This week is awash with emotions, and to be honest I haven’t been coping as well as I could be, and I know this is all sewn into my grief with Harry Lloyd. When upsetting things happen it is far to easy to say “see, bad things keep happening to us” However I consider myself to be so incredibly lucky that I work as part of the amazing Saying Goodbye Team. I have said on several occasions how the support provided by Saying Goodbye is second to none, and how this support is helping me and the whole of Team Lloyd work through our grief, and see it as a journey path that we have to walk.
I am so pleased that in some small way I can give back and in turn help other parents that have to also work this lonely path of grief through my work as National Fundraiser Manager. With Saying Goodbye, this path of grief is not lonely, we stand with you every step of the way. And that alone makes this charity amazing!
Anyway – my point today is, being a Hampshire Lass, is I am very excited that the next Saying Goodbye service is this Saturday May 11th and it’s coming to Hampshire – Winchester to be exact! I wanted to share some more information about the service, because you might be a bit like me and nervous about attending one. However I cannot wait to attend a service, to honour Harry Lloyd and to be able to stand with others and remember their babies too.
So here is some official information about any Saying Goodbye service, please share this information with anyone who you think might want to attend a Saying Goodbye Service. Even if their loss was 80 years ago, or even yesterday. And for those of you who know Hampshire or know of people who live here – please share this information as you never know who might just want to know about it!
Here are some questions & answers about the Saying Goodbye services and at the end I have shared a letter that was sent to the founders after a service. I wanted to share it as I think it shows how needed these services are.
Saying Goodbye services are for anyone who has lost a baby at any stage of pregnancy (however early), at birth or in early years.
1) Do I need tickets?
A – No, first come, first seated.
2) Can I bring my family?
A – Yes of course, one of the reasons we use cathedrals is the fact that they are large spaces, so people can bring their family and friends with them.
3) Can I bring children with me?
A – Yes, many babies and children come along with their parents – As the whole family can be touched by the loss of a baby, some find its as important for their children to attend as themselves.
4) I am currently pregnant, will this upset other service guests?
A – We have many people come along to the services who are pregnant, and we have never seen someone upset by it, in fact we feel it offers others hope.
5) What can I expect?
A – On the website we explain more about the service – but in essence the service consists of music, a short address, prayers, poetry, readings, a personal story, and acts of remembrance.
6) Will attending the service upset me?
A – Some people of course shed a few tears for their baby / babies, others don’t – What we can say is that the majority of people who attend our services leave feeling lighter, and often smiling. They say its like a weight has been lifted off their shoulders, now their baby has been formally acknowledged.
7) Does it matter how long ago our loss was?
A – No, all are welcome, whether the loss was 80 years ago or yesterday.
8) Am I welcome to attend, as I have had failed IVF attempts?
A – Of course.
9) As your cause is called Saying Goodbye does this mean we need to say goodbye to our babies, as I am not ready?
A – The services and the organisation, offers people the chance to say goodbye – that maybe saying goodbye to a baby (as often people don’t have the opportunity to do this), but it can also be saying goodbye to some of the grief a person has been carrying. What we want to do is offer people the time and the place to do this, and offer ongoing and lasting support to all who have lost.
10) Can I attend more than one service?
A – Yes, feel free to attend as many as you like.
Dear Saying Goodbye
Saturday the 8th December was a date I had been waiting for, for so many months.
That date signified a special event, when I would stand and honour my baby in the beauty of Bristol Cathedral surrounded by bereaved parents, and their extended family, at the Saying Goodbye Service.
Arriving at the cathedral, I was left speechless by its beauty and calm. I instantly knew that something very special was about to take place.
Walking through the doors I remembered the first time I had contacted Saying Goodbye – The wonderful organisation that led me to the cathedral, the organisation that has helped me to survive the devastation of losing my baby – the organisation that has helped me find me again!
I haven’t told many people about my loss – yet on Saturday, when I stood among others who understood, I felt at peace, supported and truly accepted. Words did not need to be exchanged between myself and others, you could just feel kindness, and love in the building, an almost invisible hand holding was evidently present.
Every poem read, song sung, hymn led by the amazing choir, and most importantly every act to honour our babies felt so special. Every element of the service was a personal message for me and my child.
When I lit a candle and rung the now legendary bell, (which has become a unique hallmark of a Saying Goodbye Service) in honour of my lost baby, I felt over-come with emotion and an overwhelming gratitude to Saying Goodbye swept over me.
