Category Archives: Capture Your Grief

Capture Your Grief

Clear and Let Go – Capture Your Grief 2017

Clear and Let Go

Yesterday there was a rest day in the capture your grief project, so no posting; however I am working on a little awareness post for this coming week to replace.

You see I was going to stop this project. Saturday just gone was going to be my last day; for this year I am not in the place for writing about mindfulness. I said to my husband that I would no longer carry on with it this year. Although I have said this previous years, but that is down to either having our story attacked by people who have nothing better to do, or because it can get really heavy.

I am in a place where I don’t want to be a bereaved mother. This is written about elsewhere, so I’ll try not to talk too much about this for now, as the post won’t be public until next week.

I don’t want to let go of her; but for one day it would be nice to get a baby sitter; for someone to hold my thoughts, hold my love and forget her. Either forget that she existed or forget that she died, that she is alive and well. But I can’t. Don’t Judge Me.

Capture Your Grief

Just like I can’t stop this project, she doesn’t know I am doing it… if she did I wouldn’t be doing it; I probably would have no idea about it either. But I simply cannot let go, I can’t let this year be only half way done. So I will, although my heart is not in it; I will continue.

However I will maybe twist the prompts  a little; I am struggling with the lack of awareness for Neonatal and Post neonatal deaths; for me Capture Your Grief was my way of raising that awareness, through Melody. That her type of death mattered.

So I apologise if I break the rules, but let’s face it the rules are that children shouldn’t die.

Clear and Let Go

One of the parts of today is to have a clear out; well I cleared out our living room last week, made way for a tidier toy corner. Another is to clear out some of my social media.

This.

This time last year, and the year before and the year before; the support from the 2012 project to the very same project today is different. The difference in having people read them, comment and reassure me that our daughter matters, that she is remembered. That we are not alone. The responses have ended up to be none, but I also know that platforms make it difficult to share. And I do know who remembers without being seen.

Social Media and life in general, people want the good bits; when I was initially in the paper a year ago about the book I had written people wanted to know, people I had lost contact with suddenly wanted to speak; people I barely knew wanted to support and be part of the awareness. But now I am just a Mum blogging her way through grief, nothing has changed; I am still post loss. I am still the person I was a year ago. So, I am giving my Facebook, and any other social media a clear out. Not by new friends and acquaintances I have picked up along the way; but those who have become strangers.

People grow apart, that really is life; it is hard; hitting delete on the people who were once like family. But it is normal; people change, people grow, likes and dislikes change.

I think for me I have learned that having such a smaller circle of friends means we can look after each other better, put more trust into one another. In recent years I have found it terribly difficult to trust anyone.

I need to stop punishing myself. I need to find peace.

It is time to let go.

Lyric of In My Veins

Lyrics By Andrew Belle. In My Veins

In My Veins

I’m not going to stop talking about her.

Capture Your Grief

For The First Time – Capture Your Grief

first time. the letter M

First

Today is the first time I have lived the 7th October 2017. I have never lived this day before. I won’t be trying anything in particularly new today. It is an ordinary day for us. The children are displaying in a carnival and we’re on a constant time watch to be ready to go. Things to get ready, helping to get 30 children ready today. So for me to physically go and try something new today would not happen.

I woke up this morning after a lovely evening out for the first time in what seems like ages, I laughed and felt on top of the world. I went to see a show, I never thought I would ever go and see. It was hilarious. Of an adult content, but it was so funny.

The first time I saw Melody I was strapped to the bed, wires and leads every where, she had been taken out via c-section, there was this giant green screen dividing my head from the working end. The room was hot, it made me feel faint, there were people everywhere, there wasn’t space to move in the room or add any more people. We could tell the operation had begin because the room had fallen silent. I remember begging the midwife stood next to me to tell me that she was alive.

“Is she sleeping? Has she been born sleeping?”

The midwife would take a second, which felt like hours to peer, I knew she was concentrating, but I needed to know. Her heartbeat was on the CTG moments before, but we knew she was fighting.

As I asked one more time, a squeak came. It was loud enough to fill the deafening silence; it was loud enough to be heard to fill my heart with love.

“No she hasn’t been birn sleeping.” The midwife said to us in her really soft voice; the Dr deliviering her confirmed so when she said the Melody had given her a kick as they lifted her out.

