I wish someone had pulled me aside and told me to do what I need to do. Grieve in whatever way I need to.
Regardless of what anyone tells you, this is your journey.
Do what you need to do. Grieve in your own way, don’t ever let anyone judge you or tell you how to grieve. Don’t let anyone ever tell you to get over “it”. Because “it” has a name! In my case, Lynette Mary Rose.
Unfortunately there is no map of the correct way to grieve. My motto now is as long as it’s not hurting myself or others then go for it. Do what you need to do. The world will adjust.
Early on, I was so concerned with whether or not I was “doing it” right. I sought advice from those around me. I was on my own and I didn’t know what to do. Lynette’s father and I had split during the pregnancy. When Lynette died, I had no one. I felt alone and isolated. My family were great. But I felt that they struggled in supporting me early on because they didn’t know how to help me. They just wanted to take away the pain.
The hospital gave me a Sands brochure. I saw that there was a 24/7 number to call. But for weeks, I didn’t call. I didn’t want to bother anyone. I just wanted Lynette back.
After Lynette’s funeral, I felt comfort in visiting her at the cemetery each day. The baby section is beautiful. The gardens are amazing. I felt the need to be with her and that was the only place that I felt close to her. Friends and family didn’t quite understand my need to go there so often. I got criticized and judged for going by close friends, to the point where on one of my bad days, I didn’t go. I was at home, a complete mess crying because I was scared of what people thought of me if I went to visit Lynette. But yet that urge to be close to her didn’t go away.
Those same friends were not with me when I needed them. Those same friends were only there at the beginning. They weren’t there checking up on me months after I lost Lynette. It was at that point, I decided to do what I needed to do for me. Not for anyone else but for me. It’s so easy for others on the outside who haven’t experienced losing a child to judge or comment. Believe me losing your child is COMPLETELY different to any other grief you will experience in your life.
I have lost friends, I accept that and I am ok with that. Initially I was hurt and upset but I soon realised that the people that were coming into my life after I lost Lynette were far more important to hold onto and cherish than the ambivalent people in my life. Find people who are prepared to listen, care for you and support you. The ones that don’t care if you have told them the same story 1000 times. The ones that will see through your mask that you put on for the world. The ones who are there for you no matter what.
And most importantly, remember you are not alone! Sands is an amazing organisation who has provided me support when I really needed it. It wasn’t until I was about 9 weeks into my journey that I reached out and connected with Sands. I wish I did it earlier!
My story isn’t over. I have good days, bad days and really bad days. I still visit Lynette frequently, not very day but when I need to. The pain is still there. I don’t think it will ever go away. You just learn how to adjust to a new normal. I still have so much to learn but I know I am going to be ok because I have an army of women who have gone before me who are going ok and there’s some just starting their journey that need support. We are in this together.
My name is Emma. I live and work in regional Victoria as an Administrative Officer. I am a single bereaved Mother to Lynette Mary Rose. My daughter was stillborn on the 13th of May 2017. I was 36 weeks pregnant and had gone in for a routine check up when I found out that I had lost Lynette. I think it is so important the work that Sands does and I wanted to share my story in the hope that it would help someone else on their journey. Most importantly help other women know that they are not alone.
If you require support after reading this blog, please contact Sands on 13000 72637