A lot of tears were shed during the service, but with each tear, my heart felt that bit lighter. I was finally doing what I had longed to do for months, honour my child and openly grieve.
That day will be one I will never forget; it truly was a turning point in not only my grief process, but also in my life.
Saying Goodbye you have not only provided crucial support to me and given me permission to grieve – You have helped me survive the darkest moments of my life, and now on top of all of that, you have also given me the opportunity to publically celebrate my baby and acknowledge he did exist, he does matter, and he was and is important, in a wonderful service.
Over the past 24 weeks I have watched you starting to break down the taboo of baby loss, what seemed like a virtually impossible task, is actually being achieved because of all your hard work – all parents owe you an abundance of gratitude for this.
Thank you is too small a word, but I need to say it, thank you for being a light in my darkest hour, thanks for being a beacon of hope when I had none – and thank you for honouring my precious baby boy.
Thank you for reading the whole way through this post, the work that Saying Goodbye are doing daily means so much to me, so I appreciate you taking the time to read all this information! In the weeks following Harry Lloyd dying we felt lost and isolated. Saying Goodbye changed that.
The little lamb was on her booster step (you know one of those ikea ones that help them reach the sink and toilet?) Well bless her, she slipped off whilst getting her towel, put her hand out to save herself…and broke her wrist.
The first photo is at the hospital just before we were discharged and the second was later at home when she was feeling a bit brighter. We are all very proud of how well B Lloyd has coped and think she is just the bravest little girl we know.
- I am therefore also sorry that Photo of The Week has been delayed (yesterday was not a good day!) but if you still can and want to join in please showcase your Photo of The Week, we all need cheering up with some photos of the lovely weather we have been having perhaps!!?
And yes ….. we have everything crossed that we can still go on holiday a week today …….
Time has done it again, another month has passed. I’m beginning to enjoy the time at the end of each month when I spend a few moments to reflect on what has been. So this was April.
I discovered a new word this month. The word OK. OK can fill many a void, it sums up nicely how we are feeling. We are OK, a well rounded OK. Our heads are of course full of this time last year and it takes time and practice to not get caught up in those thoughts and to get dragged down into a wave of grief.
This month I have managed to do a few firsts, I have used the words my son, and died in the same sentence as well as even getting out Harry’s photos and looking at them. This to me is a huge step forward, having not been able to look at them since we got them I spent a few weepy moments alone but looked at them. Do you know, he had the most gorgeous little feet?
I know I wouldn’t have got to this point without the help of Saying Goodbye. Zoe and Kirsty have again helped me and allowed me to pour out my heart to them. I know now that grief is a process and to feel better I have to work through it.
So you see I am doing OK.
This month has also seen me head back into nursing, it’s different, it’s keeping me busy while I am there and its another step to my new normal. It’s only 1 day a week right now, and for now that is enough. I am painfully aware of my anxiety levels still so I know I cannot over do it. I do have a feeling of guilt over it though. A bit two fold I guess, I never expected to be going back to work so soon, we were planning for me to be a full time stay at home mummy, and yes B Lloyd still needs me, but during the day she is at school learning and discovering her aspirations, the house is lonely without a 5 month old in it. And secondly, its a brand new nursing job, no one there knows anything about Harry Lloyd and that’s where the guilt lies. I feel like I am ignoring my feelings for Harry and I feel like I am ignoring he existed. I know instantly that’s silly but I can’t help feeling guilty during those hours I am there. I guess it’s a bit like a mum who leaves her baby for the first time to go to the shops or the gym and they have that urge to tell anyone who will listen that they are a Mummy and their baby is at home. Except I can’t say I have left Harry Lloyd at home.
I have consciously this month put decision making on hold and I have felt my anxiety lessen for not worrying about having to make a decision – so I guess that is a good thing too.
Team Lloyd are also, dare I say it? Extremely Excited about what the month of May might hold. You see way back in the depths of October Daddy Lloyd and I needed something, a light in this very dark tunnel maybe, but we needed something to look forward too so we booked a trip. A trip we are all going on together in 11 sleeps time, a trip that might involve us going to the house of a certain Mr M. Mouse.
So you see, April may only have 30 days, but we are doing OK.
You can read the reflections from 2013 so far here
Daddy Lloyd and I went out for a special meal this week to celebrate it being two whole years since we officially became Team Lloyd. We shared pudding, and something about the way we left the spoons jumped out at me, it symbolises so much.
I love you Daddy Lloyd, you are my soulmate, and pudding sharing partner forever.