For the first time in days I felt relieved that she was born. That she had been born alive; we had no idea on how long we’d keep her, being a micro premature baby; nobody knew how well she would do.

The Doctors brought her to me, I could see her tiny pink face, she really was that tiny. 9inches of her…23cm.

The first time I saw her, I had no idea whether it would be the last time I saw her alive. I had to cherish it; I have had to keep that safe. She wasn’t meant to die.

 

Carly Marie Capture Your Grief

Day Six

Melody and Me.

Capture Your Grief

Bella Luna – Capture Your Grief 2017

The photos I took are from last night, the most beautiful full moon I have seen in a while. Taken here in Somerset at about 7:45pm.

I love looking a the moon, its beauty fascinates me, whether it is in its full glory or whether it is giving the sky a Cheshire Cat grin.

It is peaceful, it listens, it never has an opinion and as far as we know it doesn’t judge. We can yell, and shout at it, swear until we’re red faced; yet it returns every night, to give us light, to watch over us making sure we’re never alone.

I can’t remember what the moon was doing that night, I can remember seeing it through the window whilst she was still alive; it was one of the things I was looking forward to showing her. This magical light in the night sky. Now it gives her light as she sleeps alone, her own torch in the darkest of skies.

Apologies for the short post today.

 

moon

“Do you ever hear me calling?”

Soul Therapy

 

Capture Your Grief

Soul Therapy – Capture Your Grief 2017

 

Therapy

We were never really offered a lot in the way of therapy. There was a Councillor in a dingy part of the hospital, who didn’t want to hear a lot about the loss of our daughter; and was very opinionated about whether or not we should have another baby. It wasn’t helpful, we left feeling confused.

We were then later told that we had been bumped down the waiting list for support, and that they only dealt with miscarriage, late losses, stillbirth and babies up to 5 days old. We were none of these. This was when we first realised that support for us, would be at a loss.

This is where writing came; I have loved it all of my life. But it now gave me a purpose; I had to release what I was feeling somewhere; I needed to not hold in all that I wanted to say.

It hurt so much to not say anything; so writing became my therapy. Although Melody’s writing journey began in the NICU. When you have a baby in hospital that can have very little visitors, the strain it puts on your life; it is hard for people to understand. Your whole life is taken up by splitting yourself into visiting the hospital and being normal for the children you have at home. So I wrote things down, I wanted Melody to read back her journey in the NICU once she was older.

That will never happen.

A Mayflower’s Rainbow

 

The screen for a long time was my best friend; people in there would listen and would understand exactly what I felt. Releasing in such a public way, to write has helped me. I can cry whilst I write and no-one can see me. I can take my time to get the things I want to express out. I have read some earlier words; they were so raw, I can’t even begin to remember exactly what I was feeling then. I know it was painful. I released A Mayflower’s Rainbow as an indie publication, but I can’t read it. It I unedited and raw; but I can feel the words I wrote, it is too painful to be back there, I know it is coming; I can’t make it stop. So I don’t read it. I have to just nod and agree when people say they have read it.

 

Writing her name would be another. Every time we go to the beach, or anywhere we are able to write her name we do; to somehow include her. If it is in the sand then we leave her name there, then if and when people see her name they can make up their own mind to who she is. Just like what we do. It is the only footprints in the sand she will ever make.

Therapy

Saunton Sands

 

Melody And Me.

Belonging

Capture Your Grief

Belonging – Capture Your Grief 2017

 

Stranded

I never really felt like I belong anywhere; at least not until I met my husband and our family life became as complete as it’ll ever be.

There were friendships in school, but they weren’t always what they seemed; I have always found it particularly hard to make and then keep friends. I am shy;  sometimes people mistake that for rudeness; but I try not to be. With this in mind it has caused low confidence-low self-esteem. I really shouldn’t let this define me, but I do.

When Melody died we were faced with people crossing the street, people telling us they didn’t know what to say; family being unsupportive; it leaves you stranded and alone.

Community

 

Truth be told I wasn’t alone, I wasn’t the only one to have lost a baby, and I began to find other lost souls. Mums and Dads who were broken. They weren’t by my side but they were there, to listen, I could listen we could understand a little of what each of us were going through.

The online community became my safe place, my saviour I guess. It allowed me to be free; it allowed me to speak without judgement, the empty pities and with some understanding of what was going through my mind.

