There is no road map in grief and in baby loss. There are many paths and roads people have taken but your journey is your journey. Finding others that have experienced a similar path help you on the road. Finding people who don’t know the pain but stay on the road with you help.
Baby loss is something I would never wish on anybody. There is a pain in my chest everyone because Poppy is not here with us. Another day goes by that we should have spent making memories. We should be looking at maps showing off our adventures. Instead I’m surrounded by maps trying to find my way in a world without you.
Today is the start of Baby Loss Awareness week in the UK. It is so important that as a parent and a Dad who has lost a child that I share the map I’ve created. It has helped me and I hope it helps another Dad. To help break the silence and taboo around baby loss.
After Poppy died the thought and effort of putting one foot in front of the other was hard. How was I meant to follow the road of life now. Why had my life taken this turn? Why had the worst possible thing imaginable happened to me? You never imagine that the road your life takes will hit such a massive bump in the road that it sends you into a different map that is hard to follow and seemingly blind.
In one single moment a lifetime of hopes, dreams and memories were cruel ripped from us. What was left was utter heartbreak. While over time the heart slowly heals there is forever a piece missing. Poppy. No matter how many weeks, months or years pass the pain remains. I might be able to hide it better, not let it effect me as often as it did but it is still there. The pain of losing a child never leaves.
Sharing my thoughts and feelings help me and I hope help other Dads and Mums who have lost a child. I want to help them like others have helped me. Others have helped my find my road to where I am today. It is still a road that has bumps and it always will. The pain of losing a child never leaves. The ripples of Poppy’s death will forever effect me, because she is my daughter and she should be here.
It is important to share so I can help raise awareness of baby loss and help people talk about this last taboo. I’ve written before about how so many great blogs and Instagram feeds have inspired me to share not only my parenting journey but to share my own personal experience about baby loss. This is a conversation that needs to happen, there is a deafening silence surrounding baby loss in the wider world away from the baby loss community. That is why we have baby loss awareness week and month.
Poppy made me a Father and I’m so thankful she did. She was sadly only in the world for 3 days and then my world came crashing down around me. I struggled to find Dad’s that were sharing their own experiences about losing a child. This is a major reason why I want to be open and honest with Poppy’s story. I want to talk about baby loss from a Father’s perspective so it can help other Dad’s, inspire them to share and together along with the Mum’s that are doing the same: Break the silence and get everyone talking about baby loss.
The world does keep going and I’ve had to find my path back into it. A path that takes you away from triggers that are going to make my cry, fall part or just feel like utter shit. I’d find myself trying to avoid situations that would make me die again inside. How do I carry on how do I move forward without Poppy. Why me, why us, why has this become our life now. A side from family and friends nobody else knew that Poppy had died. People on our estate had no idea we had just had this bomb dropped on our life and destroyed our hopes and dreams in one go. The sun hasn’t just set its been ripped from my sky and been replaced by a massive black hole of nothingness. The rest of the world has no clue whats just happened.
There is a baby loss community on Instagram that I’m proud to part of. A community that together can change the world and make talking about baby loss easier for people. I’ve also found how amazing and understanding the wider parenting community on Instagram is. They like the posts about Poppy, they mention her, they share my posts. You don’t hit the wall of silence, it gives me hope the more we raise awareness the better it will be in day to day life to talk about baby loss.
It is so hard fitting back into the world after the death of your baby. You do find it hard to go back to the same supermarket that you bought most of your baby clothes in. That place is filled with hopes and now I’ve got to move on without those hopes having the chance to come try. By saying nothing and running away from talking to me makes it so much harder to get back into the world. It is isolating and makes you feel like shit. It’s like I’ve got the black death, my daughter has died and I just feel shit. I don’t need to be met with awkward silence that just makes me feel worse.
Talking about Poppy makes me happy, having people acknowledged Poppy makes me happy. Yes I might cry but why wouldn’t I, my little girl has died. Through the Instagram squares I’ve met other bereaved parents that feel the same. We just want our children acknowledged, because they existed. Don’t say nothing, even if you don’t know what to say. All you have to say is something and let me when I’m ready let me talk about Poppy. Don’t shy away when her name is mentioned that just makes me feel like shit.
Every Mother and Father that has lost a child is still a parent and their baby is still their child. Baby not being here doesn’t stop them being a parent, we are just parenting in a very very different way. That shouldn’t stop us being able to talk about our children. Together by sharing our stories, by talking openly and honestly by raising awareness we can break down the wall of silence. We can make it easier for other to share, to help them through and by helping the world understand how to talk about baby loss.