It’s Friday again, so it means only one thing, lets showcase your moment of the week, the photo that has touched you and made you say “Wow” or “awww” or “thats so cute” or “I love that!” then join in the clinky and I will as ever visit every blog, comment, share, tweet and pin your fabulous moments of this week
If you didn’t catch my post earlier this week, I am thrilled to have been shortlisted in the Britmums Live BiBs for the Photo Category – so a cheeky plea, but if you enjoy entering this clinky and you like my photographs please click on the badge and maybe give Team Lloyd a little tick
So this is just a very quick little blog post today, but one I am incredibly proud of! I had a very lovely email from Britmums to tell me that Team Lloyd has made the Shortlist for the PHOTO category for the up coming BiBs that make up part of the Britmums Live 2013.
*Does a happy little dance* Wow! I am so so proud to have made this shortlist, I took up photography last August in an attempt to give me something to learn and concentrate on whilst trying to get over the loss of Harry Lloyd. I brought my first ever SLR and by September had put myself on a photography course to learn to take great photos in manual – and I was hooked!
I am incredibly proud of having started Photo of The Week at the end of November last year, and then having opened it up to the blogging community in January I am overwhelmed weekly that so many lovely people like to join in and showcase their Photo of The Week too. Photography means so much to me, it is a way of capturing and keeping some of the most special memories, of what we as Team Lloyd see and do and how I want to be able to remember everything. I learnt far too well last August that precious moments go far too quickly. A photo captures that moment, be it a snap shot or an arty shot. I love therefore being able to see other people enjoying capturing and showcasing the photo that sums up their week as well. I take pride in visiting every blog, commenting, tweeting it, and pinning it! You can see all the showcased photos from this year so far here.
Photography has been a great way for me to learn to cope with the loss of Harry Lloyd, it has distracted me when I have needed it too, and it has helped me get out there again, meet new people, experience new things and learn new things – so to have been shortlisted in this category has made me a little weepy today!
So the only thing left for me to say is….would you, pretty please, consider popping over and voting me into the final? If you would that would be amazing! There are some other very amazing blog nominated in this category many of whom have inspired me greatly with their photography so please do go give those blogs a visit too!
But if you could vote for Team Lloyd I will love you forever! (Click on this beautiful badge and it will take you to the voting page )
Can you believe it Friday again? Yippee, Team Lloyd are counting down the weeks for a rather exciting trip we will be taking but I have to say, sometimes you cannot beat our very own capital city.
It’s Photo of The Week so join in, showcase your favourite moment from the last week and I’ll visit, comment, share, tweet and even pin your photo of the week!
My Photo of The Week last week was from our first trip to Legoland Windsor this season. We are truly Legoland fans here at TeamLloyd, we have been visiting for the past 5 years since B Lloyd was a mere 1 year old in her buggy.
We are extremely lucky as we are just 20 minutes drive away, and the annual passes make fantastic value for money. Way back when we first started visiting I was the only person who needed a pass, any children under 3 are free and as B Lloyd and I always went whilst Daddy Lloyd was at work it was a great cheap day out that would have B Lloyd and I entertained for a couple of hours and exhausted to fall asleep by nap time! (Her not me!)
Then as she turned 3 and big enough for her own annual pass we have discovered more and more about Legoland Windsor. We sometimes even just decide to pop over for lunch and if we only do 1 or 2 rides we don’t mind – even if it is busy we now know which rides to avoid or where to head and get the most out of our couple of hours!!!
Going back this last week has brought up lots of memories that we had tucked up at the back of our minds. Last year B Lloyd and I were staying at the brand new Legoland Hotel with our cousins so had a 2 day plan of being lost in Legoland. Sadly however the fun was very quickly taken out of the day with me receiving a phone call to confirm that Daddy Lloyd was indeed a Cystic Fibrosis carrier. There is something definitely very surreal about hearing that information whilst in a queue to get on a Lego Train. This picture was taken about an hour before I had the phone call, for the rest of the day I tried to keep going for B Lloyd whilst tears poured down my face, with her asking me to please stop crying.
I remember that evening being sat in the restaurant having had to leave B Lloyd for a couple of hours with Tracey and her daughter whilst Daddy Lloyd and I went and spoke with the Cystic Fibrosis specialist. In that two hours our lives changed. Suddenly I was back at Legoland smiling at B Lloyd and trying to function enough to be able to put words together. We were at this point having to grieve that our pregnancy was no longer normal, Daddy Lloyd and I are both carriers for Cystic Fibrosis and our son has Cystic Fibrosis.
