So this week I got my first (and only!) tattoo.
It wasn’t something that was on my ‘bucket list’ of things to do before I’m …
and I did it because lockdown and starting writing my blog has given me lots of time to think and reflect on the past.
If you’ve read through my earlier post ‘Why the Blog’ you’ll know that I had a son, Sam who died when he was 6months old. Grace was 4yrs old and I wanted to hide in the house and not face the outside world.
But we had to go out, Grace needed taking to school, we needed food, we needed to carry on living.
Family and friends were there;
Some knocked the door, dropped off flowers, food, gifts for Grace.
Some stayed away ….
Some people crossed over the street if they saw me.
Some parents avoided eye contact in the school playground at pick-up time.
I get it…. what do you say to someone like me, you were probably scared of ‘saying the wrong things, maybe I avoided looking at you or I didn’t give the vibes that I wanted company.
But, you’re not going to make me feel worse by coming and standing beside me, touching my arm or asking how I am…… Maybe it would have stopped be feeling like a freak, grabbing Grace’s hand and walking as fast as I could home, eyes stinging.
But because death of a baby, whether it be a miscarriage, stillbirth, infant or child is too painful for us to think about, parents who suffer this loss often put the ‘closed’ sign up to the outside world and feel that talking about their child will upset the other person!
During lockdown I’ve spoken (via text) to several mums who have suffered loss of a child and I now believe it’s time we spoke up. I’ve avoided it for years for fear of upsetting others and making them feel awkward ….. how crazy is that!
There are lots of baby loss charities that can help and I would urge anyone to get in touch if they are in need of support. But I would also suggest that if you have friend who has suffered the loss of a baby (at any stage or age) please chat to them and open up the conversation…. create the opportunity for them to talk. You may not think it, but they’ll be glad you did.
So back to the tattoo….
3 stars are now permanently on my foot.
A star symbolises light and hope because they are little specks that appear in a dark world. They also historically were used by sailors for navigation to keep them on course and help guide them home.
So for me, my tattoo symbolises my 3 amazing children. Each have shaped my life in a different way and I am a better person for knowing and loving them.