The People I’ve Met

It’s a long, long road, from which there is no return, while we’re on the way to there, why not share? And the load doesn’t weigh me down at all, he ain’t heavy, he’s my brother. (He Ain’t Heavy, He’s my Brother, The Hollies)

There are so many special people who have come into our lives because of Liam and Grace. I am so delighted to have met these wonderful people; I just wish we could have met another way. Most of these people are through Feileacain and are bereaved parents too. There are certain things in life I believe you can only really know and truly understand if you’ve been through it yourself. I had sympathised with other bereaved mammys (Including my two Granny’s whose grown up children had died) before Liam and Grace and I remember feeling so sad for them as I imagined outliving your own child must be the hardest thing in life. I think I thought I had some idea what they were going through. Now I KNOW I had no idea! I had no idea of the pain of living every second of every minute without your precious baby. It is a pain that you carry all the time, you don’t just lose your children, you lose all the hopes and dreams you had for them, you now have to live your life with a massive part of you missing. There is a private facebook group which is solely for bereaved parents and although all our stories are completely different there is a connection which is hard to explain, it is an understanding that no one wants to get as the only way you can really get it is to go through it and I would never want that for anyone. But it brings an instant connection. Recently a lady from the page organised a morning on the beach for bereaved mammys to meet. I was driving there early one Sunday morning thinking I never imagined this being my life, I could never have imagined driving to the beach to meet a group of people I’d never met before and looking forward to it. I was looking forward to it as I knew I was meeting a group of people who “got it” and I was looking forward to sharing Liam and Grace with them and hearing about their precious babies. It is absolutely heartbreaking hearing so many people’s experiences of baby loss but it is also such an important thing to do as everyone wants the space to talk about their babies and we all know and appreciate the pride and love when we talk about them.

When the lady from Feileacain walked through our door on 24th March I was instantly inspired by her and I have also had the absolute pleasure of meeting another wonderful bereaved mammy who answers calls and meets bereaved parents on behalf of Feileacain. Sadly when their babies died they were told to go home and get on with life without their precious babies…..and we’re not talking about a long time ago! They knew first hand that bereaved parents need so much more help and support and they set up Feileacain. I think their kindness and generosity is amazing, they provided us with so many opportunities to make memories with Liam and Grace because they know the pain of not having them. How amazing are they! I will always be indebted to these wonderful people.

Of course it is not just people who have experienced baby loss that help you on your grief journey. I will always be so grateful to all my wonderful family and friends and I feel truly blessed to have such amazing support. But in the early days, particularly, these people were also hurting and grieving for Liam and Grace. They had been with me every step of my journey to become a mammy and now they felt our pain. I think it’s because of this I really benefited from having a counsellor to talk to. It was great to have somewhere to go to talk about Liam and Grace without worrying about upsetting the person or burdening them. I was lucky because I had met a really great counsellor on my fertility journey. Ironically I finished an appointment with her at 7pm on 22nd March with no pain or inkling that in a few short hours I would be in hospital delivering my babies. I contacted her again shortly after Liam and Grace were born and died and although I don’t really remember much of these early sessions I do remember it was the one time of the week I looked forward to. It was my time to talk about my babies in a safe space and I knew any thoughts and feelings were safe to express. I honestly don’t know how I would have survived the early weeks and months without having this wonderful counsellor to listen, advise and reassure me when I needed it most. I feel lucky to have found someone I trusted to bare my soul to, I find it helps me to put into words all the thoughts and feelings I have and no matter how difficult the session is, I know I will feel better for it. One of the things that sticks with me most is that the thoughts we have (and believe me, I’ve had some mad ones) lose their power when we verbalise them. Sometimes it is not easy to do this and of course it takes time to really trust someone but I honestly believe it has really helped me to verbalise these scary thoughts and feelings in a safe environment. Of course, we are all different and we all have to find what works for us when we are grieving but I will always be grateful to have found a wonderful counsellor and I know how much it has helped and continues to help me on my grief journey.


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