It had been creeping into my head that soon, I would need to start planing this years Remembrance Tree Snowflake project. Bizarrely, It was like Facebook heard me as up popped my Time Hop reminding me that two years ago, I had started to plan making snowflakes for the Remembrance Tree. It's a tree that stands in a public park which (for the last two years) I have decorated with snowflakes and babies names of those who have died. It provided a much needed comfort when I first began adding snowflakes to the tree but this year, something felt different.
My first thought when I saw this Time Hop post was 'shit, that means I need to start planning for this year', and my second thought was 'shit, if I'm really honest, I feel like I don't want to do this.' But what would not doing it this year mean? Would I be letting Holly, other babies down and the baby loss community down? What would it mean to slow down spreading awareness and to stop yelling Holly's name?
Therapy has helped me to see that the only person putting these 'should's' in my life, is me. I've advocated that there is no right or wrong in baby loss for so long and yet I still put pressure on my own life to carry on doing these rituals that were my crutches during the early days. I needed to be raising awareness so outwardly in the past 3 years because that was where I needed to be. I needed to be raising money, I needed be taking part in projects, I needed to be blogging and I needed to be shouting Holly's name. But it's not where I need to be now and it is not where I want to be now so why do I feel like I should be doing it all still?
The truth is, the last three years have felt like a battle. A battle to have Holly's name heard, a battle against those who didn't 'get' baby loss and a battle to raise awareness. Holly became my shield and it was totally and utterly what I needed to survive. I thought that because I wasn't battling in an angry way, I had settled how my life was going to go. I had written off any change to these rituals, however difficult they were becoming.
Letting go doesn't mean I stop caring or that others are doing it wrong. It is my journey and I am became stuck into thinking I had no choice. I believed that I had to do all these things to prove how much I love and wanted Holly. As much as it kept me alive, it also kept me trapped. Letting go doesn't mean that I wont come back here either. Maybe I will, if I chose that is where I need to be but giving myself the choice has freed me from needing to prove my motherhood. I am enough, my love for Holly (in my heart) is enough.
I am now learning to let go of my 'should's' and I am being lead by what I want. I want to spend time on my children who are here and I want to focus on developing into a therapist. There is still so much that I want to do and so I choose to let go of the guilt that comes with that. I'm not where I was three years ago and I am choosing to let go of the things that I no longer need. It doesn't feel painful, it feels right and it feels like a relief. I am so proud of what I have accomplished in Holly's memory and no doubt there will be more to come but it will no longer be because I think it is what I should be doing.
I am still a bereaved mother. I am still a baby loss advocate and Holly will always be a part of me but I am choosing to loosen the reins now. I am passing on the baton with so much love and care to those who need to be in that place now.
t come from?
On the 7th September 2016 at 25 weeks gestation, Holly was born, still after a battle with complete heart block.