There have been things I have spoken about over these past few years, which I could never say to people outside of this community. I guess it is because just sometimes the things which leave my mouth can be so raw, that to anyone else, I could be seen as being crazy. But I am not.

Belonging

As well as this community, I am grateful to the people who have stuck around every step of the way, and even more so to the people I have met since she died, these people have listened or read about our story, yet they choose to stick around and be my friends. There aren’t many of them, but I value them. If it is yacking on a Friday night, or a trip to the park or shops, I am eternally grateful to them.

 

It is a lifelong thing, she’ll always be my baby; and I guess I will always grieve. But to have the few who remind me to keep going are really worth their weights in gold.

 

Thank you

 

belonging

Capture Your Grief

Capture Your Grief 2017 – Meaningful Mantra

Life

Finding my Mantra. I haven’t been well mentally recently, life has felt quite overwhelming. I end up being in tears, and there hasn’t been a week recently where I have seen it through without a tear or two.

Not because of Melody, but because there have been times where I feel that I am failing everyone around me, making me feel less about myself. I want to achieve so much; I wanted to pay an interest in my children’s activities, so I became a committee member. The need to help people and raise awareness in memory of our daughter to make sure other people felt supported and less alone like we did.

As I fail to take care of myself I end up letting people upset me, in ridiculous ways, ways where I wanted to leave the job I have fallen in love with. Walk away from volunteering with the children’s activities, to the point of crying and not wanting to leave the house.

Why?

Then it takes me to get to this point and question; how can I get upset by these insignificant people, when I have managed to carry on breathing after our daughter died? That is what they are to me they’re insignificant; yet I still let them get to me. I have made mistakes in the past, and I am only human but I deserve to be happy and loved too. I certainly don’t deserve to be hurt the way people think it is acceptable to do so.

 

So, I need to choose to not give up. To take better care of me emotionally, step away from these people, but it is hard. I don’t want to change who I am and become rude or nasty; I swear a lot but I am not a fan of confrontation; but I do need to stop letting them make me feel this way, because let’s face it if they thought twice about how much they upset people they’d not do it. Much more about them than me.

My Meaningful Mantra

So, I guess my Mantra should be to breathe for me. Not to waste any more tears on anyone who doesn’t deserve them. Most definitely DO NOT GIVE UP

 

meaningful Mantra. Keep going

Keep Going.

Melody and Me.

Capture Your Grief

Capture Your Grief 2017 – Rise And Shine Rituals

Rise and Shine Mourning Ritual.

Living with grief. All I ever wanted to do was to live; I wanted to be able to be free to grieve the way I felt comfortable with, to be allowed to talk about this little girl who lived.

I threw myself into needing to help others, I needed to give the support which we lacked, to make sure no one else felt as alone as we did, it was fairly high in my priorities to do this.

But I think my most important ritual was to keep living, to do more things with the children; to allow them to grieve and share their feelings about the death of their sister. As much as my head wanted to stay in bed for days on end, my heart wanted to keep beating to get me out of bed and live for Melody. She had died her heart had stopped beating; I would have to try and find a way of carrying her in mine.

It has been a difficult process; I have never believed she is with me all of the time, or that she is flying around having fun. I watched as they lowered her in to the ground, no amount of fairy tales for me can ever change that. At least it is like that for the children.

 

Grief

I know now five years six months and one day in, that I do need to take care of myself, I do need to work on my grief. I worried too much about how others were feeling, about protecting their feelings; my early mourning was taken away, I watched as friends needed to have help because THEY couldn’t cope with her death, how family were tired of receiving cards and sympathy messages about the loss of OUR daughter.

The person that I am tried to help mend hearts that were broken, I needed to be strong; I always thought if I was strong then the people around me would know that it is okay to now be okay.

I cried, of course I cried, but I apologised for it too; maybe that is the “British Way”. Who knows?

But I do know that the grief I have for Melody is an incredible learning curve; yet no matter what I do, or how I behave there is no right or wrong answer.

This month I will be a little mindful of myself; adopt new rituals which will help me and my little family.

 

Today, my regular ritual is keeping my heart beating; making the best memories I can for my beautiful children.

 

Melody and Me

 

Day One

Capture Your Grief 2017 – Sunrise

Capture Your Grief

 

cyg

Capture Your Grief Project 2017 By Carly Marie

 

Here we are again, with this annual Capture your grief project; once which I first joined back in 2012.

