As some of you will have seen in my last post, Introducing Silver Lining, The Lullaby Trust is a charity close to my heart. The lullaby trust has been especially fundamental in bereavement support for my husband Fabian through their befriender scheme. Personally, it wasn’t for me as I prefer speaking face to face but it made a huge difference to helping Fabian cope and be able to talk with another loss father. Many men struggle to talk about their feelings and can find stigma holds them back from accessing support but I know these phone calls made it much easier for Fabian to reach out.
As supporters of this amazing charity that also work at raising awareness on safe sleeping and the prevention of SIDS (cot death) we were invited to their annual family day recently. We attended last year too and had a lovely day at The Yorkshire Wildlife Park. This year we were lucky enough to yet again have a free day as a family and access to face to face support at Lightwater Valley and the opportunity to meet other loss parents.
We have had a very difficult year with my own mental health, suicide attempts, false imprisonment and corruption within the social services sector to say the least. I had no idea having a rainbow baby was going to feel the way it did nor did I realise how much I would be let down by the mental health services and people who are meant to prioritise the wellbeing of our children. It drastically had an impact on our toddler Beaus behaviour which has made life very difficult and I have to say I was nervous about going to a theme park with a toddler, worried I wouldn’t get chance to talk to anyone from the charity and it would be a stressful day.
I have to say this day couldn’t have gone better. We had an absolutely lovely day and Beau graced us with surprisingly cooperative behaviour. It was absolutely pouring down but we managed to enjoy several rides, both me and Fabian taking it in turns to go with him. It was the first time in ages I had felt close to Beau after he had been pushing me away recently and only wanting his Daddy. It was a joy to see him so happy too after he has been so unsettled with the recent upset within the home.
For the first time in a long time I felt content and happy with life and this day out couldn’t have come at a better time. Not only this but as we have recently booked a holiday to Florida for January it gave me the boost in confidence that we will in fact have a great time and hopefully minimal “tantrums”. It allowed me to actually feel positive about the future.
When we lost Silver and even when she was alive and unwell, me and Fabian proved we could in fact work well in difficult situations together and support each other through difficulties. We learnt how to bring each other up instead of putting the other person down. This dwindled a bit over time as the stress of regular life came back to the forefront and suddenly it was not practical to dwell on our grief and be all consumed every day. This day out together showed us that we can actually still support each other really well and gave us a boost in confidence for a much happier future as a family with two living children. We took it in turns to encourage Beau to keep walking and continue in the right direction and we each had our turn at coaxing him out of puddles.
Over the lunchtime period we also got to meet up with the charity and speak with some of their befrienders. It felt incredibly cathartic to talk to other people that had lost babies too and be able to openly speak about how we are coping and say Silvers name. It was nice just to have someone so animatedly asking questions about Silver and not shying away or avoiding the topic. I enjoyed being able to talk about her without feeling I was making people uncomfortable.
Not only this but Beau was included too and we got to make origami butterflies and he enjoyed colouring in too. This enabled us to have the opportunity to speak easily whilst he was entertained and I am hoping over the years if they continue doing these events that Beau will eventually be able to talk about his sister and how he feels too.
I know to some people it may seem a trivial thing for a charity to spend money on when it could be put into research etc. but grief is isolating and naturally depressing. We all need a break from reality, the chance to talk about how we feel and we need the opportunity to smile again without feeling guilty. Different people will benefit in different ways from these events. Some may have had no support and desperately needed to talk to someone who understands. Others maybe just needed that reason to leave the house for the first time.
I didn’t realise until the day came just how much I really needed a family day. A day where we could just focus on enjoying each other’s company and an opportunity to smile for the first time in a long time. With Silver’s anniversaries coming up and the anniversary of our miscarriage the following day I have been very emotional recently and this retreat was a much needed break with a much needed opportunity to talk about how I had been feeling.
Make sure you check out this charity, they share so much amazing info on safe sleep for all parents and they also have a CONI scheme for parents expecting rainbow babies so that you can feel confident caring for your new baby and what to do should your baby become unwell.
Until next time,