January 29th 2022
This is our first blog in the series which relates to our floral campaign linking our floral environment to baby loss and grief. January’s flower is the Blackthorn and it’s symbolism is Hope. It feels very apt that I am writing the first one on the day of my son Theo’s anniversary of dying. At this exact time 13 years ago, I knew he was going to die and that our hope, which we had hung onto for the three weeks he was in the hospital, was gone. Instead of the hope of him surviving and coming home, we turned to hope of living life without him. To be honest, I really didn’t believe it would be possible. Anyone who has lost a baby will know this.
However, in hindsight, I now see that hope was woven throughout my pregnancy, Theo’s short life and death and also the last 13 years. It was hope that made us believe he would be born alive to have the chance of life. Hope carried us through all his surgeries. Hope helped us focus on nurturing him during his time in hospital and we never let go of the hope of taking him home. Hope enabled us to say goodbye to him as I held in my arms as I believed I was handing him over to be loved elsewhere till I could be with him again. Hope has guided me since he died and keeps me focused on providing compassionate care to other families when they have lost their hope. For bereaved parents, hope can seem a million miles away but it is often the thing that gets us out of bed to face another day. When it all seems too much, hope is there reminding us that tomorrow might be brighter. When we are really stuck and life feels dark, it is hope that shines a little light to remind us that we won’t stay in this place forever.
At the heart of Held In Our Hearts, our message is of love and hope. When we talk to newly bereaved families who don’t believe they will survive the pain, we remind them that we have also walked this path and are still here living life. They are reminded through our peer support that there is life after their loss and although it is a slow process, each day brings steps towards a more hopeful future. We are here to remind them that life grows around their loss and we find ways to remember our baby in our everyday lives moving forward. This is the hope in the early days. Hope that they might also turn the pain into love and believe things will be brighter. Indeed, what are any of us without hope? It is the single most important thing we all need at any time in our life which allows us to see the light when all we see is dark and allows us to carry on when all seems lost.
To my precious Theo – ‘thank you for teaching me so much but most importantly to always hold onto hope.’
Nicola Welsh x