I have never been that good at goodbyes, always one of those people who prefers to stay on the positive side of life and say “see you later” Goodbye seems so final. Even friends that I have that live on the other side of the world, when we have been to visit or they here, upon departure we leave with a small tear but a huge hug and say “right, we’ll keep in touch, next time us to you, will call you when we’re home, Love you” – never Goodbye. Goodbye would be like admitting we would never see each other again. And that would be awful, and too big a mindful of emotions to cope with.
Yet these past five months have shown me a whole different side to life, one I can only count myself lucky for having not encountered before. Death is a terrifying reality of life and one I thought I was protected from, I really don’t know why, I guess I just always thought that other people had to deal with that not me. I dealt with it at work, but it was other families that had to cope with the day to day reality of what it meant, yes there were so many days on PICU that were draining, and terribly emotional, but somehow as the nurse, as the professional, you had part of you that was immune to the hurt and the devastating reality of what death really meant. I worry now that I have never given other people enough love and support while they have gone through such awful times in their lives, I can only hope that I have somehow supported them.
The first few weeks after loosing Harry Lloyd were a mess, we didn’t know what to do with ourselves, even just getting up and functioning on a basic level was beyond me. Thinking about making 3 nutritional meals a day for B Lloyd was near on impossible (I still cannot thank the delivery of M&S food enough)
There is this moment in grief where it just hits you. It’s definitely delayed and its shocking. It’s like being thrown into thunderstorm with no umbrella, shoes, coat, or place to shelter. You are bare, raw and in the eye of the storm. There is no one there apart from yourself, you are alone, sinking in water. You can try and tred water for as long as you can but eventually it just spills over and you start to feel like you are drowning, there is no space for air, your lungs unable to take another big gulp. It’s a case of needing to reach out and hope that someone else is there to catch you fall.
It is no secret that Daddy Lloyd and I feel very let down by the NHS and our local hospital. 5 months on I am still waiting for the bereavement midwife to call me. I am 2 months into waiting for my GP referral to counselling because of the anxiety attacks I am suffering. What I have described above is not a one off, its like the reoccurring nightmare. You just don’t get to wake up from.
I do however count myself extremely lucky to have met via the wonders of twitter a charity that were introduced to me very quickly. And it is this charity that has inspired todays post. I wanted to share the help that I have received from the charity Saying Goodbye. Zoe and Andy Clark-Coates started the charity after finding that there just was no support for parents grieving for the loss of their baby, no matter the stage of pregnancy or birth. Zoe spent time chatting to me and making me realise pretty quickly that I was not alone, that there are others out there experiencing pain and bewilderment themselves.
Through this blog I have wanted to make the loss of a baby a much less taboo subject, but also I want to be able to talk about how hard grief is, whether it is a baby, child or adult. I have met such inspirational people since I started on this journey of bewildering grief, people who have lost their dad’s, their husbands, their wife or their mothers, as well as people like me who have lost their much longed for and loved baby. For us all, saying goodbye is far to final and far too hard.
I urge you therefore to take 5 minutes to sit and watch this video from Saying Goodbye. The poetry is beautiful and the words have such meaning, one day you just might know someone who will benefit from the love and support Zoe and her team offer.