I found myself a little disappointed at the end of Baby Loss Awareness Week. Yes, it was great that there was so much profile for BLAW, good coverage and plugs for the key charities. I personally shared my song, ‘I Can Love You From Here’, with lots and lots of people and had hundreds of parents get in touch to say what the song meant to them.
… But …
I have been reflecting that the pervading image representing parents who have suffered loss, is unrelentingly bleak. As a mother who’s baby has died and who has spent a very very long time coming to terms with this, I can assure you that I have plenty of tragedy to share with the world. But what affect does this constant image of misery and despair have on those who find themselves in this position on a day to day basis?
Just yesterday, I heard a radio play based on a true story, where the lead female character’s son had died. The actor spoke her lines and it was the same message you always hear; ‘as a mother who has lost her child, you never recover’. I remember focusing on this a lot just after Liberty had died.… ‘this is something I can never recover from’ … This is not a message that makes the situation any easier, I can tell you that. From my point of view, it is essential to raise awareness about how important it is to tackle the issue of baby loss and to tackle the taboo’s that surround it, but I really don’t think this messaging is helpful.
Almost 9 years after Liberty’s death, I have struggled and fought with acceptance in every way possible, but I finally have a happy life. Although I am utterly changed by my experiences, I would argue that it is not only my desire, but my duty, to lead a full and happy life. I will not be ‘broken forever’, or less than I was before. I am MORE than I was before. I am a survivor, holding wisdom and knowledge about life and death.
Media, please stop telling me and every parent like me that I can never recover. That is up to me. Not you.