I’ll be honest, I thought writing a blog would come easy. All these thoughts and emotions whirring round my head at a 100mph every day, it would surely be simple enough to just type them out. The truth is it hasn’t been easy. I have written, edited, deleted and rewritten this piece many times. I have agonised over how to explain different emotions in order to make what I write helpful to other bereaved parents, as well as informative for those that are here to get some insight on how to support them. So instead of jumping right in at the deep end I’m going to ease into this virtual world gently and explain why I am starting a blog.
I am under no illusion that I am very much in the thick of my grief journey. Mavy died 10 weeks ago. I have a long way to go before she isn’t all I think about all day every day. So why start a blog now? Why not. My grief is painful and raw, so surely it is the perfect time to share my experience. I’ve had so many people reach out to tell me how brave I am to do this. I’m not sure if I am brave. I think a huge reason for writing comes from wanting to talk about Mavy. A special place for Mavy and me. I love even just typing her name. Mavy. My daughter. She was here. She existed.
I am not a writer; I am not a grief coach. I have no qualifications in what I’m talking about whatsoever. I am a bereaved parent, and this unfortunately gives me experiences that I feel are necessary to share and talk about. Baby loss is still so taboo. Nobody wants to think about it let alone talk about it and that means loss-parents can feel very alone. I cringe at myself for some of the things I have posted on social media of late – will people think I’m attention seeking? That I’m obsessed with death of my baby? Let me try and explain it in simple terms. We see posts of living children all day everyday all-over social media. The first smiles, steps, first words. It is so beautiful to see, and those parents are so proud to share. Well the thing is, us loss parents, we want to share too! We are so proud of our babies, but we do not have those firsts to share. We only have the small amount of memories we made and quotes about grief that let others know how much we love our children. So yes, I am obsessed with my dead child, in the same way I am obsessed with my living child.
In the UK women are still entitled to a maternity leave if their baby dies after 24 weeks gestation as that baby is then recognised as a ‘person’. (This is so wrong and for those of you reading this who were on the other side of the 24 weeks I hear you and I stand by you. This will need to be an article of its own making at some point.)
So, I am currently in a national lockdown, with a crazy wild 2-year-old, drowning in grief and wondering what the hell to do with myself. I love to read and have tried to educate myself on all things baby loss since losing Mavy. Knowledge is power after all. I’ve read a lot about mourning and how it differs from grief. From what I understand grief is something we cannot hide from; it is a range of emotions we must endure to process losing somebody we love. Mourning on the other hand is where we take part in activities to honour and remember that person. This blog is one of my ways of mourning Mavy. Following Mavy’s death I made a very public announcement on social media urging people to raise money for two charities which will help those that find themselves going through what I have in the future. I got a real buzz seeing that money roll in – this was Mavy’s legacy.
Aside from my own selfish reasons (sorry followers) I also have a strong desire to help others. I know that I am constantly searching out parents who have found themselves in this club, each one as inspirational and amazing as the next. I want to be that person others can search out, so they don’t feel so alone. If you are a loss parent or you are supporting somebody through loss please contact me or comment on my posts, let me know if there is something regarding loss you would like me to write about.
Sending love to all those loss parents and the friends and family who support them.