Flowers speak so many things don’t they? They are a gift of love, of appreciation, of condolences and comfort, of congratulations, and generally just to make a room more pretty. I love receiving flowers because they make me feel thought of and always look so lovely and they never fail to make me smile however big or small!

But for me having fresh flowers in my life and home are more than just something I hope for on special occasions, rather they are one of my must haves for a feeling of joy and well being in daily life! They are a weekly (or fortnightly) gift to myself to brighten my home and lift my mood. I have my favourites (Tulips), but whatever flowers they are, provided they are fresh, they bring much loved colours and happiness to any corner of my home and life.

I often get messages from people asking what they can do for Mothers who sadly have lost their babies. I always find it so touching that they want to do something (anything), just to let them know they are thought of and loved at such an awful time! Whilst I have a whole post worth of ideas for this (yet to be published), I often want to also remind the friends and family of bereaved parents that help initially is always there in abundance, but it’s as time moves on that it’s also important you reach out. It’s a journey that you need to be in for the long run, because often as time passes, naturally people begin to forget that year after year there are certain dates that just make it all raw again. They forget that one of the “biggies” each year where support is needed is always Mother’s day!

Mother’s day is such a lovely day when you have kids around you or in your life. It’s so exciting to get the homemade cards, the bunches of flowers, chocolates, smellies, treats or Jewellery. It’s a beautiful, heartwarming thing to be remembered and shown appreciation for the love and work you put into raising a family and keeping a home.

But what about the mothers without their kids? The ones that never got to bring their babies home? Where is their acknowledgement and appreciation on a day dedicated to Mothers?

Give the Gift of Flowers

Flowers are a great gift at any time of year, they are a fantastic gift for our mothers, and especially as a gift to a mother without her child on Mother’s day. This date in the year for bereaved mothers is one of dread and anxiousness. Its another reminder of what they are missing, and it’s a day that feels really hard. Yes they are a mother…deep in their hearts every single day, but on the surface to the world they are seemingly not. It’s a day that screams to them “you have no child here… you don’t get to mother that baby”! For them mothers day lacks the hand drawn pictures and cards from your child, the scribbling name next to the others and the lovely treats chosen by the little ones. For them there is no acknowledgement of what it means to be a mother.

They miss out on the gifts, the cards and the brunch. But most importantly they are missing out on the little hands around their necks and gentle kisses on their cheeks – they are missing every tear, “I love you”, and cuddle that comes with being a mother.

My suggestion to anyone reading this, that knows of a mother that is facing mother’s day without their baby, is to send them something. Yes…why not send them a gift? And something so easy is a gift of flowers. You can order from the comfort of your home, with a personalised message and send them anywhere in the country or world even!

By sending a gift of flowers to a mother on Mother’s day you are acknowledging who she is on a day that seems more than ever to remind her of what she has lost. You are sending colour to her life and a vase of happiness to her home. It shows her that she is thought of, and her child is remembered! It brightens her home and lifts her heart, and helps her to take comfort in the knowledge that she and her child are not far from thoughts of others (as is sometimes the case in everyday life).

They are gift that will instantly lift the mood of the person you have sent them to, and bring positive emotional feelings to their day as you say “I remember who you are – Happy Mother’s day”!

Prestige Flowers have as many varieties of Mother’s day bouquets as there are mothers, so you are bound to find the perfect thing for that special mummy! They can be ordered in advance or last minute, and my favourite thing – they have some great offers on including Free Vases or Chocolates with some of their bouquets, and £10 -15 off some of them too.

So whether it is for your own mother, the mother of your kids, or a friend or relative that might be struggling this Mothers day because of loss – Why not send them a bright and beautiful gift of flowers right to their door. Let them know they are remembered this year, and help them feel acknowledged as a mother this mother’s day!

I am still very much enjoying the stunning bouquet that was sent to me last week with a few additions of a bear, vase and chocolates! When I saw them sat on my front step it was such a joyful delivery and has brought a lot of happiness to my home each time I see them – it made me think of all of those mother’s that might not get this this year!

