You can make a difference for bereaved parents
I’m Philippa, and I’m the proud Mum to Sam and her four siblings. Sam was born asleep in 2012, and her four siblings were lost at earlier stages of pregnancy. We should be celebrating their 9th, 8th, 6th, 4th and 2nd birthdays this year. So whilst I know I’m a Mum, and I feel like a Mum, because I carried all these babies just like other Mums, in the normality of every day life, I guess I’m not really a Mum in the true sense of the word in the eyes of many people, because I have no babies to show you, and I will now never be a Mum in those terms.
This is incredibly sad for me, for us, and with 1 in 5 babies lost between conception and 12 months of age as a result of Miscarriage, Stillbirth and Neonatal death, it is incredibly sad for so many other bereaved parents out there too. The grief we feel is so very difficult to describe and understand, because certainly with Miscarriage and Stillbirth, our huge loss is an invisible to people outside our lives.
Nobody can fix what we have been through, nobody can bring these beautiful and much loved babies back, and nothing you can say will change the loss we feel. However, there are things you can do that can make such a difference to us, as bereaved parents.
Yesterday 2 people made a real difference to me, and I want to tell you about it.
In January, we were due to have a fundraising evening with the wonderful Neville Southall MBE in Liverpool, on what should have been Sam’s 8th birthday. This was to help fund the staging of my new play ‘Dancing in the Wings’ based on our journey with Sam, to help raise awareness and understanding of baby loss. I had chosen Arustic Duo, talented acoustic duo, Ange and Josh to play that evening. I had asked them if they could play a particular song. This song was Iris, originally written and performed by The Goo Goo Dolls. I had chosen it to be played at Sam’s funeral, it features in the play, and has remained so very special to me. This isn’t a song that Arustic Duo had ever played as part of their set, but, they kindly told me that they were happy to learn it in order to perform it on the evening.
Sadly the fundraiser had to be cancelled, as we were unable to sell enough tickets, which was heart breaking for so many reasons, and I also never got to meet Ange and Josh, Arustic Duo, or hear their wonderful performance.
Completely out of the blue, yesterday, the 23rd June 2020, this happened on Twitter ……
This is a stunning performance of a song that means so much to me and us…
I have never met Ange or Josh from Arustic Duo, and they don’t know me, other than through me trying to book them and then having to cancel their performance. Their act of kindness in learning this, performing it and dedicating it to me and Sam on a public platform, made more of a difference than they will ever know. They didn’t need to do this, they just chose to do it. To say it overwhelmed me is an understatement, and resulted in many tears. It was so special, because two complete strangers recognised Sam as being a real little person who was, is and always will be so important to us, despite the fact she can’t be here, and was never even able to take a breath. Their act of kindness also recognised and showed total understanding, and respect for the significance of the grief we have, and continue to face as a result of the loss of Sam and her siblings.
Thank you to Ange and Josh, from the bottom of my heart for making such a difference for me yesterday.
You don’t have to perform a song to make a difference to a bereaved parent, just recognising their little one, and understanding their pride as parent, will make a greater difference greater than you will ever know. Don’t be scared to talk about a precious baby that means so much, even if you never had the chance to meet them, trust me, you can make a difference.
Arustic Duo are a hugely talented and versatile acoustic duo, based in North West England, and I will unashamedly plug them here. If you would like to get in touch with them you can do so on their Facebook page