Things That I Have Found Helpful Since Losing Sadie

As I write this, it is just over 4 months since Sadie died.  It is early days yet and we are still in the thick of our grief.  I am also due to have our second baby on 17/02/11, so I am feeling tired and emotional - anxious and excited.

I thought it may be useful to me later down the line and perhaps to others experiencing similar, so reflect on what I personally have found helpful so far in coping with life without Sadie.  I can't pretend there are solutions or that we'll ever feel the same again, but some things have helped so far in keeping our heads above water....


I used to visit my NHS counselor every 2/3 weeks.  Unfortunately, due to funding, there are limits to what is available.  It is worth pushing a GP for this service but there are only so many sessions available. I also found that I ran out of time myself - life got busy!

In addition, I have found our local children's hospice, Francis House, to be amazing support - both when Sadie was alive and since she has died.  They offer counseling and support groups and all sorts of help for bereaved families.  I cannot recommend local hospices highly enough.  They are happy to help.  They have limited / little government funding, so we always try to put back in to this charity as and when we can and will continue with fundraising for the rest of our lives.


As you, know, I choose to blog from time to time in order to record my feelings and activities.  I also write in a journal.  I find this helps me to get things off my chest and also I can reflect on how I am doing - this helps in particular when times are low and I can remind myself that not every day has to be dark and also I can see that I have gotten through many other dark days.

Blogging gives me the added advantage of allowing those who want to understand me to read about how things are.  I can never say everything on the website as that would be too tough, but friends, family and anyone who is interested can update themselves.  That way, people know how things are without me having to go into any great depth when I see them as it is my preference to use the time I have with friends as respite from my feelings and to have a lighthearted break from the grief.  It works for me, but I also know that my friends and family are there if we do need to talk.  Its just that I prefer to be upbeat when I see them, if possible.


I am a member of Baby Centre, where there are forums for bereaved parents and also for those who are expecting another child.  There is huge support there and it helps me to know that there are others out there feeling just as I do and it makes me realise that I am not alone.  Isolation is a big part of the grief for me as thankfully, child loss is rare, so having others to share with and to urge each other on is hugely uplifting.


I have never been religious.  I always knew I believed in heaven and God, but losing a child can really make you question your belief.  For me, I feel I have found more faith.  The local church has been fantastic support both during Sadie's life and since she died.  Our Reverend gives me support and helps me to understand where my daughter is and he gives me hope that I will be reunited with her again.  Its not for everyone and we all have our own beliefs.  It is hugely personal, but for me, it is vital to me that I can live each day knowing my daughter is with her great grandparents and that one day she will meet me and I will hold her again.

Friends and Family

It is so hard to talk honestly about how this loss feels.  The thoughts and emotions connected with the death of your child are so deep and dark and confusing that it can be scary to share with those you love.  I choose my moments and share what I feel able.  It's not in my nature to talk in this dark way and so I often find I bury feelings and just enjoy the time with my loved ones.  That works for me, but I also know that now and then, they are the ones to turn to in the tough moments.  Grief has brought me closer than ever to my family and some friends.  My parents and in-laws in particular are grieving heavily too and need to share this with us. They want to feel a part of it because they love Drew and me and they loved Sadie deeply.  They want to help us. 

Drew and I talk constantly.  We have a very good marriage and are best friends.  We can talk about anything with ease.  We are very much aware that statistically most marriages end in divorce following the death of a child.  We treasure what we have and althout we're not naive to think there won't be some difficult times ahead, we find our relationship to be the thing that keeps us going.  We are happy in general and spend lots of time together.  We will always nourish that relationship because it is core to our well being.


Drew and I have always spent a lot of time walking together and we love it. It's good for us and for our marriage!  Pat also seems to be a keen walker and particularly enjoys hills.


I started running recently and have completed a 10k and will be raising money running the Bupa 10k in May in memory of Sadie.  I feel close to Sadie when I run and value the thinking time, although I love running with friends when I can.


I read some books about grief and I have listed them on the useful links site.

Talking to other parents who have lost a child

I am writing this update almost 11 months since Sadie died.  One of the hardest things is the isolation.  We know that unless you have experienced this it is impossible to know how it feels to lose your child.  Often people don't know what to say and often we just pretend we are absolutely fine because we know it is too hard and too time consuming to explain honestly how we feel.  It seems pointless so we let people believe we are OK even when we're not doing so great.  This is no criticism of those around us.  We know its hard for them.  So meeting or speaking with other parents who have lost a child because there's no need to explain and we can also just let off steam about the things that are painful in day to day life without fear of being misunderstood.  Its important to do that.  I have met many parents who have lost children or who have disabled and / or terminally ill children.  It is amazing how much strength we can give each other by sharing and supporting.  It gives me courage and determination because I admire the strength of all those other parents and I aspire to be as strong as they are. 


I am sure that in time there will be many other things we find that help us through, so I'll add to this page as we go along. 

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