Tag Archives: baby loss awareness

little daffodils

Together For Yellow – Letter To Melody

Dear Melody,

It’s me, your Daddy.

We miss you.

There isn’t a day goes by that we don’t think of you, especially recently. 

Mummy might not have told you, because it terrified her, but I was ill some months ago, admitted to hospital and everything.  It was the same illness that took you from us, Sepsis.  I got it in my leg, no thanks to the NHS, and nearly lost it, potentially even worse. 

Being in that hospital brought so many bad things to the front, having to stay in the same place that we lost you.  Especially for nine days!  Whenever I went for a walk, especially down to the food court, I’d always find myself looking over at the restaurant where me and mummy used to have a dinner or sandwich.  At one point, I stopped and just stood and stared in the direction of the NICU, where you lived.

It screwed me up when they informed me the day I was discharged that it had been Sepsis, the very thing that took you from us.

It was almost like that day we lost you.

I think at that point I hated them, I can’t explain why as such.

But everything flooded back, seeing you on that bed that last time, the staff upset, the doctors apologising.  I had nightmares when we got home, couldn’t face sleeping in case I saw that again without the control of being awake.

And I hated the NHS for what they’ve done, to me, to you.

The same goddamn illness.

I hated that place, because the ward I was on was so close to yours.  And then they told me it was Sepsis that I had, and I nearly lost my leg, or worse!  I felt numb like the day after we lost you, barely able to speak, just wanted to get out of that place.  Mummy drove me home, and my head was filled with all those images of you. 

Since then, all of those feelings I had have come back to the fore.  All those times I got pushed to the side because I was “just a dad”, and ignored, and organisations not wanting to help me.  I hated it, and myself, and now it’s all out again.

Since then I haven’t been able to sleep properly, desperate for this illness to go do one. 

And then Kelsi was ill, and blue-lighted to hospital recently.  I’ve taken a week off work, and realised I really don’t want to go back.  I’d rather be at home with mummy and your siblings than go back to that place, to any job involving cooking, but nobody else will have me, and we don’t have the money to do that.

I miss you.

I’m not alright.

Love,

Daddy.

xxxxx

capture your grief

Wisdom. Capture Your Grief

What wisdom could you share for family and friends wanting to help a loved one who has experienced the death of their baby or child? When she died we made the difficult decision to share her death on social media. But of course, looking back now I wish we’d waited and announced in a more controlled environment and slower. But I guess there’s not a right or wrong way to have done it. We were receiving “Get Well” wishes, but she had already gone.

Wisdom for friends and family.

Make sure you contact the parents/family of the lost child. Their whole world has been blown apart, they’re looking for people to give answers, for eyes that tell them that everything is going to be okay. They’re also looking for blame, for someone to say it was all a mistake.

It’s so isolating, not everyone will be able to understand what you are going through, but empathy goes a very long way. Thoughts on helping a family to remember their baby, allowing them to speak freely, without being forced to feel like they have to move on, get over it or remain silent. Their much loved, much wanted child died, the unimaginable has happened, families need love and not misguided advice, which ends up hurting people more.

Leaving the bereaved alone, leaves them questioning themselves about their actions, about why nobody wants to support and help them.
Making them feel like they’re to blame for everything, from losing their child to losing their network of family and friends.

It’s important to keep being there, they’re allowed to cry, scream and be angry. But laughing and joking, it doesn’t mean they’re healed; it just means that they are finding a way to cope, to be free from the pain of losing their child; even if for just a moment.

Just be there when the bad days are dark, because the lighter days are of beauty, and shouldn’t be missed.

capture your grief

Healing. Capture Your Grief

What does healing in grief mean for me? Well, the very first thing I would say is that I’m not healed in a way that maybe I should be. You know, when you imagine an open wound that eventually closes over through scarring. It is there you know it is there, but it remains closed; it is almost forgotten – at the very least you don’t think of it much.

When people combine the words healing and child bereavement, all the above is exactly what “outsiders” view. You go through the stages, the death (the initial puncture to the skin), the coming to terms and things like the funeral, (the beginnings of healing). Then the aftermath (the final scarring, healing process). Then you’re meant to just get on with it.

But healing from the death of a baby or child, looks completely different. There is no scar tissue to help rebuild what is hurt; it doesn’t protect you from more pain. It can feel relentless, like the heavy painful feeing will never go away; reopening at unexpected moments.

You simply do not recover from this.

Healing looks different.

Healing isn’t always about moving on and forgetting. It comes in the shape of tears and laughter. Anger and joy. For me it I about being able to carry a legacy on for her. I have struggled with believing that she is with me all the time, I wish she as – but she isn’t. However, by talking about her, doing things in her memory, helps me with the guilt which surrounds her birth and then her death. I guess, it is like a walking stick, it helps me feel like I am doing something for her.

 

Time is a healer.

It isn’t, I just makes the length of time since I last held her longer, seem so far away. Time makes me forget things, it makes me forget her smell, and how she felt. Time makes it hurt more.

