Monday, 31 August 2015

In Loving Memory of Jeremy

This was the poem that Alisha wrote for Jeremy's funeral.  On August 31st it will be 3 years since he was stillborn, and though in general it gets easier each day, nothing can take away the raw emotion whenever she thinks of him and what could have been.  He was conceived after 3 years of infertility and finally a successful round of IVF.  

Jeremy, my son,
You were my everything,
The miracle I dreamed of
My future in your being.

I couldn’t wait to meet you,
And see who you took after,
Whose eyes you had, whose height,
Whose personality and laughter.

I was going to guide you,
Teach, and watch you grow.
Play with you, and tickle you,
And teach you how to throw.

You would explore and build forts,
Take after Dad and be good at sports.
You’d be handsome, and oh so smart,
But probably not so good at art.

We’d shoot hoops ‘til dark,
Play catch and picnic in the park.
Feed the ducks, go to the zoo,
Have awesome birthday parties, just for you.

I’d make you the coolest wardrobe,
Bake you cookies and treats,
You’d be best friends with Rodrigo,
And Cleo who we’re yet to meet.

We were going to Disneyland,
We’d laugh while waiting in line.
I was going to share my world with you,
As you’re the gift that completed mine.

We built you a beautiful nursery,
Just perfect for my son,
How was I to know,
Your time would never come.

My dreams have been ripped out of me,
You took them when you left,
I’m sure you left for good reason 
And now you are at rest.

All I have is tiny handprints,
And memories in my mind
Of the dreams I’ll never fulfil,
Since you’ll never truly be mine.

My heart will always bleed
For the son I never knew
My Jeremy, my everything
Taken far too soon.


If you require support after reading this blog please contact

Sands on 13 000 72637

Alisha Burns

Alisha is a 35 year old kiwi marketer living in Melbourne and mother of one angel, Jeremy, who was stillborn at 21 weeks in 2012.  Alisha loves exploring the world, impressing people with her ability to walk in 6 inch stilettos, anything Disney, experimenting in the kitchen, pretending she can sing at karaoke. One day she would love a French Bulldog to complete her menagerie if she isn't lucky enough to have children of her own.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

You Can Never Get Enough “Stuff”

Tennille shares with us how she has created a story for her precious Oscar with keepsakes and symbols.

     'When you lose a baby you can never have enough “stuff”. You often hear 
      parents of children complain about how cluttered the house is, however 
      when your baby is not here with you, creating memories, keepsakes, collecting 
      bits and pieces which symbolise their life, and show the world that your baby 
      was here, is so important.'

Our son was stillborn at 33 weeks and while I had completed the antenatal classes, read the baby books and prepared all the baby paraphernalia at home, I was so unprepared for what was about to happen. I had no idea what to take to the hospital, or even how the next few days would unfold. In my mind I went to hospital, had a baby then came home. Story over. Not in a suicidal sense, but I just couldn’t see my life beyond coming home from hospital without a baby. In reality, spending a total of four days in hospital, giving birth and being with my baby has changed me forever. The “things” I collected over those few days, the items I brought home with me, some small, some everyday items are some of my most treasured possessions. 

I won’t forget how velvet soft the tiny blue outfit was my sister bought Oscar, which he was cremated in. I have a box with the scissors my husband cut the cord with, his little name card from the hospital, the tape measure to record head circumference. I even kept the poppy that came on my dinner tray for Remembrance Day, that plastic red poppy made me cry so hard for the son I couldn’t keep yet I couldn’t throw anything away from those few days. All this “stuff” acknowledged our son was here on earth, albeit briefly.
Everything for Oscar was blue, a blue jumpsuit, hat, bunny rug and a blue elephant, a gift from his Auntie. There was a caring midwife who I sensed wanted to help us create memories of our little family. At some point she brought us a delicately hand knitted shawl, in baby blue of course. The shawl was long enough to wrap around Oscar and we were able to hold him in this shawl while in hospital. With the shawl were some little felt hearts. The hearts and shawl, we found out are made by people who pray for the recipients and are given to have and hold, while cherishing the memory of lost loved ones. While Mark and I are not particularly religious, the gift was beautiful and I wore that shawls for weeks after coming home. It gave me some comfort, wrapping it around me, the same shawl which had cradled my son. This shawl now lies across our bed every evening, a way for us to be close to our son.