*In Collaboration with Prestige Flowers

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Way back in March, whilst strolling through home bargains (of course) and minding my own business, a little frame caught my eye in the mother’s day section, and I completely fell in love. It’s hard to find gifts for bereaved mothers, and whilst I know I probably wasn’t their target group with this product, it just jumped out and spoke to me…I needed it for a special little picture of a special little girl!

I’ve never been a fan of scan pictures on display, but then there was something about this one that made me feel like I needed it in my life. I think it was a combination of the font and the crisp white frame, but something more, buying it was an opportunity to display a picture of my stillborn little one when she was alive. I see her features and feel the hope I had when she was safe inside of me. I see a baby, fully formed and looking like her Sisters.. I see life and another member of our family. I feel sad too that we don’t have what we have with her siblings or multiple pictures framed of her doing silly and cute things, but I love it because at last its a lovely way to have a picture of her alive and in our home.

I have put off having pictures in my home of Poppy, even though I have so desperately wanted to, because it makes me too sad to look at them and know she was dead when it was taken. Whilst my sister did a wonderful job of editing them and many may not even realise it’s her or that it is a photo of a dead baby I would know, and I’m not ready yet (and may never be) to have her up on the wall to be scrutinised!

Seeing her is a reminder of what I went through that day, along with all of aching, turmoil and general broken months that followed as a result of my little baby dying before birth. As beautiful and perfect as she was, seeing her dead honestly breaks my heart. I have wanted to, for so long, make a memory frame with all of her things in and have something tangible of her existence and her part in our family, but framing my loss is just too painful to do right now too. And so that day back in March, I reached to the shelf and paid the £1.49 for this frame, because this frame isn’t so sad. It holds a photograph taken at a time of hope and time when life was strong. It is an opportunity to have her to look at and acknowledged her as one of our babies… its a physical reminder we had a third child, not just a pregnancy that came and went with time, but a real life fully formed little girl that grew to term and was birthed. It gives my heart a tiny piece of joy to look at her and remember how hard it was but also how great it was to have hope for her.

It was not until we moved that I felt we would have a place to display this frame, but which place I wasn’t so sure of. Then this weekend we decorated our porch, and up on the shelf there was a space…a space that needed a special picture or quote maybe? And then I remembered how perfect my “Hello Little One” frame would look there next to our potted plants. As I placed it on the shelf it fitted in just right. I looked up and thought how perfect it looked there, that when we leave the house she will be with us, when we arrive home she will be there to see!

 

Life was taken, gone/died however you want to say it, it happened to our 3rd child. But I will never forget that a baby girl lived and grew inside of me back in 2014. She was number 3 in the Smith tribe, and now that she isn’t alive and here I am grateful to have a picture of her when she was. I am grateful that we have technology that captured her personality and can help us remember her being alive.

Hello little one – it’s nice to have you to look at here in our home!

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Last week a tsunami of grief washed over me and left me gasping for air. I couldn’t sleep, barely breathe, function properly, or be me in my everyday life.

I cried for what seemed like hours over several days … sobbing to Nathan, sobbing to the night, sobbing on my knees. I was desperate for some relief from this familiar pain that had returned (or rather resurfaced) to my soul and each day I woke up with that same heavy feeling in my heart, I wondered why?

Isn’t it supposed to get better with time? Aren’t I supposed to feel better about it … with Time? Shouldn’t I be on my way to “getting over this” and dealing with it? That’s what people keep saying or implying why isn’t it true for me?!

It’s been almost 3 years since our daughter passed away and was subsequently stillborn. 3 years. That’s over 1,000 days and I don’t know how many hours, and guess what? I still get sad about it, and I still find the week or 2 before her anniversaries to be the worst time of year. I hate the change in seasons, and find that even if I wanted to never think of it again, that’s actually not even possible. I feel in my soul and I know what’s coming.

I have found that whilst time has made it easier to live with (most days), some days it all just gets too much again. Some days I just become too tired of being strong, I become tired of being the one missing out on so many things because she never lived, and I get tired of pretending that i’m okay with that. I get tired of painting on a smile and not being able to have her in our life. And then, with all of that, something so small comes along and sweeps me over. It leaves me lost and feeling like there’s something wrong with me, and I get cross… why am I still feeling all of this? Why at 3 years is her birthday still so hard?

