"the feeling of being connected and accepted within ones community.."
I am not sure that anyone would expect the death of your child to somewhere down the line result in you feeling a great sense of belonging. In fact, a greater sense of belonging that you have possibly ever felt. I didn't expect that from grief.
And yet somehow it has happened.
The power of grief is so strong that when you find other people with the same loss and the same desire, it creates a togetherness and belonging unlike any other.
I was incredibly honoured to be asked to speak at the 'Our Angel and University of York MidSoc's Baby Loss and Bereavement Care Conference' last weekend. It was a day designed to educate midwives and student midwives on the topic of loss with the aim to improve future care. I had spoken last year at the Bradford Baby Loss Conference but this year I felt different...
Last year, I was still new to this. New to grief and whilst I don't think it is something that I will ever be comfortable with, this year I felt the wider impact of what we as a baby loss community are trying to do, of what we are doing.
We are changing lives. We are encouraging healthcare professionals to challenge what is expected, when dealing with death. We are educating people, all people, on preventing stillbirth. We are talking, sharing, caring and reassuring those who have lost their own babies. We are a formidable team of warriors who care about the lives and deaths of others. We are together, our belonging has a voice and we are a force to be reckoned with.
None of us wanted to belong here but here is where we will stand and from this spot we will continue to shout and share.
I am honoured and inspired by every single individual who attended on Saturday. I am thankful for the people of whom I have met and I am proud to call them my friends. I am in awe of the warriors who continue to inspire me and I am just so proud that in the mess of babies dying, we are making a difference.
In the most devastating of situations, I have a belonging and I thank everyone who has thus far, become part of Holly's legacy.
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On the 7th September 2016 at 25 weeks gestation, Holly was born, still after a battle with complete heart block.