Thursday, 21 September 2017

Helpful tips for other single bereaved mothers by Emma

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. 


If you require support after reading this blog, please contact Sands on 13000 72637

Emma Pritchard

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. 

1 comment:

  1. I am also a single bereaved Mum... your words helped me. Maybe mine will help you... I waited 3 1/2 months to call sands!

    I saw you five times.

    You were a little bean at 6 weeks. But with healthy heart; “everything is perfect” they said.

    You were a little baby by 8 weeks: arms, legs everything in place;
    I exhaled my relief at seeing you were still there happily wriggling away.
    “Everything is perfect” they said.

    At 12 weeks your father and I learned you were a boy... we looked at you in spellbound awe. There you were a real baby now. I tried to steady my thoughts... breathe... he’s perfect. “Everything is perfect.” They said.

    At 19 weeks I saw you again, the last time I would look at your grainy image on a screen. Your feet were hanging out of my womb. But the liquor looked good... “he’s perfect” the lady said. For an hour we watched as every inch of your anatomy was measured and examined. “He has lenses in his eyes!” She said. “Everything is perfect” she said. His father and I couldn’t even look. Silent tears flowed.

    At 20 weeks I gave birth to you paddy. I got to see you and touch you and hold you. You were perfect! Your dad gently cradled you and loved you. I could barely look but I love you too.

    On December 8th you were due to be born into the life that we have all been denied. I’ll see you for the last time. You are dust now.... Dad and I will be there with you paddy. We’ll set you free like you should be.