When my baby miscarried 34 years ago, there was no such thing as a memorial garden or cemetery area (such as the one at Fawkner Cemetery in Melbourne) where I could go to honour my loss.
Some 6 years ago I was divorced and my mother died, all within a few months. While struggling with the grief in both of these events, it got me thinking about the loss of my baby all those years ago. What could I do to honour that child? I felt it wasn’t fair that its passing had no recognition apart from what was in my heart.
Around this time, my son and his wife also lost two babies to miscarriage, which reinforced my desire to do something worthwhile to celebrate all the lives of those lost babies in my family.
There were a number of things I could do: draw, write a poem (I did do this too), plant a tree, have a plaque made. What I decided to do was relatively simple but so meaningful for me. I decided to buy a rose and plant it in a pot - it turned out I had chosen the Jane McGrath rose, a lovely soft pink rose.
I invited my three children to share in the celebration that I had planned to honour these babies. My daughters came to share this with me, while my son felt unable to do so at the time – they had their own way of dealing with their grief, which in itself reminded me again how we all grieve differently.
At the same time, the planting of this rose reminded me vividly of my mother who had a proud love of roses with her favourite being a deep red rose. The celebration occurred with some beautiful piece of music and some words were said.
I had finally honoured my lost child and the rose bush continues to flower prolifically, giving me beautiful pink blooms twice over the summer period. The bush has lost it roses now as it readies for the winter but I will be looking again late Spring for the first signs of life.
Therese Murphy April 2016
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Therese has worked in the field of counselling and community development for over 20 years. She has worked predominantly in the health and welfare field. She has worked in the primary school sector counselling children through a range of loss and grief and traumatic experiences.
Therese has also delivered a number of conference papers on the theme of children’s loss and grief and articles on stress management too. She also worked as a Sessional teacher in the TAFE system and the Private Sector in the Community Services area, including Mental Health Welfare for over 20 years. She is also an experienced Supervisor.
Therese has as a small business conducting Reiki, Inner Child Therapy, Meditation and similar therapies. She is also works as a Group Facilitator and teaches stress management and relaxation techniques within the local community as well as running workshops in the areas of trauma and loss and grief and related areas.
Therese is a published poet and has three children and four delightful grandsons. She enjoys nothing more than a good cup of coffee and the occasional glass of wine or bubbly. She is passionate about climate change and the environment, wanting a clean world for her grandchildren to grow up in and one where any type of violence is not tolerated.