Today is the National Day of Reflection. It is a way for us, as a nation, to come together and acknowledge those who have died. With compassion and love, we can show those who are grieving that they are not alone.
Today shines a huge light on grief and bereavement. For those in the middle of grief, we feel our grief everyday. We still don’t openly grieve as a society, lots of people don’t know how too and lots of people don’t know how to support those who are grieving.
Today provides an opportunity to openly discuss grief, for anyone that knows someone who is bereaved, please support them, please check in on them, pleased don’t avoid them. You won’t upset them by saying the person’s name who has died, they’ll be thankful that you’ve remembered and that you care.
Practical support is also very well received as well as emotional support. Make a meal, make a cup of tea. Do something instead of nothing for fear of upsetting or saying the wrong thing. Let’s use today to try and normalise grief a bit more.
For any bereaved parents or siblings looking for support, our groups are available both in person and virtually. Please check our calendar on our website to find days and times.
To find out more about our groups and how we can support you email Nikki on email@example.com – we’re here to support you today and everyday.
Today marks the beginning of Children’s Grief awareness week, now in it’s 7th year, the week is designed to raise awareness of bereaved children and young people in the UK.
According to research published in the Lancet in July 2021, at least 10,000 children have been bereaved of a primary caregiver across the UK due to the pandemic and over 50,000 children have had a parent, guardian or carer die from other causes over the last 20 months.
This year’s theme is #saythewords, giving bereaved children the opportunity to be heard, listened too and the opportunity to give their grief a public voice. It’s also about highlighting what support means to bereaved children and young people and highlighting the difference support can make in their lives.
At SLOW, we support children and young people after the death of their brother or sister through our SLOWsibs groups.
We run quarterly creative workshops where children can meet other bereaved siblings to share activities that are fun and help build confidence. This helps bereaved siblings feel less alone and provides a safe space to explore feelings, giving them hope for the future.
“I find it really fun and I’ve met other children that have lost their brothers and sisters, so I know I’m not the only one this has happened to” says one of our SLOWsibs.
Previous workshops have included cupcake decoration, miniature worlds, gardening, marbling, decoupage and Christmas wreaths. Our activities are designed to support each child living with their grief while building a hopeful future, as well as commemorating their sibling who has died.
If you or someone you know would like to find out more information about our SLOWsibs groups, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07532 423674
As baby loss awareness week approaches for another year (9th – 15th October), it seemed a pertinent time to introduce myself. I’ve recently joined the team at SLOW as the Bereavement Support Services Manager and as with all members of our team, I’m part of a gang that no parent ever, ever wants to join – the gang where a child of ours has died.
My daughter Rosie was just 6 days old when my husband and I had to say goodbye. Never did I think my first cuddle with my newborn baby would be the last. I still remember it like it was yesterday, it was May 2006. Rosie was perfect in every way, she wasn’t much bigger than a barbie doll, she only weighed 585g (a bag of sugar to most people). I went in to very premature labour at 23 weeks and 3 days (full term is 40 weeks), I was told during my labour that she may not survive the birth. It was painful in so many ways. Rosie was born showing signs of life (at 23 weeks and 3 days, medical teams will only intervene if there are signs of life), she was born at a hospital that didn’t have the specialist care that such a premature baby needed. She was immediately taken from me and whisked to the scbu (special care baby unit) where she was worked on until she was stable enough to be transferred 1/2 hour down the A22 to the Trevor Mann baby unit in Brighton.
It felt surreal that only a few hours after giving birth I was in the car with my husband driving to another hospital without my baby with us.
We were told the severity of her health and her chances of survival were incredibly slim but we had hope, it’s all we had as well as an incredibly amazing and supportive neonatal care team looking after her – so much so she was nearly named Beata after the lead consultant who cared for her.
Sadly, Rosie was too little and too poorly to survive. She did give us hope for 6 days and she showed us how easy it is to love but also how precious life is. She was taken far too soon from us. Rosie now has two younger sisters who are 12 & 10 and a little brother who is just 7 weeks old at the time of writing. Rosie remains a big part of our lives and she is the reason I do the work I do today. We celebrate her birthday every year on the 26th April and we light a candle (#waveoflight) for her every year during baby loss awareness week.
I’m thankful for baby loss awareness week as it raises awareness of pregnancy and babyloss as well as driving improvements in policy, bereavement care and support for anyone affected by the death of a baby.
If you are a bereaved parent, please reach out to us at SLOW, we offer support sessions for bereaved parents of any aged child which are led by bereaved parents both in person and virtually via zoom.
Click here for dates of all our forthcoming groups.
Sending love and light to anyone that’s been affected by the loss of a child.