Losing a baby is a devastating experience for families and the grief is never far from the surface, whether it was last week, a year ago or fifty. We all deal with our grief differently, some of us are open about it, but other families aren’t able to do this as easily. Friends and family members can sometimes ignore the tragedy, not wanting to mention it for fear of causing upset, sometimes not wanting to admit they feel grief because it wasn’t their baby.
As a culture we tend not to handle death and grief very well and people often don’t know what to say to someone whose baby has died. Truth is, try to be honest, say how sorry you are, say you don’t know what to say but please don’t ignore the parents and please don’t try to make them feel better, because you can’t.
Thankfully, I was mainly surrounded by love and sympathy when my son died, but I still remember very clearly the people who crossed the street to avoid me and I remember the people who thought they were doing good by saying things like: atleast you have two more children, you can always try for another one, are you over it yet? and, my favourite, atleast he was just a baby, it would have been harder if he had been older.
Babyloss Awareness Week is about standing together as parents, knowing we are not alone, knowing there are millions of families out there who are remembering their babies.
Wave of Light
Babyloss Awareness Week ends on October 15th when anyone who has been affected by the death of a baby is asked to light a candle at 7pm to create a wave of light so that people across the country can unite together to remember all of the babies who have died during pregnancy, labour or after birth.
The charity 4Louis have arranged an event at Souter Lighthouse from 6pm – it is an opportunity for bereaved parents to meet in one place, to light a candle and to remember their angels. At 7pm, the lighthouse light will be switched on and the foghorn will be sounded.
All bereaved parents, grandparents, family and friends are welcome to attend.
For ongoing support, Newcastle SANDS runs free, informal monthly support group meetings in Newcastle for mums, dads, brothers, sisters, grandparents or family friends.
You can also follow them on Twitter: @nclsands