Have you ever had to say Goodbye?

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.

16 thoughts on “Have you ever had to say Goodbye?

  1. Thank you so much for sharing your story for the courage it must have taken to do so. I am proud to be a Saying Goodbye Champion and find their material and presence so helpful in my role as a vicar – where I have another baby’s funeral on Monday. for someone who has not had to endure such devastating loss I am so grateful that you and Zoe and others share their to help me have but a small grasp of what it is like Thank you

    • We had a beautiful service for Harry, and the words that the vicar said are carried dear in my heart. It was one of the hardest things to be at but I do have think of that time dearly. I love having a place to go and visit Harry as well. Thank you for reading and commenting.

  2. I am so glad that you’ve been helped by Saying Goodbye. I think it’s a great charity and that for too long something like this has been missing to give support to people who have suffered baby loss. Reflecting back on my own experiences, I wish there had been some support for me when I suffered my miscarriages, especially the first one.

    I think you’re brave and wonderful for talking so openly about your own experience. I do hope that the counselling support you need from the NHS comes through for you soon. Big hugs x

    • It means so much to me that you take the time to read and comment on the my blog posts, thank you XX I had several people suggest Saying Goodbye to me and I am so glad I took the plunge to contact Zoe. It has been a great comfort to me over these last few months XX

  3. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story and to help break the silence. No one should walk this journey alone counselling and support should be a given not another battle thank goodness for people like Zoe and saying goodbye who give their all. Sending love xxx

  4. Thank you for your post. Losing a baby at any stage is traumatic and this is made worse by the wall of silence surrounding baby loss. Saying Goodbye has really helped me to recover from a second loss because I know other people understand – last time I felt incredibly lonely and isolated.
    I had counselling after my first loss – it saved me and helped me to understand the importance of the grieving process. I did not need to be referred but called the specialist counsellor at the hospital. She actually came to see me while I was recovering in hospital after the second loss. Any chance your hospital could help? I really hope you get the help you need.
    Take care and all the best as you move through this heartbreaking time x

  5. Saying goodbye was introduced to me after my first miscarriage and was somewhere I turned to help me realise I wasn’t so alone. Realising other people have been through it is a small way of making me realise life can be very cruel but people are there to help. X x x
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  6. Thankyou so much for sharing your feelings. I too have been helped tremendously by Saying Goodbye and have now found the strength to embrace life again, following the loss of one of my twin girls in 2011. I too experienced disabling anxiety attacks and grief well and truly ambushed me. Such attacks have now thankfully subsided and I no longer live in fear of them. xxxxx

  7. Oh my goodness Louise, what a beautiful heartfelt blog. As you know, I have had to say goodbye to my beloved daddy. Not the same as losing a little baby but the feelings you expressed resonated so much with me that the strength of emotions I felt reading it totally blew me away. I realised that my wee daddy has been the person all my life who was always there to catch me when a storm struck. We had such a special connection and bond.

    Now I when I am thrown into the thunderstorm, exactly as you describe, he isn’t there to call out to, not physically anyway. Of course I am lucky to have so many wonderful friends and family who have their arms wide open to catch me. You have given so much love and support to others going through awful times in their lives, even when you are going through hell yourself. God bless you xx

  8. Beautiful poem, made me cry. Sounds like an amazing charity. Really hope you get some help for the anxiety soon. I just can’t imagine how awful it is. Lots of love xxx

    • Thank you susan, I am sorry I didn’t mean to make you cry. SG have been a huge help for me, but you are right its a very difficult journey we are on XXX

  9. Pingback: National Fundraising Managers for Saying Goodbye | Team Lloyd

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