Category Archives: Capture Your Grief

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.

#captureyourgrief I AM

Today we are given the task to finish these five sentences.

I Wish
I Remember
I Could Not Believe
If Only 
I Am 

I WISH  I had held her longer, once she died. I felt like as her mum I had abandoned her, I was too scared to hold her, too scared to bath her. Once she was returned to us after her bath, I didn’t pick her up, I didn’t know if I was allowed to disturb her, would I hurt her. Of course I wouldn’t have hurt her. That we had spent more time with just me, her and her dad, nobody else. We thought we did the right thing by inviting people to say goodbye, but it should have been just us.  That we had co-slept with her, or had the equipment to have allowed us more time. I know I sound ungrateful, as we had longer than most, we had her whole life. But we didn’t know it was going to be her whole life, we weren’t supposed to say goodbye. I wish I’d sung her a lullaby, or read her a story.
I wish she hadn’t died, she should have been still here.

I REMEMBER Wanting the pain to stop, I cannot even describe what it felt like to have the doctor tell us that she wouldn’t survive. The same woman only five weeks before had told us she was doing well in the NICU. She’d wheeled her away after showing her her beautiful pink warm face.
How I couldn’t control any of it. Her birth, her life, her death. My knees were weak from the sickening blow. I remember not knowing how the hell I was going to breathe again, how we were going to move forward in life. The Pain has never gone away, it still remains, but I can live with it. I have to live with it.

I COULD NOT BELIEVE It happened to  us. That not only could I not save our beautiful girl, but I could not save my children from the heartache of having their baby sister die. I admit when I’d had my miscarriages in earlier years, I never mentioned them, I needed to protect them, I still haven’t told them. I didn’t want them to know that babies can die.
I still feel like a shit mum for being unable to protect any of them, my one job..

IF ONLY Things were different, not my life, we may have had five living children, but the day she died everything the surrounds her death, the lead up to it. If only things were done differently, there was a chance there could have been a better outcome. I do go over and over, I know I shouldn’t, but the strength that baby had, the hope we were given, the babies after her with less chances who have survived, it pinches. If Only.

I AM a Mum to FIVE children. A Mum who makes mistakes, who finds things hard, who laughs hard, screams the loudest, and cry until I can no longer breathe.

I AM HUMAN.

(Google)


I cannot believe that sometimes; I wish I didn’t have to remember who I am. 
If Only 

#captureyourgrief Consciously Becoming

Day 24
Consciously Becoming

Who was I before she died?
I can’t remember much. I remember my children’s lives,how they grew, what they did.
I used to work in care. I had worked in care from the age of 16,give or take short breaks when I thought I wanted to be a hair dresser,or when I had my babies. I couldn’t cope with looking after other people’s loved ones,when our little girl never got a chance. Of course this was the raw pain talking. But at the same time it was the best decision I’d ever made.
I don’t really know who I’ve become either.
I wear my heart of my sleeve a lot,I’m more sensitive to certain situations.
I question the person I am. I question if I’m a good person. So many people have walked away during this journey,that I end up wondering whether or not I’m not a person people want to be around.

I find myself feeling hurt, I try so hard to be the person I want to be,the approachable woman who is like anyone else.
I’m told I’m an inspiration, an amazing woman.
But I cannot see it. Particularly when I do wear my heart on my sleeve, and let the people or things bother me when it shouldn’t.

What I would like to do is change the taboo,end the silence. Allows parents to speak freely about their losses.
To offer kindness and support to families,with no exclusions.

I’m not the same person I was on the 31st March 2012. Life was so incredibly different.
But at the same time when we were reborn at 9:30am on the 1st April,I’d have never imagined we would be where we are now. But then,I’m not sure where that would have been anyway.

I’m growing.. I just hope it is the right way.

#captureyourgrief Sounds, Seasons and Scents

Sounds
The songs played at her funeral, would have to be the biggest of triggers when it comes to sounds and songs.
Which is Amazing Grace by Bag pipes. Every Breathe You Take by Police,it had to be the original, not Puff Daddy’s Version. Of course my personal trigger is Sia My Love.
But over the years,I’ve fallen in love with other songs which remind me of her but not in such a gut wrenching way. Other Sia songs included. Bird Set Free and Photograph by Ed Sheeran are two which make me think of her.

Seasons
Of course would be Spring. It is her season. The day she was born,Spring arrived early, it was hot the weather was beautiful the whole time she was here. Everything about Spring reminds me of her,the colours, the flowers, most particularly Daffodils. Hold significance, they’re not here for long,but when they are they brighten the world around them. Much like preemies who don’t make it.

Scents
I’ve mentioned it in previous years,but it isn’t something I pay huge attention to,unless it hits me. (Makes sense in my head).
But if I’m honest I’m not sure if it is a post Melody trigger or post Hyperemesis trigger.
For instance, the alleyway which leads to the place we used to live, (it wasn’t home, I hate it). We moved out 13 months later,the smell,the shadows the alley gives, I can manage it once a year if I have to,the property was attached to a bakery,another place I cannot handle going in to. Maybe twice I have been in since.

The biggest trigger I have discovered just recently, I’m guessing it will of course always be there. Is the smell of the hospital,the sounds the echoes,everything,takes me back to the life I used to know.
I causes me great deal of anxiety being there, I didn’t realise just how obvious it is. One I definitely hate.

I cannot remember what she smells like. I can just about remember the two huge differences iin temperatures, but her smell.
We’ve a pink blanket in a memory box,we’d hoped would have the smell locked away,but sadly it’s gone.
I wish there was a way to bottle the smells,the baby smell. May be there is,but it’s not something I have. I wish I did.
Her smell wasn’t the same as the typical baby smell,she also had the scent of her incubator and the vapotherm,which made her scent so unique.
I wish I could remember.
Everything is fading.
I don’t like it.

The Sun Shines behind her.
Now she lights our way.