Baby Loss Awareness Week is now in its 19th year. With each year that passes, the more the silence is broken around this taboo topic.
What does this event signify?
So what has a random tree got to do with Baby Loss Awareness? Decorating a tree outside of Christmas is unusual, but it’s gets attention and raises questions which is the first step to breaking the silence. The reason I picked a tree to decorate and in particular this tree in Borehamwood, is firstly it is in my local town and change begins from home. The location of this tree is in an area that has many people passing it by foot and in their cars yet the square it is in, has such a calming and peaceful energy about it. Lastly, this tree is a type of evergreen tree which holds a lot of significance that’ll I’ll explain soon.
Our love for any of our children is for eternity and loving them from the outset is sometimes so effortless. So, when a child dies, the love we have for it doesn’t disappear. We just have to channel and nurture it differently whilst still trying to get on with everyday life without our angel. The evergreen tree represents eternity, no matter the season, it remains green with minimal effort, much like our love for our angels – minimal effort and forever.
The other reason I picked this tree was for the impact nature has on our wellbeing. Being out in nature is proven to lift people’s spirits and being in a tranquil place is perfect to have a moment of silence and reflection. When I visited the tree area, I can’t tell you how unbelievably easy it was to shut out the world around me even though it was busy with traffic. Sitting on the bench and looking at the tree can be enough to feel grounded. Well-being is so important in families of loss and including the key workers who care for these families. If this event gives them a reason to go to the tree to have a moment to remember an angel, then I know the effort has been worth it.
Being in a public place, it gets a lot of attention. Passers-by will read the messages on the tree; some will write a message and hang it up and others will simply know it’s baby loss awareness week. The Tree Area has heard many conversations take place between families of loss, especially mums. Mum’s who are grieving, mum’s who need a friend and mums reassuring themselves that they are not alone. We hear of baby loss affecting 1 in 4 people, but often we can’t see or hear these 1 in 4 mums. This is a safe space for them to connect with another woman who has cried the same tears. The heartfelt poem in the image is by Priya Vara from My Rainbow Baby
This is the 3rd year that the event has run and for as long as I live in Borehamwood, I shall continue to organise the event. I will do it because it breaks the silence around baby loss, and it brings a community together. It gets the attention it deserves to help improve after care for families of loss and fund research into preventing baby loss. You can see more details about the remembrance event in Borehamwood here.
Suffering in silence is not an option.
I am not a professional in any shape or form, I am simply a 1 in 4 statistic that felt ever so lonely when I miscarried our baby. Don’t get me wrong, I had lots of support and my family were so kind but at that moment in time, I needed truth. Truth about how this journey can be a rollercoaster of emotions and assurance in knowing my feelings aren’t isolated. That’s what I mean by lonely, not knowing about the raw and honest feelings that come part and parcel of baby loss. Once I came out of my dark stage and into acceptance 2 years after the loss, I vowed to make sure that I will do all I can to make more people aware of it. Gone are the days of ‘keeping it hush’ or ‘brushing it under the carpet’.
The work we do now and the awareness we raise today will only benefit the future generation and educate the previous generations. Every conversation will take us that much closer to breaking the silence.
If you have been affected by baby loss, please do have a look at the list of charities on the Baby Loss Awareness website to get further support. Remember you are never alone, and help is out there.
And lastly, to all the families of loss out there, I hope BLAW 2021 hasn’t been too emotional for you. Know that it is ok to step away from social media and the general news of baby loss if it triggers you too much. Every year, I ‘get through’ the week but as soon as it’s over, I must take a day or two to release all the emotions from the baby loss awareness week.
Sending you all love and light.