Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Trooping along

The other day I had a call from a counsellor from Pellows and she came to see how I was doing and how the family were doing. She was really lovely and nice to have a chat with her about things and she left me with a book that was recommended by a mother who had a child die. I have been reading this book and it is written by a mum in Cambridge who lost a child suddenly and she has drawn on the experiences of other families also. "For the rest of our lives - after the death of a child" written by Bev Gatenby.

She summed up things really well and I thought I would share some of the words from the book:
"I became against every wish and instinct and bone in my body, a member of a very special club. It's a club not one of us chose to join or wants to belong to. The membership is for a lifetime; we cannot resign, or take leave or absence or escape by moving to another country or city. It's a paid up life sentence, inescapable".

"When a child dies, we lost part of ourselves as parents, part of our past and an enormous part of our future. Dreams are shattered. We miss our children physically, emotionally, minute by minute and in the following years that seem to stretch without end, as time becomes a test of endurance. We may question the spiritual beliefs that we have in our lives. The relationships that we took for granted with family and friends may change. These changes pile up into one huge loss. Grieving in the years to follow is a long and lonely task. It is highly individual. Ever father, every mother will grieve according to the unique circumstances. The journey can only be walked by the person who is grieving but it is possible to be supported and the journey can get easier".

"After Rose died I remember walking in a bubble of pain. The bubble surrounded me and separated me from the world around me. Her death hurt so much and it it was the worst pain I have ever felt. We lost ourselves as we had been, our dreams and expectations of what our family would be like and our sense of innocent belief in the world. Now some years later, I don't walk in this bubble of pain. We are often happy and the world is mostly a good place. That has not changed the hugeness of the death of our daughter, the loss of her presence for the rest of our lives. There are times when the grief is as bad as it ever was, but it no longer occupies every second of my time or my every thought. Nevertheless, Rose's death remains the single most defining event in our lives".
"We continue to remember and to love our children. We never forget them. We continue to miss them. But that is okay. They remain in our hearts. They are part of our lives forever".
What Bev said was so much of what I could relate to and thought I would record some of those words from her.

Thank you to everyone who has listened to me when I have talked about Grace, I have been able to talk openly with some of you and this has helped me to feel like Grace is recognized as being special to me and also to help me through my loss.

Only today B was told about a friend of a friend who has just found out that in the eighth month of the pregnancy their baby has suddenly died and my heart goes out to this family, even though I don't know them, I now have an in-depth understanding of what they are experiencing.

I have been in touch with a lady who went through the same loss as ours only weeks before us, and through emails and soon through meeting I hope that there can be some slight help for both of us in the way of supporting each other and being able to share our experiences, as painful as they are.

I am going to Kelvin Cruickshanks live show next week so will be interesting! Even if no messages come through for me personally I would like to see him "in action" as I have read both of his books and really enjoyed them! For me it all comes down to hope, and you have to have some kind of hope that your baby is ok and it makes you feel slightly better to know they are ok, even though you never really will know, you still have hope.

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