Gratitude – I am
grateful for my kind hearted, silly husband who never asks for more than what
I’m capable of. I am grateful for my mum who loves me unconditionally and who
taught me what it means to be a mother. I am grateful for my friends who say
Aneurin’s name and want to know everything no matter how difficult it is to
hear. I am grateful for the incredible love and support we’ve received
from people whatever form it’s come in.
I am most grateful though for my beautiful big footed baby boy and the time we
had with him even though it will never be enough. I’m grateful for his
existence and all he taught us. We are different people because of him. We
might be broken right now but we’re also richer and filled with a love and joy
we might never have known without him. No matter how much hurt we’ve
experienced I would still choose him a thousand times over.
Self portrait – This is who I am today. Broken, exhausted, desperate and
scared. But also hopeful, grateful, compassionate and loving. I am changed,
Aneurin changed me, grief has changed me but deep down I am still the person
who will chase cats down the street and make them be my friends, who would
rather stick my head in a bag of eels than clean the bathroom and who finds
unbridled joy in new slippers. I am a new version of myself and I need to
remember that that isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Reach out – I
wanted to use today’s prompt to mention Still Loved, a feature documentary on
stillbirth. It follows families trying to rebuild their lives after loss. The
filmmakers are currently asking for donations via Just Giving to enable the
film to be shown on television and in cinemas.
I am reaching out today by donating to them and to ask you to do the same, especially
if you’re in the UK. Very few people are aware of stillbirth; not just that
occurs but what actually happens and what life is like afterwards. Whilst there
has already been one stillbirth storyline in a soap this year and another
happening soon, these are dramatised for entertainment. The reality of life
after infant loss is something only bereaved parents truly understand and sadly
the general public aren’t always so compassionate or empathetic. Hopefully this
film can help to change that.
There’s a trailer for the documentary and more information including the link
to donate at www.stilllovedfilm.com.
What Heals You – I think the key to recovering after any trauma is self care
and a huge part of that is finding what heals you. So many people lose
themselves when they lose their child and don’t know who they are or where they
fit anymore. I want to believe that finding the things that heal me will help
me find myself again.
Being surrounded by nature and beauty fills me with peace, especially if
it involves a body of water. I love going fishing with my husband and just
sitting by the lake with a book. Sometimes it’s hard because my husband
especially was so looking forward to teaching Aneurin to fish and I imagined
learning about birds and nature with him but it also makes us feel close to
When I think about it there are so many things that heal me in my life; long
Lush baths, my attentive kitties, the people around me, crafting things and
being creative (in my own limited way!). I want to focus on taking time every
day to appreciate these and indulge in them a bit more.
Whilst I was pregnant I started making a wedding book using Project Life but
haven’t touched it since we lost Aneurin. I think finishing it would be
incredibly healing as it serves as a reminder of the best parts of my life and
that without our marriage our beautiful boy wouldn’t have existed.
Sunset – Today marks three months since our beautiful boy was born. It feels both so
long ago and like it was only yesterday. Three months have passed and three
months we have survived. We are still putting one foot in front of the other
and for that I feel pretty proud of ourselves.
Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month might be over but I plan on
continuing to be open with my grief. Although it feels as though we get further
away from Aneurin and the time we spent with him with each day that passes I
know we will carry him with us forever. Rather nicely our November will start
with an All Souls Day ceremony at the church we got married in with the vicar
who led Aneurin’s service. His name will be spoken and we’ll light a candle for
him; our precious baby boy.
Thank you to everyone for your responses of love, support and solidarity this
month. And an enormous thank you to Carly Marie Dudley for creating this
project and for being a beacon of light in the darkness.