Team Hayley 2015

Guest post by Kara Smith who is participating in this year’s Bridge to Brisbane

In May 2013 our second daughter, Hayley, was stillborn. It felt like our worlds came to a halt and souls were shattered. My husband and I have always been overweight but started making changes when our first daughter was on the way. However, after losing Hayley we sort of rebelled against the universe through junk food and put back on some of the weight we had lost. We decided we couldn’t keep going like that, so for all of our children and our health we again decided to make a change.

Why do the Bridge to Brisbane? Bridge to Brisbane offers many opportunities – a goal, a benchmark to improve on each year, a way to show our girls fitness, but most importantly a way to honour of our darling angel, Hayley and spread the stillbirth and Sands Queensland awareness. We also fundraise through the Everyday Hero page for Sands Queensland in Hayley’s name. Last year we were joined by my in-laws to do the 5km course. This year my husband and I will be doing the 10km course and my in-laws are back to do the 5km course again, for Hayley and other beautiful angels taken too soon. They will be joined by my sister-in-law and cousin-in-law. Who knows who else may join in on this fledgling tradition.

Team Hayley in 2014

Team Hayley in 2014

What are we doing to prepare? My husband has been hitting the gym and is in the best shape of his life. After our girls are tucked into bed I take my dog for a brisk walk, even occasional jog. For safety reasons I do not wear headphones, so I am enjoying my time of quiet as well as the energy boost of endorphins from getting active. I have a lot of random thoughts and conversations, but my mind often also goes to Hayley and I feel her close, especially on those clear beautiful nights where the moon is full and everything is still. I am also planning ways to include Hayley, last year my eldest daughter (and I alternately) carried a pink pony balloon (Hayley’s totem), this year I am looking into shirts and possible a foil helium balloon.

KaraSmith2

I look forward to walking this year and spending time with my family afterwards. I hope to be able to meet some of you at the course, if you see us please come up and say hello. Walking in honour of our sweet Hayley and proudly making a change.

If you would like to show your support to Kara, please make a donation at her Everyday Hero page HERE

Would you like to join the Sands Queensland crew at this years Bridge to Brisbane on August 30th?

To register, simply go to Bridge to Brisbane  and select ‘team’

For the 5km
Team Name: Team Sands Queensland
Number: 3123

For the 10km team
Team Name: Team Sands Queensland
Number: 22580

You can also join the Sands Queensland Team fundraising at Everyday Hero, just click on this link HERE and request to join the team.

We would love to hear all about you too, so if you would like to share your story, share your photos and inspiration you can join the event on Facebook HERE, email events@sandsqld.org.au or share on social media using #SaveSands.

 

Links

Family and Friends: How you can help bereaved parents. – Sands Queensland

Family and Friends support booklet from Sands Australia

How you can help – Volunteering with Sands Queensland

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A Song for Buddy

Guest post by Rosco Tyler, musician and Buddy’s Dad
Anna and I lost our son in June 2013. His name was Buddy and he was stillborn at 42 weeks. It’s truly quite difficult to express the hurt I felt upon losing Buddy. Experiencing a significant loss placed me at a crossroads where I could have hit rock bottom, or reached for the stars. The healing process is monumental but I’m blessed to have a beautiful, strong, and loving wife and inspirational family. I’m also fortunate to have, quite possibly, the best group of mates anybody could ask for.

The song ‘Hurts Like Hell’ is a tribute to our Son, and all the parents, family, and loved ones who have experienced the tragic loss of a child. ‘Saying goodbye, before having the opportunity to say hello’ is a devastating loss to contend with.

With help from four of my good friends and old bandmates, I was able to make some sense of my loss through music, and this song was made into a reality because of them.

Sands Queensland provided us with great support and for this reason all profits for ‘Hurts Like Hell’ will be donated to the charity to enable them to continue offering excellent support to grieving parents.

Ross and Anna's friends gather to farewell Buddy

Ross and Anna’s friends gather to farewell Buddy

 

It would be very meaningful if you visited iTunes and showed your support through purchasing the track

 

Download ‘Hurts Like Hell’ at iTunes

 

I guess I’ll finish this by expressing some personal philosophies…

The ability to just sit in the rubble with someone when it hits the fan, is more valuable than anyone can imagine. To not be in intimidated by someone’s grief; to be present with them heart and soul, is utterly priceless to the person who is experiencing pain. It’s not what you say, its what you do. Life is short my friends; too short. Don’t live with unfinished business, and strive to accomplish peace within yourself and with others. None of us will be exempt form experiencing significant loss. Grief unites us all and is a process we will each have to surrender to at some stage in our lives. Have the courage to suffer, and the courage to be true to yourself.

We all have the ability to see beauty in the world; even in the face of such terrible adversity.

Thanks for your support.

 

Watch ‘Hurts Like Hell’ on Youtube

 

Free support resources are available for bereaved families and professionals at Sands Queensland.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remembering all Father’s

Our thoughts are with all Dads remembering  a baby this Father’s Day. You are a father, even if your children are not here with you.

CareyDad

Support resources are available free to download form the Sands Queensland website.

Support resources of Fathers

Free Spirits

Guest Post by Artist and bereaved father Glenn Ainsworth.

Glenn has generously offered his skills to Sands Queensland to provide personalise baby portraits for bereaved families. Orders can be made via the Sands Queensland website. 