But you see there isn’t anything wrong with me, and I didn’t do anything wrong either. It’s not my fault that she died (though I have wondered this) and there isn’t anything mentally wrong with me either because I am still sad at certain points of my life as a result of that. I feel all of this every September because it is the natural result of carrying a child to term and then them dying before being born and really having life with you. It doesn’t mean i’m ill, lacking in faith, ungrateful for my other kids, miserable, or have a poor relationship with Jesus – it means I am human, and a mother living in a world with out my child!

But its easy to think there is something wrong with me, or maybe I am lacking something, when people tell you so much that “time is a healer”, or “I hope you can get over this and be okay”, and all along it still hurts… it still causes pain to remember. And then I find that to remember is also seen as a negative thing? Why wouldn’t I want to remember her?

It’s easy for me to think and even feel that I am lacking in something or not good enough because people avoid me or avoid asking how I am around this time of year and then wonder how after 3 long years and 1,000’s of days I am still not over it and still not “healed”.

But please tell me how you can get over your child dying and missing from everyday family life?

Please tell me how you can look at each passing year and birthday without a member of your family there to celebrate it, and then be okay about it?

Please tell me how is remembering them a weakness or a bad thing?

How is making them a part of our family so weird?

How is bringing them up in conversation so blumming awkward?

Please enlighten me on how it is such a weakness to cry and be sad occasionally about the fact my daughter was dead when I gave birth to her? And with that to know you missed a million things and more?

Please tell me why am I lacking in faith because I cried last week for days that she wasn’t starting nursery and her birthday is over looked?

What I wish people would say (or preach) to the bereaved is actually that time is not a healer at all, and that the truth is you won’t ever really get over it, but rather you WILL learn how to live with it. You will (and can) learn how to lead a happy and joyful life despite the pain of them not being in it. You will lead a new normal on a new path, that is filled with triggers of your loss and days of darkness all over again, but you will learn how to survive them and return to a functioning happy place once they pass. You will learn to see goodness in life and count your blessings despite the pain in your heart from one of your greatest blessings not being here. There will be days when the pain is barely noticeable, and people will breath a sigh of relief that perhaps we’re over it now and time has healed us, but with in a matter of days it can be all consuming again and a stark reminder that that isn’t true. That’s okay, there is nothing wrong with you.

I often want to ask “Isn’t my all functioning life, happy kids, adventures, poser pics, deep faith and joyful moments a testament that I am surviving and living a good life despite being sad?”

I wish people would realise that life isn’t easy to live with a piece of you missing, and yet I still do.

I wished they could see that however small they see a trigger of grief to be, it isn’t small at all. If its enough to make someone broken hearted all over again and sobbing, then that’s a big deal! They just need more love, more understanding, a listening ear and patience. The triggers are irrelevant, it’s not a problem to be fixed or solved because often you don’t expect them at all and so can’t help how you feel in any given moment or situation… we don’t need analysing, we just need love and compassion, and an understanding that any trigger is just more evidence, and a tell tale sign that the loss of a baby ripples into life for many years to come, therefore there is no quick fix for baby loss. We will not get over it, but with a good support system, we can learn how to live with it – through the highs and lows of life.

It doesn’t matter how many times we do the whole anniversary thing, the whole starting back at school thing, Christmas, family holidays, days out …. it doesn’t make it easier to know she’s not here with us. Time doesn’t make it easier to have a birthday and no child here to celebrate with. Time doesn’t make it easier to know that each year that passes so do so many days of no milestones or proud parent pics!

Time doesn’t erase that there are still so many unbought gifts, unwritten cards, uneaten cakes. It doesn’t erase having her not start school, or no presents under the tree for her at Christmas. Time cannot change the fact that we own a grave where she rests.

