This week is baby loss awareness week and like many others, I lit my candle at 7pm yesterday for the wave of light, remembering my beautiful Jessica and thinking of my fellow bereaved parents and their little angels. I sometimes call it child awareness week, although it isn’t officially that – there isn’t a specific awareness week for those of us who have lost older children as far as I know – but I do think it’s an important time when the taboo that surrounds baby and child loss can be lifted, even if only for a short time, and people feel able to talk about and remember the little ones they have lost.
One of the many hard things about having to live life without your child is that feeling that you can’t talk about them as freely as you would like to. I do talk easily and comfortably about Jessica myself, but I can tell when the person I am talking to is awkward about me talking about her. It’s hard too because there are no new stories to tell – all you can do is repeat the old ones. And as time moves on, those experiences are further away and it becomes harder still. But it’s so important to remember those stories, and remember our children. They existed and they matter.
This week, I had a message from Jessica’s reception teacher. She’d visited Jessica’s forever bed and sent me a photo from her visit. As she arrived there, the sun came through the trees, encircling Jessica and to her it felt like Jessica’s big beaming smile. She told me that she’d recited the story of the Gruffalo (one of Jessica’s favourites) and told her that she was missed and loved. It meant so much to know that someone other than us took the time to be with Jessica, remembering her with so much love.
This week has also given us another reason for remembering and revisiting old memories. Earlier this week, my husband and I celebrated twenty years since we first got together, back in our uni days. We’ve certainly come a long way since then. It’s been a very tough journey at times, but we’ve walked it together, helping give each other the love, support and strength to get through.
Things that have made me smile this week
- Seeing the sun’s rays creating a rainbow around Jessica when I visited her forever bed.
- Making brownies with Sophie.
- Recreating the story of the prodigal son in Playmobil for our church service last Sunday. Our first service back with a congregation went well which was a huge relief.
- Doing a treasure trail around Datchet.
- Getting out for walks with Thomas while Sophie is at school.
- Listening to Thomas counting away to himself. He’s now learned that if you add one to another number, you get the next number (and can do it when I give him random numbers which shows he does understand it). It’s lovely to hear him wandering around saying “1 + [number] equals [next number].” He does love his numbers!