 

I’ll never be healed, but I know how to adjust the tape and glue.

capture your grief

Rituals. Capture Your Grief

Rituals.

From early on, I’ve always wanted to make sure that I could do something for her. Not on the same levels as her siblings of course, but to make sure she is included. Rituals to us, it felt important for her memory.

Melody’s footprints

From the first few months, we felt it important to include her name somehow. Written in the sand, or other creative ways. We paid a visit to a local attraction, and there’s an area called “Melody Close”; an open-air theatre, where small shows are available to watch. It was one of the first photos of her name we took, now each time we visit, we always try to get a photo; watch them grow around the name.
We’ve recently hit approximately 200 location photos from people in various locations around the world, including California and Miami.

Her Grave

We don’t visit very often now, I hate to say it but we simply don’t always have the time, but I also hate having to say goodbye each time.
Every birthday we visit and make her space tidy and give her a birthday theme to match her age in which she should have been. We also always go out for lunch and eat cake.
Her anniversary we’ll just take flowers.  At Christmas we’ll also give her a special Christmas place, as well as Halloween too.
Her siblings are majorettes and perform in carnivals so, we tend to match her colours with the colours the majorettes use. It’s the least we could do.

It may not be the right thing to do. But it’s our thing to do.

 

Little Daffodils

 

Everything surrounding her death and the aftermath, has been a complete eye opener, the lack of understanding, the lack of support. I wanted to try and change the aftercare, make sure nobody is ever left out, or left alone.
There is a very long way to go, but as a small group, we’re taking the steps to make it happen.

I just want to make sure that she doesn’t get forgotten.

little daffodils pregnancy and infant loss support service

 

 

capture your grief

Purpose. Capture Your Grief 2018

Introduction

Day Two of the Capture Your Grief Project. Today is about sharing why I am doing the Capture Your Grief project. From the beginning – 2012 was the first Capture Your Grief project, I was also in the first months of being a bereaved Mum. I wasn’t sure what I was doing with it, but it soon became a good resource to speak openly about the loss of our daughter. I had many people read them, it seemed to help other people understand a little bit of what I was feeling at the time.

I used it as an excuse to openly talk about her, like I had permission to do so. I always say the previous year will be my last; last year I didn’t complete it.

Purpose

So, 6th year for me. As I didn’t complete last year’s I am determined to complete this year. But I also know not to beat myself up for not completing it.

My purpose for Capture Your Grief this year is to continue talking and sharing our daughter. I would like to raise as much awareness as I can through this project, for the support group I run and most importantly to talk more about the babies who live but then die.

A lot of the awareness for baby loss is focussed on the babies who don’t live past pregnancy, which is fantastic. But when you see messages, poems which include just these babies it makes babies like mine feel less important. So, my purpose is to keep talking, reconnect with parts of grief; with parts of love that I have forgotten.

Baby loss isn’t just one month, it is forever, whether you chose to talk and remember or not. I think people who have never experienced that often forgets that any type of grief can last a lifetime; but of course, with losing a child it is a lifetime we also lose.

See you tomorrow.

xx

https://www.facebook.com/CarlyMarieProjectHeal/

capture your grief

Sunrise. Capture Your Grief 2018

Introduction

Today marks the first day of Pregnancy and Infant Loss awareness month. It is a chance to speak openly and share experiences; to break the taboo that is baby loss.

This is a project put together by fellow bereaved Mother – Carly Marie, a way to share thoughts on baby loss, sharing our babies and raise as much awareness as possible. I have once again decided to give it a go; I didn’t complete last year’s – it was the first year I didn’t complete it. So, I will take one day at a time.

 

Carly Marie - Capture your grief 2018

First of The Month

The first of each month is always a reminder of the anniversary of loss, the first of the month when you’re excited for what’s to come as events move closer. In 2012 we had a discharge date of May 2012; it was our goal, what were all clinging on to – leaving the NICU behind us. Early April 1st of the same year I remember getting a couple of excited text messages stating she’d be “home next month”; we were all so excited, only a month to go.

Little did we know that after these messages were exchanged and that when we reached the hospital that morning, everything would be different. That May would come and go, a discharge date would just be a day in the month that only we would remember.

April 1st, she died. October will always be the half way point, six months since – six months until. I remember hitting six months, it seemed like such a significant time which had passed; yet felt like no time had passed at all. Wondering how we were going to get through each day, let alone another six months with Christmas and her birthday during the following six months.

 

 

Sunrise

I remember waking up from the first longest night after she died. My eyes were closed, but I hadn’t slept. Everything about my body felt heavy, weighed down desperately hoping to know that I had been asleep, and it was all a terrible nightmare. It was strange knowing there was a sunrise, yet our daughter had only just died the day before; it didn’t seem right, none of it did.

