This week being Baby Loss Awareness Week, the focus for me has been on remembrance.
Last Saturday was the Butterfly Awards, which focused on remembering all the babies taken too soon, their parents and the professionals who help them.
It is heartening to see so much activity this week to celebrate the babies no longer with us, and the mummies and daddies rebuilding their lives.
Someone commenting on one of my posts said “We are only two days in and already I feel awareness is building in ways that I haven’t seen in previous years. I believe something good will come out of all the heartache”.
This year is my first having had a loss, meaning I have nothing to compare with. I don’t remember last year’s awareness week, but at that time I was newly pregnant and had I seen anything I would have no doubt have put my fingers in my ears and sung “La la la that is so sad but only happens to other people, not me.”
How I wish I could remain so blissfully ignorant.
I share the commenter’s sentiment – I do hope something good can come out of all the heartache with an improved recognition of bereaved parents’ needs in regard to support – both professional and in general by knowing the better things to say.
The comments on my Mumsnet guest post from those who have not lost a baby were particularly encouraging: some expressed shame for having ignored a bereaved friend or colleague’s baby loss, while others were grateful for knowing it is ok to talk about the baby.
I was unable to do all the posts I had planned: a huge thank you is owed to everyone who took the time to get in touch about their baby loss communication experiences. The post is about two thirds there, and I had intended to finish it yesterday afternoon after my psychiatrist appointment, but I was so distraught afterwards I was unable to. That post, as well as one about a focus on neonatal loss will be published when I have regained the emotional strength to revisit them – at last, I am learning to be kind to myself – and they will be just as relevant outside of the awareness week.
Wednesday brought the Wave of Light. People were invited to light a candle for an hour from 7pm in honour of all babies no longer with us. So many people took part, my social media feeds looked beautiful with an array of lights.
The amount of lights was heartbreaking because it brings home how many mummies and daddies have broken hearts. The amount of lights was also heartening because people who have not lost a baby also lit a candle in honour of friends’ and family members’ babies – such solidarity is wonderful.
Thank you all so much. I am blessed to know such wonderful people, and love that Hugo has touched so many people – especially those I know only through blogging and social media, and have never met.
I lit these candles for Hugo, for Frankie, for Georgie, for Matilda Mae, for Freddie, for Hattie and Flic, for Aneurin, for Jack and Spencer, for Oliver, for Georgia, and for Finley (please forgive me if I have omitted anyone) – as well as all other babies who are not in their mummies’ and daddies’ arms, where they belong.