There are things I will never know about my 3rd daughter and things I will never get to experience with her, and because of that, I don’t know how I can ever get over those things? Each new year and chapter brings a minefield of emotions and triggers, and whilst I can see how I can learn to live with it in each moment, how I can lead a hearty life despite it being a part of our journey it’s still a struggle some days to have to pass through and tackle each one.

Yes I can see now how I can survive the waves of grief, however big and painful they are. But I am sorry, I cannot “get over” my child dying, and I don’t think I ever will or want to. I want to remember her, celebrate her if I can, and hold to the few memories we have of her being in our family.

One thing I have learnt from women far older and wiser than me, is that to have a happy life, you have to embrace that fact that you will never get over this, but you can learn to live with it!

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Twilight books were a big part of our newly married life and whilst not a natural lover of fiction, I did enjoy them (a lot). Back in the day I would read them on a night when first married, whilst Nathan went to play football. It was a great balance for us to “do our own thing”! I thoroughly enjoyed each one and fell in love with the characters the anticipation of it all…the fight, power, love story/triangles, and then finally each of the films too!

These days Twilight may seem like a such an immature interest for a now 30 something mother – and it certainly feels like a lifetime ago that my thoughts were taken away to the land of Vampires, werewolves and romance with the Twilight books. But, with no WI-FI still here at the new house (BT issues!), I have resorted to watching films out of our DVD collection, and decided a couple of weeks ago that to re-watch the Twilight saga again would be both nostalgic and joyful!

One thing I failed to account for however is how different my life is now, and how emotional it would leave me feeling for days after. I never anticipated it would, and then it did! As a result I find myself in this frustrating cycle of being annoyed and sad all at the same time. Sad for how it leaves me, annoyed that there isn’t the same joy in the things that I once loved so much!! It, to me, is one of the most frustrating things about life after loss; it’s this feeling that things just aren’t the same anymore…simple things like a film I loved and made me so happy, suddenly becomes tarnished because they hold triggers and reminders of what I have lost and how much pain lies beneath the surface. I suddenly see them from a new angle…read deeper into them or are more easily overcome with emotion.

Almost 3 years on I mostly know my triggers and know the what to expect in certain situations. I know how to protect myself and when I need more strength for things ahead. I know when not to shy away so much, and just ride the waves of grief that will inevitably come, because it is what it is – my baby died and as a result I feel sad at certain things more than others. The hardest part though are these random and annoying moments…the one’s where I am unprepared, and especially when it is with things I felt safe with and once loved so much that are the trigger of all that reflection and sadness. Like I say, I really do find it to be one of the most frustrating and hardest things about life after loss. Its like trying to walk but always tripping. It’s learning to walk through life again!

I never imagined “The Twilight Saga” to one of these triggers though!! I never Imagined Twilight of all things to remind me so much that my baby died and life will never look or feel the same again!

I forgot that the song “1,000 years” was part of the finale – the same song we chose to carry our daughter out to at her funeral.

I never imagined I’d feel a connection to Bella fighting for the life of her unborn child.. and then wondering again if I did enough?

I didn’t think fictional tales of death would have me balling, because I knew how they felt now. Or that the constant talk of “immortals” would leave me wondering where my daughter is and thoughts of life after death (Deep I know!).

I realise as I write this, and I say it often to Nathan too that even if I wanted to forget the fact my baby died (which I don’t) I couldn’t! It is actually impossible to “move on” from something so significant and even traumatic in your life, because somewhere down the line there is always going to be something to remind you of those days and moments when it was all so fresh and raw. I realise that time teaches you how to live and function normally with the pain of loss, but that it doesn’t completely erase it – to do so would erase the love and longing to be with them again.

I never anticipated a much loved film series would be the source of such great reflection and therefore become a trigger for my grief. I thought it was safe, but unfortunately this is one of the bigger frustrations and battles of life after loss and living with a new normal. You suddenly exist in a place where joy and sadness’s are suddenly intertwined and where your eyes see things, and you heart feels things, so very differently than before. I exist in a place where my daughter did die, and because of that loss in every fibre of being, something will always remind me and things will never be the same again, and that’s often a hard pill to swallow!

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