That year we had a heatwave during the whole time she was alive. When she was born Spring had arrived with her, she had brought glorious sunshine; there is stayed until her funeral. I got sunburnt in March and was wearing vest tops and flip-flops. Beautiful weather, it made our trips to the NICU bearable, dreaming together of what our sunny days would be like once she left, how she’d love playing with her brother and sister.

Just a couple of weeks prior to her death, she was able to feel the sun on her face through the window, she wasn’t keen, but we knew one day she would love it. That was the only way she ever felt the sun on her face, no and between her toes; or an ice cream by the sea.

 

sunrise

She never witnessed a sunrise.

baby loss, grief

Triggers – Butterfly Awards 2017

Triggers

I am so grateful to have been given the experience for the second time. I didn’t come away with an award, I wasn’t expecting to.

It was important for me to get Melody’s story out there. I was unexpectedly hit with a trigger; a trigger I can’t even bring myself to speak about; because if I do then no-one would really understand. No-one could possibly understand the way I have felt and have been made to feel ever since. It is a trigger that is taking me a little longer to recover from.

Leaving me not only grumpy and emotional, but as alone as I did when we walked away from the hospital. Needing to ask; Why Me? What did I do to be left the bottom of the pile?

It has all left me questioning whether or not I should continue with Melody and Me. I don’t know if I am making a difference any more or just upsetting myself further. Listening to people state how strong and inspirational I am; yet I couldn’t get passed this.

I love writing about her, without her I wouldn’t have progressed to doing any writing at all.

The evening was without a doubt a beautiful evening, and well done to everyone involved – I won’t say winners, because none of us are. No tears were shed by me until the trigger.

I hate these half assed things, I am sorry for telling a piece of this. But right now I am trying to process; I am trying to work out whether I should carry on with Melody and Me. I am trying to get passed this crazy emotion. I am drained.

I will catch up with Capture Your Grief, it’ll not be on a daily footing, because that calm place I was in, I have lost. I am certainly not in the place of being kind to myself and mindful.

Thank you for your patience. Thanks for voting for me.

Thank you to the two people who held my hand at the awards on Saturday.

the letter M on grass

baby loss grief

Two Years of Grief.

An Anniversary.
How has it been two years?
How was this the last thing I remember about being normal?
A simple photo that would become a favourite, but also the hated. The one that we took for granted the we thought we could repeat as a whole family, as her biggest sister was missing that day. The photo we so naively thought everything was perfect.
Only for the next one, taken less than 24 hours afterwards to be the exact opposite.
The ones that followed would become the faces of bereaved parents, not just a happy couple. From the numb and speechless.
We never envisaged that walking through the unit doors two years ago, to be greeted by the words, “She’s not going to survive”  would be anything but a nightmare, an April Fools’ joke.
Broken, beyond repair, no easy fix solution.
No faith, no beliefs would ever put this right.
No believing that she is all around us, or visiting every body else.
No fluffiness or making the sun shine.
No finding feathers, or the butterflies floating by.
The only place she resides is in her mum and dad’s hearts.
My damaged mind searching for why people think they can “feel” her, when all I feel is numb. When I’m told that she can be felt by other people it makes me then wonder does Melody blame me? Does she STILL not belong to us? Our Daughter, but not our own.  Was she ever ours in the first place?
My shattered thoughts searching for a way to go back and change things, when indeed that is impossible.
No believing that everything happens for a reason,
(neither do I believe that Melody died so we could have her sister).
I cannot think why we were allowed to get to know and think our baby was ok.
Then be taken away. What would ever be a good enough reason for this? I sometimes wish I could believe in a reason, maybe it’ll appear one day, maybe it won’t. I won’t get ,lost looking.
I have changed, I don’t know who I am any more I don’t want to forget her, of course I don’t she is part of my life, my daughter.
But now sometimes I feel as though I am living for the next milestone.
The next person to walk away from me.
I just want to feel human again.
I’m slowly regaining a social circle, but am petrified of getting close to them,
or letting on too much about Melody or doing something
All trust lost.
I feel awkward in the way I am.
Still having people tell me they don’t know what to say to me.
How do I find me again?
How can I learn to be normal again?
To the outside I put up a mask, a very good one at that.
I’m done with grief,  and watching others grieve for her, when I can no longer cry, “Melody doesn’t wanna see mummy sad” So she won’t…
I want to learn to walk as high as 10 feet tall, rather than the 10 inches I feel at times.
I want to be her mum but not like this.
I miss her so much.
When I look back to see where I had come from to where I am,
I feel like I have paused and feel the same as I did then.
I miss her, there is nothing that will ever change that, and I will speak of her often, maybe now not as much. My heart will always feel that Melody sized heavier.
But learning to live a new life moving forward, but without leaving her behind.
I hope I can stand as strong, tall and as inspirational as the other parents in this community.
I am now a little more than existing, which feels better than it was….
Two years since we said Goodbye.
“As long as I am living, forever my baby you’ll be”
26.02.2012 – 01.04.2012