June marks the beginning of SANDS awareness month.
This year’s campaign is all about breaking the silence and helping people talk about their loss. Ive always been lucky and ive got a great support circle who can talk about Jason with me, even sometimes bringing it up themselves to start the conversation however I know for so many they worry that talking about the loss and grief can be upsetting.
As a mum I want to talk about Jason as much as I can. I want to include him in anything especially family things because he made me a mum and he started our family.
If I could give anything to someone who is new to baby loss or someone who would like to comfort a grieving parent it would be this;
· Dont be afraid to mention their baby/child, they probably feel like they can’t but may still want to talk about them.
· Ask those questions you might have
· Offer support in other ways (if you are able) such as cooking them a meal, offering to look after other children ot walk their dog, check in on them.
For me one of the most important things I was asked when Jason died is something that isnt spoken of enough so this is a huge one…
· Ask how the Dad is. They are grieving too and most often forgotten as they are usually the strong ones who hide their grief. They are often asked how the mother is doing but rarely thought of in the same way. Dads matter just as much as Mums so please talk to them too.
SANDS have released an amazing video on their campaign for anyone wanting to watch Finding The Words
No one grieving after the death of their baby should have to do so in isolation.
– Taken from SANDS finding the words campaign.
Their campaign last year focused on the number 15. 15 babies a day. 15 babies a day die. This is such a huge number for a topic that is so widely unspoken of.
Not just 15 babies but 15 mums, 15 dads, 15 grandparents are all affected by the loss of a baby. I didnt just lose a baby the day Jason died, I lost a lifetime of firsts, a lifetime of memories and I lost a part of myself.
Before losing Jason I never really thought about baby loss, why would I? I knew it happened, I knew people it had happened to however these deaths were from a time where baby loss was a taboo and people had to carry on as if their child never existed. I am grateful that the baby loss community is so strong in this era that it is spoken of, that Jason is remembered and thought of and that people don’t expect me to just act as of I was never pregnant. It is thanks to charities such as SANDS that thid is possible.
Yet still knowing everything I know now about baby loss and how common neonatal deaths and stillbirths are, I find it so hard to believe that on the day Jason died 14 other babies died too. While in the hospital waiting to go home the day Jason died we were told of 2 other babies who didnt make it. Out of 15 babies on average in the UK to have sadly died that day 3 of those were in the same hospital. Thinking of it now makes me feel so much sadness and anger at how common the death of a baby is. In a reality where people can do their entire shopping online and live their entire lives through social media we are unable to prevent something that has been happening for thousands of years.
Pregnancy and birth is a natural process, a way of life yet for me it has become a way of death too. Before Jason this had never crossed my mind yet now I worry for anyone who decides to try and bring life in to the world. Sands were the first charity I came across and the information they provide gave me so much insight into the world I was facing. If anything they showed me that it was okay to talk about my son, it was actually more than okay and they showed me that I wasnt alone in this group i had joined.
#sandsawarenessmonth #sandsawareness #june