#BLAW Day 5- Today is focussed around supporting each other, our partners and children.
Support after the loss of a baby or babies can come in many forms from friends, family, the community, the care teams (hospital, doctors) charities and colleagues.
For some that support maybe in abundance and for others it may not be as forth coming as you might have liked or have hoped for.
Support is best directed by the parents. Taking the lead from us as to what we need, what we don’t need and what would be supportive can aid our grief in a way that feels right for us.
“I remember my mum saying to me I just need to see you. I need to be with you……But what she didn’t take account of was what I needed. I needed space. I needed to be on my own. I know with all of my heart that she meant this with love, care and compassion but I needed her to see that I needed what was right for me at that moment in time” (bereaved dad-2021)
Sometimes it can feel like we don’t know what we want or what we need and that is ok.
Sometimes we think we want one thing and then realise actually that is not what we wanted or needed after all and that is ok.
Our parents tell us that what one might want or need is often different to what the other might want or need and many of our solo parents tell us that grieving themselves in their own way and own time was what was right for them.
We are all different, with our own needs, our own experience and own situations that are ours.
Supporting siblings and children within the family to have an understanding of what has happened can feel like a conversation that you really do not feel equipped to face or to have for many reasons.
“I remember having just left the hospital and on my way home it dawned on me that I would have to tell my daughter that her brother was no longer in my belly. That she was a big sister to a baby brother that she was never going to meet. I questioned a million times during that car ride home- How do I even begin to explain this vast concept to a 4 year old?” (Bereaved mumma- 2021)
When supporting parents with informing siblings we always suggest that they use age and stage appropriate language with the correct terminology and explanations where possible. Finding the words can feel really tough and an unbearable thought. When faced with questions that you feel unable to answer- we reassure parents that it is ok to explain gently that you do not know the answer and you will try and find out or maybe that you are unsure but will hopefully know in time.
“I remember my 6 year old the night we told her that “L” had died in mummies tummy. All she kept saying was why? But why? We had to explain that we simply did not know why? The doctors were trying to find out and we would hopefully know soon. It was horrible having to say we didn’t know but we generally didn’t and we wanted to be open and honest with our daughter” (Bereaved dad-2021)
There are many resources, charities and support networks that can help you to support one another and your family.
We can signpost your to other groups and services over and above all that OWF and Dads Grieve Too can offer. Please send us an email or a message and we will endeavour to help abd support you.
Please take care of your heart.
Love & Support from OWF 💙💗