We tucked these little blue hearts into Oscar’s hands and it was our way of asking him to hold our heart and we would hold his. When we left hospital we took our little hearts that he had held for us and left one, tucked in with him. Mark and I each have one with us, which we carry every day. 

Creating a story for Oscar as never something I set out to do. His story just seemed to evolve. A child who I carried for 33 weeks, held in my arms for two days has become such a part of me that his story continues to grow and develop, even though he is no longer here with me. Having keepsakes, using symbolism has been so important for me in the grieving and healing process and gives me a way to continue to include our first born son with his other brothers, who are now 2.5 and 6 months. While this did not take our pain away it provided mementos and memories of our son. And memories and mementos are the most precious things we have.

In the weeks and months following Oscar’s birth, I would desperately seek symbols, ‘presents’ or keepsakes for our son. If I walked past a shop selling elephants, I had to buy one. Any special day (Christmas, Easter, birthdays) there had to be a bunch of blue balloons there. I have since created some small felt elephants, about the same size as the hearts. Oscar’s elephant he received in hospital resonated with me because ‘elephants never forget’. To us it is important to remember all our children, those to come and our baby who is here with us in spirit only.


If you require support after reading this blog please contact
Sands on 13 000 72637

Tennille Welsh
Tennille Welsh is a mother to three beautiful boys. Mark (her husband) and Tennille eperienced the stillbirth of their first son Oscar, at 33 weeks gestation in 2011, cause unknown. Tennille lives on a hobby farm with her family and enjoys horse riding, swimming and playing with her children.

Tennille is a teacher, specialising in Japanese, Indonesian and is also a teacher of the Deaf. Since having Oscar Tennille has also become a civil celebrant. She has officiated at several weddings and is considering turning her hand at funerals. Tennille feels giving families the gift of a personalised, and heartfelt farewell, especially for a child is so important and can have a huge impact on the grieving process. Before having Oscar, stillbirth was something Tennille knew nothing about and raising awareness by openly discussing all three of her children has been a passion for her

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Haven't Forgotten

Shanelle talks about how difficult it has become to share many of her emotions with her impending due date of her subsequent pregnancy.

      "It’s been an internal conflict ever since. Even now writing this. 
Am I happy for what's to come or am I sad for what I have lost?"

I haven't written in months, not because I had gotten over my loss, on the contrary. 
It became very difficult to share my emotions, even with myself as my due date came along. I was supposed to be holding my baby, not grieving for her and then just weeks before, we found out we were expecting again.

It’s been an internal conflict ever since. Even now writing this. Am I happy for what's to come or am I sad for what I have lost?

The biggest emotion I have now is fear. It has nestled itself into my life like an old friend, haunts me in my dreams and taunts me in my waking hours. It's inescapable. 
I still think about Navie every day and the milestones that have come and gone and now with little less than a month to go til the anniversary of her loss, I am terrified of my reaction. 

Her due date, Mother’s day was hard enough, but this? It consumes my thoughts. 
I try hard to focus on the joy she bought my family and I, and how now, our newest addition kicking and tumbling in my stomach, was sent by her... but it isn't her and I find myself in a fog of sorrow, taking it day by day, breath by breath, waiting for my rainbow to ease the way.
If you require support after reading this blog please contact
Sands on 13 000 72637

Shanelle Kay

Shanelle is a trainee counsellor and photographer based in Brisbane.
She believes the best sound in the world is her son's laughter and how he sings to himself when he wakes from a nap. She is also a proud mummy to an angel baby and through writing and various arts she is sharing her experience and finding herself, all over again. In her own words...

"I am all and I am nothing, but most importantly I am exactly who I need to be in this moment... and that is sometimes the hardest thing we have to accept, openly and honestly.. Ourselves"