 

Baxter (13.02.14)

It has been six months to the day since we first got to meet our little boy. It has been six months since our life went from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. Six months since all we could hear was the hum of an air-conditioner instead of his heartbeat on the Doppler monitor. From that moment on our lives changed forever. He was due two days before, his name is Baxter and he is our son.

I remember feeling numb when they told us that our little boy was gone, no anger or rage, just numb. It felt almost dreamlike and while I knew in my head that it was very real, I didn’t comprehend how cruel of an experience it would be. The continual tears and sadness have been so tiring and at times almost too much to bear. But for me the worst is seeing my wife, my best friend; go through the physical pain of child birth followed by the immeasurable emotional suffering that has followed. To see this happen to such a positive person has torn me apart.

It was just something I would never imagine could happen. Until this point our lives had been truly blessed, we had travelled the world, had some amazing experiences and live in a wonderful place. We both have good jobs and a loving family, so why did this happen to us? Well why not? What made us different to anyone else? What made us think that we were immune to the same risks as anyone else? This is an experience that shows no discrimination as it takes us to the lowest depths of despair and leaves you there to make our own way out.

I suppose the solace we have taken from all of this is that we live in a part of the world where we can find comfort from others and be grateful that there are some truly beautiful people in our lives. For us it started with the amazing midwives and doctor who took care of us in hospital and has continued through to the support shown by our family, friends and outsiders which still continues without reservation. As we have free fallen through the air there has been hands reaching out to grab us, to save us and support us. These countless and selfless acts of kindness in Bax’s memory have been overwhelming and I feel compelled to pay this forward anyway I can to those that have been faced with a similar situation.

After Bax was born I couldn’t stop looking at him, he was perfect. Gee what I wouldn’t have given to see that blanket move with his breath or the room fill with his cry. As I studied him and tried to burn his image in my mind forever, I made him a promise that every day for the rest of my life I would do something in his memory. No matter how small or big, it would be just for him. As part of that pact I made a sketch of him, from his tiny nose and lips to his big hands, I captured him in that moment. I am so grateful we had that time together and that I had the opportunity to draw him has he lay there in pure peace, untainted by any more evils that the world could throw up. His picture and those thoughts are something that both my wife and I cherish dearly and if I can provide other families with a picture of their precious baby that they can treasure, then it would be an honour.

As the saying goes – We can’t change the wind we can only adjust our sails – Well this has happened and we can’t change it. All we can do now is pick up the pieces and start climbing again. Our lives are different now and while we can’t share any of the physical times we had planned with Bax, every moment we have left alive we will share with him spiritually both in our hearts and in our minds. No one can take that away.

GlennInmemory

 

 

To order a Free Spirits Portrait go to the Sands Queensland website HERE

International Bereaved Father’s Day

September 22nd, 2013 is International Bereaved Father’s Day. A day founded by Carly Marie over at Project Heal.

It is a day to honour those fathers who know the pain of losing a child, and to acknowledge that they are still fathers.

I am a Father

When your child dies you learn to parent them in a different way. Opportunities to say their name, remember them, and show others you are a father to that child as well, can an important part of honouring your child.

This year I asked the fathers in the Sands group if they would like to be part of a tribute to them and their children. Thank you to the Fathers that shared their children with us – Trevor, Jon, Cole, Craig, Michael, Andrew and Damien.

~ Lyndell ~

One Father’s Day

Guest post by Lee Maskiell, father of Riley Elliott Maskiell

The world has changed.

The world has fundamentally altered since Riley left. He was here for 40 weeks and then he was taken away with no explanations offered. Now I sit here and the television is unwavering in bombarding me with advertisements about what to buy Dad for Father’s day. This hurts me; but only to a point as I know that these ads will end when the retailers have reached their sales targets.

What hurts more is walking the streets and the real bombardment begins upon seeing Fathers yelling at their children, belittling their children or just raising their eyebrows and wishing that they were somewhere other than with their children. It hurts so deeply because I would give up a part of myself to have that moment of Riley opening his eyes and hearing my voice, even just once, telling him that I love him.

Father’s day hurts but it is one day, the pain of losing Riley is forever.

black&whiteB

For Our Dads

Hello there Mr. Hallmark man,

I wrote to you in May

To ask that words of love be shared,

With my mom on Mother’s Day.

Just as there is no card for Mum

To let her know I care,

There is no card for my dad, too,

And I have so much to share.

It’s very hard for my loving dad

To know that I’m okay.

To protect me was his job, he feels,

So he thinks he failed some way.

Although I had to leave this world,

While still considered young,

There is no way he ever failed—

There’s no more he could have done.

My dad he tends to question

Those things he cannot see.

I always send him little signs

To say, “Hey, Dad, it’s me!”

I hear him crying in the car,

The shower hides his tears.

He feels he has to be so strong

For those he holds so dear.

My dad he often gets so mad

At what became of me.

He wants so much to understand,

He says, “How could this be?

”I somehow need to let him know,

Though impossible it seems—

For him to live and laugh again

Will fulfill so many dreams.

The card I need to send right now

To a dad as great as mine,

Will thank him for the love he gave

Throughout my brief lifetime.

He’s still the one that I call Dad

,Our bond’s forever strong,

‘Cuz even though he can’t see me,

Our love lives on and on.

Please help me find a way

To tell my dad that when

It comes his time to leave the earth

I’ll be waiting there for him.

And also, Mr. Hallmark man,

Please help him to believe,

That nothing will ever change the fact

That my dad he’ll always be.

Source: Grieving Dad’s Project

I am a Father