Thursday, 17 January 2013

We Can All Learn to Fly

I read this today and thought I would share this insightful post from Still Standing online magazine on learning to grieve.

Wishing you a gentle New Year

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Does Heaven have a Christmas Tree?

As you spend time with your families, it is impossible not to remember those that are no longer with us, not just our babies but other friends and family. Whether it is your first awful Christmas after loss or whether you are a few years further down the line, I give you my Christmas wish.

My Christmas wish to you all is that even if it is for only 5 minutes, you make some time for you and find a little peace and beauty in the world around you - the clouds, the singing of the birds, the wind in the trees, maybe the sun upon your face, a flower, some music or just silence. A little respite for your soul.

Much love to you all, know that you are not alone xxx

Friday, 7 December 2012

Dear Santa

Dear Santa

I'm writing this letter as I'm feeling a little blue, so I hope you don't think I'm asking to much of you. You visit every year and leave everyone such wonderful things, but I'm wondering if you visit those people who have wings?

I know you must be busy, with so much to do in one night, but could you please make an extra trip to the stars that shine so bright? You see my friends special children were just too perfect for life on earth, no presents I could send to truly show their worth.

So could you please leave them all a gift and put a stocking on their cloud, filled full of precious presents from their families and friends on the ground. Please stroke their sleepy heads and tell them their families love them so, that their heart aches with sadness and their tears just seem to flow.

If you could do this for me Santa, their families may be able to smile even if it is just for a little while. So thank you very much Santa for all that you do, after all it is Christmas up in heaven too.


Wednesday, 14 November 2012

THAT time of year again

Christmas is just around the corner. 

For me, it will always be a happy/sad time. But, every day is a happy/sad balancing act, painfully aware of Philip's absence yet thankful that we have been blessed with our eldest and our 'rainbow baby'.

That first Christmas our eldest son was just four. For him, we went through the motions; had it been just us we wouldn't have bothered. It was anything but a "Happy Christmas". Even after nine months the pain was very real, the shock still very much with me, every day that feeling of 'I still can't believe it happened'. It was like sadistic time travel, taking me back to before I was pregnant, like it never happened but the grief reminding me every single second that it did.

In fact I didn't go to my husband's Christmas works do for years afterwards, as the last one I had been to I was pregnant with Philip. It was too painful a connection. I didn't want to meet all the people who had last seen me pregnant and years later would have seen me still not pregnant (that's another story about secondary infertility). 

But do you know what? I make no excuses for (still) being a complete fruitcake and hermit at times, for missing social events (especially in the early days those with new babies or pregnant ladies) because I don't feel up to it. I think I've absolutely earned the right to be gentle on myself and anyone who thinks otherwise can, quite frankly, just whistle. I really don't care what they think, I'm looking after me in the only way I know how and that comes under the heading of 'Making it up as I go along'.

So, I would like to share two things with you. One is a link to Still Standing Magazines short article about taking care of yourself over Christmas. A time when we generally feel obliged to make at least one commitment that we'd rather not.... read on for some practical tips on being gentle on yourself.

Two is another beautiful offering from the Memory Tree, a way to honour your baby at Christmas - a Christmas memory tree, complete with handstamped memory tags, a plaque with their name and a crystal angel. Last orders 10 December (Blogger novice alert -  please scroll down as I can't get the photo to move up!!)

If there are any topics you would like me to cover, please comment or email me on

Wishing you gentle days xxx

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Rainbow Babies

May God give you... For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer.

As another beautiful rainbow baby entered the world this week, I thought an explanation may be needed. The term rainbow babies is not known to everyone, but in the baby loss community it means a baby born after a loss.

“Rainbow Babies” is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. 

What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of colour, energy and hope."

Wishing you gentle days xxx

Saturday, 27 October 2012

Grief Makes a Promise

I feel like I'm going crazy.  
[Grief speaks] Come sit down, let's talk.  
Not you! Leave me alone!
You have moved into my life and you won't leave.
Everywhere I look; there you are, staring me in the face, filling my life with pain.
[Grief responds] I know. But just hear me out, okay?  
I'm tired of listening to you.
Tired of feeling so many things; Confused, sad, hopeless, angry, anxious, guilty, helpless, isolated, empty, alone, exhausted, lost, and fearful.
[Grief firmly] You're supposed to have feelings. You're human.  
Look you don't understand. My baby who I love and care for very much has died and it HURTS--
It hurts so badly I can't stand it. Sometimes I don't even want to be here anymore.
[Grief comforting] I hear you. But if you never loved, you'd never grieve. What you feel is normal.  
No, it's not. Everyone says I'm--well--they say that I'm grieving too much.
They are worried about me. They say that it's time to move on.
They said to me: "It's time to put closure on this". "It's time to heal, accept, recover, and get over it".
[Grief softly] And you can't.  
Well, no. Not like they want me to.
I can't put closure on my love.
My love did not die.
I can't wake up one day and suddenly exclaim," I'm healed".
I'll never completely heal
I certainly will not "accept" or "recover" from my baby’s death.
And, I will never "get over" it, as if my grief is a problem that can be fixed.
[Grief whispers] You don't have to.  
What do you mean?  
[Grief takes a seat] Everyone grieves differently.
And you have the right to grieve however you're going to grieve.
You had an unique relationship with your baby-- a relationship that no one can ever fully understand.
So, what am I supposed to do?  
[Grief moving closer] Five things.

First; grieve; feel your grief. That's why I'm in your life. So you can begin to feel again. Even though you don't like what you feel.

Second; talk it out with people who are willing to listen and not judge you. Find a way to get all those bottled up feelings out so they don't go round and round with no place to go. Find those people who will really listen. They are out there. DO IT.

Third; realize that everyone grieves differently. Respect this.

Fourth; Live. Even though at times you don't feel like putting one foot in front of the other. Your job is to live your life, despite all the changes you've gone through, despite all the pain.

And fifth; talk about your baby. Say his or her name. Tell your baby’s life story. Your baby lived a life. Find people who will listen to the stories and who will in turn tell you their stories of your baby .Your love for your baby will never go away. You will always carry it in your heart.

[Grief offering a handshake] And, finally, I make you a promise.  
[Shaking hands] You? Grief? Are making me a promise?  
[Grief] Yes, my promise to you is:
As terrible as you feel now, you will not feel this way forever.
There will be times that you will laugh.
Times where your confusion, your sadness, hopelessness, your anger, anxiety, guilt, helplessness, isolation, emptiness, loneliness, exhaustion and fear will not feel so intense.
Don't get me wrong. You will never forget your baby.
And feeling less grief does not mean that you are forgetting him/her. Now, I want you to say your baby’s name.
Go ahead, say it.
(say your baby's name) 
[Grief] It's a precious name.
Take the memories.
Put them in your heart, feel them. And know that your baby will always safely be in your heart.
[Grief] I promise.

Unknown author.

Friday, 19 October 2012

The Gift of Someone Who Listens

Those of us who have travelled awhile
Along this path called grief
Need to stop and remember that mile,
The first mile of no relief. 

It wasn't the person with answers,
Who told us the ways to deal.
It wasn't the one who talked and talked
That helped us start to heal.
Think of friends who quietly sat
And held our hands in theirs,
The ones who let us talk and talk
And hugged away our tears.
We need to always remember
That, more than the words we speak,
It's the gift of someone who listens
That most of us desperately seek.

Author: Nancy Myerholts