Running For Poppy: Helping My Grief

After Poppy died I always wanted to do something for charity to raise money in her name to give her a legacy to be proud of. I ended up deciding to run. IMG_3280Little did I know how much it would help me with my grieving for Poppy. Along with talking to Emily, running just really allows me to deal with whats going on in my head and helps clear my mind.

Nothing is going to take away how much I miss Poppy. No amount of running can stop the pain I feel. What running does do is allow me to focus some of that hurt, bottled up angry and heartbreak into something for good. They say running is great for the mind and I’ve really found it to be. It has been an outlet for my grief. A way to channel my emotions into something other than thoughts circling around in my head. 

Channeling your grief so you don’t hold it in is so vital to healing. While I know I’ll never fully heal my broken heart for Poppy, channeling my grief so I don’t push it into a black hole ready to explode one day is important. There needs to be some kind out outlet, a release valve for the emotion to flow from. I’ve found mine in running.

I always liked running but never saw myself doing it regularly. But when deciding on what to do for Poppy’s legacy it was the first thing that came to mind. I wanted to push myself into doing something that scared me a little. Running 10 miles round York scared me. IMG_3786 3Could I do it? Would I finish? The short answer was of course I could. I know that really I can do anything and face any fear. Why? Simple, I’ve lived and am living through perhaps the worst thing you can think off. The loss of a child.

After Poppy died every day was a battle. A battle to get through the day without seeing another baby. A fight to not see or hear something that would remind me of losing Poppy. Just simple trying to survive each day. Each day would come and go and then the next day the sun would rise. The sun will forever keep rising and that’s what I had to do. Keep rising each day. IMG_0128Now almost 2 years after we lost Poppy I still have bad days but I have good days. Days where the pain is bearable and days where it is not.

I’ve got through each day, with the love and support of Emily, our family and friends. Going through this each day has showed me that I can face anything life throws at me because I’ve had to and am dealing with the worst already on a daily basis. So off I ran. Not into the sunset like a movie script ending. I ran off to raise money for Poppy’s legacy. To help others in her name, to hopefully stop another family from going through this awful pain. 

When I run I feel strangely closer to Poppy. I feel like she is running with me. Willing me on with each passing mile. Maybe it is because I’m running for her that I feel close to her but I like this feeling. I always think of Poppy but when I run she is all I’m thinking of. Going over what happened, wondering If I could have done more. Thinking about what could and should have been with her. I always come back from a run with a clearer mind.

Running is very much a solo sport. You become one with yourself. I can be feeling sad and then go for a run and become at one with my feelings and focus on what I’m doing. It gives me control over my emotions when at times it can be hard too. You have no distractions, you can focus on yourself and become at one.

I’ve always worried and been a little anxious and it has come back out of me a lot more since Reuben was born. Running had to be put on hold after he was born and rightly so. But as I’ve planned my running event for this year it has be great to get back out there. Baby loss is full of complex emotions that I don’t really get or can explain. I know running has helped me massively and has be a way for me to help deal with things. Getting back out there is helping me again. IMG_4563I can use all the emotions, fears and anxieties to fuel my desire to give Poppy a legacy to be proud of, Emily a husband to be proud of and Poppy and Reuben a Daddy to be proud of.

It has been a great tool to help me focus my mind. After Poppy died it has been hard to get my brain to work like it used too. You are never the same after grief and it is hard focusing the mind on things again. The first time I drove more than 15 minutes after Poppy died I was shattered. My brain hadn’t focused that hard since Poppy left us.

The biggest thing running gives me is a sense of purpose for Poppy. I can’t do or the normally Daddy things with her or for her. I can’t learn to platt her hair, have the best dolly tea parties or just a simple cuddle. What I can do is give her a legacy to be proud of. I can, in her name and memory, help other families and hopefully help prevent families from going through baby loss. Support charities for Poppy is so important. It started with Forget Me Not last year and Tommy’s this year. You build up to your event. You focus on that. Channeling the grief into energy to make Poppy proud. IMG_3443 2When you see donations coming in it fills my heart with joy. Joy of knowing Poppy is touching people’s hearts and minds. She is making a difference in the world.

By running for Poppy I feel instantly close to her. I feel at one with her, like we are together again taking on the world. On every run I always feel I see a sign from her. Be it light breaking through the clouds or a feather on the floor. Poppy is my guiding star. Always and forever.


You can read about Poppy’s Legacy here and about this years Running For Poppy event: 6.6Km A Day In October here

If you’d like to donate to Poppy’s legacy then please hit the link below and we would be so so thankful to you.


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