A project which helps bring the taboo of baby loss to the front of people’s minds, how many of us are effected by the loss of a baby or child.

My project is in memory of Melody, but I will also be mentioning my pregnancy losses too.

Sunrise

There isn’t much of a pretty Sunrise where I am today; there rarely ever is. It is grey and miserable looking out there.

The day she was born, back in February 2012 the sun shone, it was a beautiful spring day from what I could see from my bed. From that day onwards the sun remained until not long after her death; once her “celebration” had finished it rained for pretty much days afterwards.

When we spent days in the town in which her hospital was, we’d walk to the shops I would get sun burnt in March, I was wearing vest tops and flip flops. It seemed bizarre that we had this glorious weather so early on in the year.

 

Days

We have had 2009 sunrises without her, 2009 days where we haven’t kissed her warm face, touched her warm skin, given her a cuddle. Seeing it written down as days, it seems such a long time ago; today it is five years and six months since we walked into the hospital and left different people, yet we hadn’t had surgery or an accident. We had watched our daughter die.

Different

 

Nothing was going to be the same again. Though we didn’t expect how different we would be, how different people would be too. Meeting new friends, losing old friends, this tiny five week old baby had changed everything.

 

Capture Your Grief Sunrise

 

Melody and Me

 

Capture Your Grief 2017.

#captureyourgrief My Promise To You

I was going to go, all inspirational, how I want to change the state of the taboo, promise to help others.
But I hope I do help others, so many wonderful things in her memory.

But actually, here’s something a little different.
I have always loved Christmas. The magic, the run up, the smells, the lights…everything.
The year before she was born, we were making plans of how much our lives would change with a new baby, had she’d been born in the May like she was meant to, we’d have had a 7 month old.
The usual questions; How would she have reacted? Would she have pulled down the tree? Would she have enjoyed Brussel Sprouts? We were all so terribly excited.

Only the following year I was pregnant again, desperately hoping we could have that “First Christmas” the following year, I was sick, I was angry, sad, hormonal I wanted it all to be over. Our cards which were signed from bump, were now carefully chosen, on who we’d include our special “M” cloud.
How was I ever supposed to love Christmas again? In the beginning I hated it, when I desperately wanted to love it, if not for me, but my children..that’s who they are, children.
Christmas had, and needed to be magical, the idea they had their hearts broken, a little bit of innocence stolen from them I couldn’t take that magic away from them.

So as we’ve gone through the years, I have tried my best to make it the most magical time for them.
We’ve had Christmas Characters come to stay (much like Elf on the shelf, but Elves aren’t the only ones part of the Christmas story). First one I turned into a book. (Ralph’s Christmas Adventure).
We do Bookmas,24 books for advent to open daily, brought by our Christmas Helper.

We give them magic for the whole of December (to the best of our abilities and finances).
Of course we want to give them magic the whole year round.
But for most people, Christmas during their childhood is the most remembered. I want them to remember, love,fun, laughter…magic.

It is unbelievably difficult knowing we do have her missing, we include her in our celebrations..candles, she has decorations for the tree and a Christmas Village, illuminated houses we add to each year since she died.

She was alive Christmas 2011, she may have been in utero but she was alive, a heartbeat, hands, feet. We picked her name at Christmas too, thanks to Dr Who Christmas episodes.

My Promise would be to give them the magical childhood they deserve.
If it means going crazy at Christmas, spoiling them for birthdays, days out when we can. Then that is what it takes.
I hate I couldn’t protect them from losing her, but I’ll spend the rest of my life making it up to them.

Believing in the magic.

#captureyourgrief #WHATHEALSYOU

Sharing her story, it is only a short one, but it is her story. I know I repeat it over and over, and talk way too much. But it is all I have of her.
Helping other people, parents who have just started the journey, parents who have been on this journey longer.
At least I hope I help. I had moments where I felt lost and lonely. I want to achieve the opposite, it is hell enough without having nowhere to turn to.
I wish for nobody to feel the pain of saying goodbye to their child.

But not just in the baby loss community, but giving my time, it keeps me busy, my mind and body busy.
If I can I will help anyone.

Of course writing is my big comforter. Not just writing about Melody, but I occasionally blog about family life, but also I am having a go at a bit of fiction. I procrastinate a fair bit, I’m frightened of failure, of being a laughing stock,  but I do adore writing, not a lot makes any sense, but it is a huge release, it helps me.