Category Archives: Capture Your Grief

wisdom

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.

healing

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.

ritual

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.

 

today

Today. Capture Your Grief

Where am I in my grief?

Well contrary to what people think we should be, I’m still a bereaved mum, I am still grieving.
Life changed, I changed too. Sometimes I think for the worst, while others I think I have changed for the better.

When we were asked about switching off her life support we knew from that moment, nothing would be the same.
I just never expected that once her final breath had faded, our bodies changed too. Broken, battered.

Today it has been six years and three days since that moment of goodbye.
I don’t think I’ll ever get over the shock, from one day a healthy baby to gone, forever the next day.

Today

Today, I got “sideswiped”. Today my grief became so overwhelming, my passion for trying to make sure our daughter will never be forgotten made me feel worthless. I felt heavy and not in control of my feelings. I felt like shit today, like nothing I ever do will be enough. Frustrating at not being heard; being made to feel repeatedly that our daughter, her life and her memory doesn’t matter enough to be heard.

I hate how this type of grief catches you, so off guard that you could be on top of the world one minute; then the next you can barely breathe. Nothing seems to compare; after my Dad died, it never felt like my soul had been broken. I could stop take a moment, and then carry on. I no longer visit his grave, because I know he isn’t there, he is around us.

Melody, she is where she lies, I don’t feel her around me – I hate that too.

Today everything went dark, everything felt heavy. Today I begun this post with good intentions of how far into this journey I am, that I can face the day; that being six years down the line I can’t breathe.

 

But today has been shit.

Essence

Essence. Capture Your Grief

Essence

Day Three of the Capture Your Grief project. A little bit more about who they are. My reason behind this project. The essence of her being.

 

Who Are They To You?

She was going to be our rainbow honeymoon baby. We’d lost two babies through early miscarriage before her; conceiving her on our wedding blessing night gave us the key to our new married life together. Adding her to the to children I already had. She is my third child, she will always be my third child – now the middle one. My older two were so excited about having a new baby in the house, we all were. Although I’d had the miscarriages, after taking home two children, I had assumed that she would too. We simply never imagined anything other than brining home a rainbow, as that’s what Rainbow babies do; right?

 

Do They Have A Name?

We didn’t know her gender until the week she was born; so, we often played about with names. Had she been a boy, she was going to either Xavier Or Gabriel Severus. Our original choice for female name was Autumn Amelia. Autumn, because we thought it as a gorgeous name, and Amelia after Amy Pond from Dr Who. Anyway, that year there was a singer on one of the singing shows, and her name was Amelia; we knew it would probably become popular.

I often had boxset marathons due to having Hyperemesis and not being able to go too far from a toilet, many names popped up. Then Christmas 2011 came that all important Dr Who episode, “Hello Sweetie…” Melody Pond was introduced to us. (River Song). We both instantly said how much we loved the name; her middle name comes from NCIS character Caitlyn (Cate).

I remember when she was born, and we were told that she was alive; then asked her name. I felt so proud telling them her name; not knowing whether we would see her again alive.

 

What Is The Meaning of Their Name?

Melody is a Greek name which means song. I am so pleased we went with a reasonably unique name.

Essence

xx

purpose

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

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.

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?”

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