Posts tagged “Loss of child”

 
This weekend mothers all over the UK will be receiving gifts from their children and partners to celebrate motherhood. We would like to look at the holiday from a less common perspective, acknowledging those who may be experiencing more painful emotions than happy ones on Mothering Sunday. 
 
Some of us may find this occasion difficult to celebrate because we have never been able to experience motherhood even though it has been one of our hopes and dreams. 
 
Others may struggle with this day because motherhood has not been everything they expected it to be. 
 
In 2006 my husband Kevin died aged 41 from the most curable form of cancer. When his life ended so did my world. When people said (trying to be helpful) he’s out of pain I’d look at them in dumb shock. On a bad moment I’d reply “lucky him, mine has just got unbearable.” 
 
How I could still be alive and in so much pain? I wouldn’t let myself think of continuing to live with this pain and without him, I started to exist from moment to moment, these were the darkest days of my life. I remember sitting on the harbour wall in Malta at Christmas – I’d fled there to try to escape – leaning forward and contemplating letting go and falling in. 
Kevin Batchelor - husband of Carole Henderson MD Grief Recovery UK
This week I’m exhibiting at the National Conference in Pregnancy and Infant Loss, designed for professional services to collaborate, to ensure high levels of bereavement care. From working with experienced professionals, as well as bereaved parents, it’s clear that pregnancy and infant loss is still very much a taboo subject. 
 
At the frontline of parental grief, how can professional services be best equipped to support parents who have lost an infant? Currently mothers get very little support, and fathers are more often than not completely forgotten. 
 
In my experience many parents who have suffered the loss of a child don’t feel able to move beyond initial grief. The idea that you’ll “never get over” the death of a child is a common piece of misinformation, potentially leading to parents seeking out information and emotions to match. In addition, couples can become angry with each other, as inevitably we all grieve in our individual ways, and one might “be strong” to support the other but then be perceived to “not loved our baby like I did”. By providing initial support to parents and equipping them in early in their grief, professional services could have a positive effect on the long-term recovery from grief. 
 
The Grief Recovery Method was created when John James lost his three-day-old baby. While a lot has improved since then, there is still a long way to go to get the recognition for the emotional pain of any infant loss, no matter the age or gestation. 
 
The reason we will be exhibiting at the conference is to introduce professional services - midwives, ambulance services, funeral directors, police officers, and anyone else who comes into contact with these parents in the short- and long term - to the Grief Recovery Method Certification Training that we provide. We give staff and volunteers the tools to help clients appropriately, and already work with a number of organisations. The training covers a mix of classroom training, practical experience, learning materials and ongoing individual support. 
 
There aren't very many days when a thought about Kevin doesn't cross my mind. It’s not really surprising that there are still so many associations that trigger these, after all, we were together for most of my adult life. Familiar objects, tunes, posts from his family on Facebook, even certain foods will trigger fond memories or more rarely a remembered aggravation. The thoughts are not painful they are merely there. A fact of life after a death.Each year it is different, because each year I am different but I still notice the anniversaries – of the day we got married, of his birthday and of his death. 
I was with a friend last week who suddenly said to me, “ Carole you’re the best lemonade maker I know.” This caught me by surprise and I raised my eyebrows at her accordingly – after all we were sitting drinking tea on a very cold winter’s day. The last thing I’d been thinking of was lemonade. 
 
Seeing my quizzical look she explained – you know that expression “when life gives you lemons make lemonade” Well you always seem to be able to find the positive in any situation. That set me thinking. 
Our site uses cookies. For more information, see our cookie policy. Accept cookies and close
Reject cookies Manage settings