Plans To Remember

Guest post by Sharon Louisson in memory of Isabella Marie, Born sleeping May 2012.

Today, 2 and a half years on I still remember the day we had prepared ourselves for, the day we lay Isabella to rest, next to her Great Grandmother.

We had known at 21 weeks our baby only had a 5% chance of survival, but on the day she died, I was still so unprepared. I had not thought about the funeral plans, until after she died, as I still had hope.

Suddenly, we were home from the hospital, without a baby. We had to start planning a funeral. I remember thinking what if I make a decision I would regret, what if I forgot to do something on the day and felt guilty. Out came a note pad and lots of To Do’s.

The funeral director was too much for me to think about, so my mother in law did that for me. Ringing a friend I knew through work to do our service leaflets ended in sobs, with again my mother in law taking the phone when I could no longer talk. Some things were just too overwhelming and seemed impossible.

I remember going to see the florist, again a friend through work. I had texted another friend to ring the florist and warn her I was coming in. I didn’t want to have to explain why I was there, I just wanted to go, look, choose and go. But I really wanted to do it myself. Choosing the flowers was so important to me. I walked in and got a great big hug, tears flowing, but I was glad she knew already. The relief of not having to explain was what helped me. I organised balloons from the town we were heading to, and gave family members jobs to do that I couldn’t or didn’t feel I could do. I remember telling myself, its ok, you can’t do it all.

Isabella's Flowers

Isabella’s Flowers

Balloon release for Isabella

Balloon release for Isabella

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We drove an hour and a half to another town for the funeral. We had decided to bury her next to her Great Grandmother. We lived in another town, but thought, what if one day we move, she will be alone. I felt at peace knowing we could have her there. My grandfather sorted all of that for me. Again, another job I just didn’t feel I could do. How do you ring and ask about a grave site for a child?

At the funeral I felt numb. I don’t even remember feeling like it was real. I stood next to my husband as he read out a poem I had written, I had no emotion. I didn’t know how to feel. Nothing had prepared me for this.

Nothing could have prepared me.

The whole day felt like a blur, like a weird dream. We had lunch together at a Café, and it just felt like a family outing. I remember going back to the cemetery after lunch to say goodbye, and again it just didn’t feel real. We had the funeral, five days after she was born sleeping. I think by the time the funeral day came, I was tired, all cried out and just focusing on this day being over. I just wanted to be at home, cuddled up with my husband and my two and a half year old daughter. I just wanted my bed.

Sharon is currently fundraising to purchase a Cuddle Cot for Mackay hospitals. If you would like to donate and support this worth cause, please visit the link below.

Donate Now

 

Links

Queensland Health and Sands Queensland – What to expect after the stillbirth of your baby brochure

Sands Australia  – Life, Loss, Hope – Surviving the Death of Your Baby booklet

Sands Australia – Caring for your other children booklet

Sands Queensland supports Queensland Government “In Loving Memory” Initiative.

Parents who have experienced an early pregnancy loss (before 20 weeks gestation) will be able to honour the memory of their baby with a new commemorative certificate, issued by the registry of Births, Deaths and Marriages in Queensland.

The initiative was successfully campaigned by mum Jodie Tangikara, who was the first to receive one of the new certificates in memory of her son Marcus Tangikara.

Jodie Tangikara receiving her certificate

Jodie Tangikara receiving her certificate

 

In Loving Memory of Marcus

In Loving Memory of Marcus

 

Sands Queensland Committee President, Nicole Ireland attended the presentation of the first certificate to Jodie and Hayden Tangikara, along with Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie and Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen on October 29th.

 

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie with Hayden and Jodie Tangikara, bereaved parents support group Sands Queensland president Nicole Ireland and Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen in Scarness for the certificate presentation.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Jarrod Bleijie with Hayden and Jodie Tangikara, bereaved parents support group Sands Queensland president Nicole Ireland and Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen in Scarness for the certificate presentation.

 

Sands Queensland President Nicole Ireland said,

“We commend the Queensland Government’s willingness to response to parents requesting a certificate to recognise babies who die before 20 weeks gestation. Acknowledging loss and creating memories is a vital step in dealing with the grief which comes from the death of a baby and this certificate will support that process.

Sands Queensland has maintained a long partnership with the Queensland Government, through Queensland Health, and we are pleased to have had the opportunity to work with the team at Births, Deaths and Marriages to ensure these certificates meet the needs of bereaved parents. Our focus at Sands is supporting parents, their families and friends through one of the most difficult times in their lives and we know many parents will chose to receive one of these certificates”

Certificates can be ordered through Birth, Deaths, Marriages Queensland online HERE.

Information from the Queensland Government can be found HERE.

For further information from Sands Queensland, please visit our website HERE.

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 ~