So what else would a family do the very next morning? Well we went back into Legoland – honestly please don’t ask, neither Daddy Lloyd or I have any idea how we got about the park that day, all we did know is that B Lloyd was desperate to see us smile and know everything was ok.
Legoland is a place full of fun, with so much to see and do, it obviously didn’t take our minds off of everything, but it did for B Lloyd and on that day whilst Daddy Lloyd and I had so much to think about it worked.
Little did we know that the worst was still to come. Having been told at our next scan that Harry Lloyd’s heart had stopped beating our world crashed down around us again. We would never have chosen to go to Legoland that day but we had this 24 hour period that we had to fill, before being able to go into hospital to be induced for Harry’s birth. The night before through our own tears we had sat B Lloyd on our knees to tell her that her baby brother was too poorly to be able to live outside of mummy’s tummy. I don’t know the right way of telling a 5 year old that their baby brother has died, it was just awful. I would have given anything to take away the sobs coming from her and us that night. That is not a conversation any mummy should ever have to have with their child.
Looking back we know why B Lloyd chose Legoland to go to that day. It is like a safe place, there she has Mummy and Daddy’s full attention and she has fun and (usually) Mummy and Daddy don’t cry.
So you see, for us to have dusted off those annual passes last week was a huge move, we never did go back at the end of last season, our pain all still open and raw. But it is a new season at Legoland, and other than those last two or three visits we have always had lots of wonderful family memories. Stood watching B Lloyd on the Driving School this year, reminded me again at how strange time is. The world had moved on, time had passed, we were back in the same place yet so much had happened.
As with our rule for 2013 we went gently, we went with the plan of just a couple of rides, maybe the pirate show, we went knowing it might cause us to cry. We are still grieving but we are working towards our new normal. We went and had a Team Lloyd day at Legoland and it was great. Behind my smiles and laughter I thought of Harry often, and smiled when I saw a white feather flitter down beside me.
NB – This is not a paid or asked for review by Legoland Windsor, just a simple post showing how Team Lloyd are working through our grief. We are huge Lego fans, and would recommend anyone to take a trip to Legoland!
A proper snappy photo from my iPhone this week! After showcasing the fab locations recently I decided to put the Canon down for the Easter Holidays! So with a hint of the sunshine we dusted off our Legoland Passes and headed off to Legoland Windsor.
B Lloyd loves the pirate show so she was very pleased to get her photo with one of the Pirates of Skeleton Bay!
What have you been up to over the Easter Holidays? Why not show a favourite moment … join in with Photo of The Week! Add your photo to the Clinky Below and I will comment, share, tweet and pin!
It definitely cannot be said that I don’t like to embrace a challenge. One of the ways I am finding to cope with the loss of Harry Lloyd and all the hopes and dreams we had in connection with having a little baby again is having new projects to take up my time and give me somewhere to focus and concentrate on.
I know there are still some very big areas that Daddy Lloyd and I have not even started to work through with everything that happened last year, we are concentrating on the loss of Harry Lloyd and not even thinking about the possibility of never finding ourselves pregnant again. The words are hardly ever spoken because the pain rips too deep to even be able to comprehend.
Anyway, I digress, so projects to keep me busy! I have many, it is not unheard of to hear me say “oooh I’ll try that” *coughs* photography, cooking, writing *coughs* and well, I have kinda stumbled across one in the last couple of days and I’m pretty excited about it. B Lloyd has beautiful long hair, which I must admit I get a little obsessed over during term time. I insist that B Lloyd goes to school with her hair up everyday, either in a french plait or occasionally french plait pigtails, and yes I insist upon this to minimise any little visitors that might want to come home from school. (Also, a huge tip from my lovely hairdresser, spray on some cheap hairspray every day before school and the little buggers can’t get through it )
But during the school holidays B Lloyd likes to have something more pretty done, and I have been seeing some beautiful photos and kept wondering how to even start…So a quick chat and being shown how to start with the lovely SallyAnn and a quick couple of YouTube Tutorials and I am away! B’s Braids is going to have a home here on the blog and as I get better I might even try some video tutorials of our own. I am not the most creative person so I have been searching through magazines and pinterest for some ideas – so please share any really interesting hair styles and I’ll see if I can challenge myself to do them. I have set up a board on pinterest to record all the different braids I manage to do and B and I have even taken a little trip to Claire’s Accessories today to get lots of little pieces of equipment.
Maybe I will try and showcase a hairstyle a week – what do you think?