’s exhausting.
But I have learned to laugh and smile again.
I am okay.
But please understand, I will still speak about her, just don’t walk away.
I’m trusting you.

I write these a few at a time. I’m struggling to focus on the project. Not in a negative way, as such. 
But I’m stubborn. 
So this is an add on. 
Childhood illness or injury are no longer “normal”. 
They’re full of what ifs. 
Fears for not only us as parents but her siblings. 
Nothing is normal any more. 
One of our girls fell,bumped her face,with instant swelling. 
There was calm,but fear,tears. 
The only one who kept a level head was my husband. 
My eldest cried,seeing her sister in pain. 
My boy asking if it’ll kill her. 
It breaks my heart that they know any of this shit. 
To have these questions. 
None of this we deserved.
To have my own fear of needing to go to ” that place “. 
I needed to add this in,for you to understand, that our family unit is so strong,we understand each other,even if it’s the worst possible times. 
Tomorrow is a new day. 
Next time gossip is spilled by people who never once asked. 
Please remember, we’ve come back worse than anything you can throw at us..

#captureyourgrief Lemons and Lemonade.

Right from the word go I wanted to make a difference somehow.
There has been fundraising to some degree, it has been hard at times to gather the interest for people to support such a subject.

It has set me back within my grief,effects me in unexpected ways. I got to a point where I hated fundraising, that I was dishonouring Melody; her name,her life her death. Aside from people who wanted to help, it felt like the world just didn’t care.

I wanted to give up.
I can’t, I’m stubborn..
When we walked out of that hospital, no baby,no hope a bunch of leaflets a butter box and broken hearts. There was the odd card,the odd phone call. But eventually told we’d been bumped down the list. Told late losses,miscarriage,stillbirth and babies up to 5 days were who they usually dealt with.

I was angry and hurt that no one wanted to help us,after all our baby was here.
I wanted to offer that support to other parents,to break the silence to let no other family feel isolated.
There was nothing in my town.
I voiced my plans over and over, was offered an opportunity in 2014 to be part of a community project.
Venues were being sought after, it wasn’t until 2015 that it was found,the ball began to roll.

It has been a slow process, due to funding for the venue.
But in 2016,thanks to charity Towards Tomorrow Together, we teamed up and Melody’s Voices was born.

Again this has been slow,but we’ll get there, I am determined.
When we left the hospital,there should have been the support set up.
But now,my aim is to not let another family feel the way we did.

We are currently working on a fundraiser, a fundraiser I know I said I wouldn’t do. But our Mayor offered the local guildhall. And I have a couple of crazy friends,a mad husband and even madder town councillor on board.

I may not be able to save babies,to stop them dying.
I know Melody will help in our particular hospital.
But I want to make sure no other family,mum,dad feels alone.

We’re in this shit together.
I will sit and hold your hand,wipe away your tears,stand next to you in the silent darkness.
But I won’t let you feel alone.


#captureyourgrief Special Heartwork

Well,I’ve still not brought a piece of jewellery with Melody’s hands or feet on. I’ve a couple of necklaces with her name included, one being a gift as being part of a sacred space project. Another given by husband, with all the children’s names.
Along with a bracelet that matches one buried with Melody.

I rarely wear any of them. I’ll wear if we’ve an occasion or I feel the need to wear,but I’m worried I’ll lose them,especially the bracelet. This is the worry if I get a piece with her prints on. They’re in her memory box. The box I cannot open. Far too painful.

What I do have is MELODY. Her name written in many forms,sand,sweets leaves.
We had an American couple who originally began as friends of my husband’s, who we have never met, took the time to remember her on their wedding day.

Each and every picture taken means so much to us.
It doesn’t matter if it is taken a few doors away, or the other side of the world, to us it means that whilst her name is being written,someone somewhere is taking a moment to think of our precious girl.

#captureyourgrief Symbols and Signs

I touched upon this many times. I mentioned in Beautiful Mysteries about not having signs.
I try with the symbols.
White/Yellow butterflies appear in our garden, I will say hello. I don’t really believe they’re a message from her,or her.. But they remind me of her, I cannot even explain why. I don’t even know why. Maybe that is the meaning behind signs and symbols that they appear beyond your control.

Fairies play a big part in our symbolism for Melody.
Mysterious, tiny,beautiful, mischievous.. Most definitely cannot be seen.
They’re her thing. We have them on her headstone,we’re slowly doing her a fairy garden in our own garden.

Daffodils would be another. 
The year she was born, she brought the spring sunshine, there were daffodils every where.
They remind us of her. 
As you can see there are daffodils on her stone.