After much anticipation over the last few months, dressing in our finest attire, and a 3 hour drive south, we finally made it to “The Butterfly Awards” 2015 where the focus was not just awarding individuals achievements in Baby loss, but encouraging all to have a voice and break the silence around it.
Perhaps I’m common or just not living the high life yet, but I’ve never been to an award ceremony or black tie event so wasn’t 100% sure what to expect…My dress choice was obviously spot on by the number of FB friends commenting on the pics and routing for me (thanks guys) and by the fact that Nath told me I looked like royalty as we headed to the car to leave!
We had a wonderful evening together that was worth all of the preparation and I am glad that Nath was the one by my side to experience it with me. We expected from the start that the evening would be well attended, full of charity boosts, emotional and offerings of tasty food, which was pretty much how it played out. I however, didn’t foresee how nervous I would get over the awards, how proud I would feel hearing my daughters name or how many lovely people I would get to meet and speak to whilst there.
We started off with welcome drinks and meeting people…we gravitated straight to Emma, our bereavement worker from the Hospice and her lovely mum. We then wandered around looking at all of the sponsors displays and the amazing things they are doing for individuals and families through the hardest time of their lives. We spoke of the lovely things they did, nice ideas they had come up with and remembered similar things that helped us at that time too.
I then met Katie from Emily’s Star, which was really lovely and refreshing to chat to someone that knows the diagnosis of Trisomy 18. We have chatted a lot on line, and she has supported me along the way by understanding, so it was nice to see her in person and give her a hug. It was also great to meet her team, see her present an Award and chat about how I can hopefully be involved with Trisomy 18 awareness and helping other families too.
Later we headed to the room where the event was being hosted and it was beautiful. Jade and Mel (the organisers of the night) really had done a tremendous job and there was a real buzz in the air. Everyone was friendly, chatty and looked fabulous.
Once seated we listened to various speeches on loss, had beautiful entertainment, reflected on our babies whilst the candle was lit and then enjoyed a tasty 3 course meal, before the awards took place. We shared a table with and amazing family that make tiny clothes for babies gone too soon and I found it very interesting to talk to them and hear of their journey and the wonderful work they are doing.
I also met David Monteith, a fellow blogger and the one to take “Most inspirational father” – he and his wife were a great couple and motivational people to associate with who also hold such a rare, yet very heartbreaking chapter in their story.
I didn’t win, though so very grateful for all of the support leading up to it. I was slightly gutted, but happy too to see that there are many who choose to write as their medium to raise an awareness. I then realised It was such a bitter sweet situation as I reflected on being called a “winner” for getting that far initially, when its because my daughter died. It did me me think though about how could I possibly be disappointed when after only 13 months of loosing my daughter I am here being named as one of the top 10 to write/Blog on baby loss – what an amazing thing to do at such an horrendous time, what an accomplishment and how great that out of something so devastating I have found my passion, my confidence and something that keeps her memory alive. Like I say bitter sweet, but her passing has shown me what I am capable of building when I reach rock bottom and choose to keep going, she gave me my voice.
I was genuinely delighted though to see Emma from Forget me Nots swipe 1st in her category for she truly is an amazing individual and one who brought me joy at a time there was none, who showed me how to love and behave around a dead baby and who never forgets us. She has been a light to us and deserved every nomination and all of the goodies that came with winning. It made us feel so happy that she then chose to dedicate to Poppy and mention us as being key in helping to progress her work and for being brave…when people applauded those things, I balled as I was overcome with gratitude and pride for her and to hear my little girl be recognised. I was happy that so many knew of her and could see what great thing have come from her little life.
As we headed back North in the early hours of the morning, we discussed how weird it felt to be in a room of so many where you could so freely speak of your loss and baby. The world we live in has taught us that that is not okay and its awkward to talk about death, loss, baby loss, infant loss, grief, funerals and anything else connected to loosing a baby, but The Butterfly Awards created an environment on Saturday evening where we could not only speak of it, but we could applaud it and celebrate it and take pride in our little ones, their legacy’s and how they have made us all kinder, more giving and loving people. Thank you Jade & Mel!