June is SANDS Awareness Month.
It’s like Christmas for the baby loss community online. Just with orange and a bucket load of sadness. It’s incredible. It’s eye opening. It’s comforting.
I’ve been sharing on our Facebook page, the different ways SANDS use all the generous donations to help the baby loss community. It’s important for people to understand what they give us, on a practical level.
Sponsorship requests are so frequent these days, and yes, everyone fundraises for a charity that is very close to their hearts but sometimes that statement doesn’t really impress just how close a charity is to our hearts. It’s a tad overused isn’t it? We need to know why. We need to know the reality of what the cause is. So, where I feel able to, I’ve tried to be open about the cause, the impact, the results, the blunt reality of baby loss here on my blog, but also a little bit on social media elsewhere. This didn’t start and end those three days in January. This is life and we will never stop being thankful for SANDS and all the other charities. Why?
SANDS is an charity that started from bereaved parents. Parents that stood up and said this isn’t acceptable and fought. Tommys started from two doctors who were frustrated with the situation of pregnancy loss. Medical professionals that stood up and said this isn’t acceptable and fought. To have people like this in the world is incredible, humbling and heart warming to a shattered heart. Every charity has a story behind it. Has a fight. A mission. Determination. Pride. Love.
And it’s hope that you need when life… sucks beyond measure.
When someone tells you your baby has died, you want to die too. You want to just disappear. You want to run away. You need to run away. This can’t be real. Surely you are going to wake up? This must be a dream, a nightmare. What did they actually just say? What now? What is going to happen to your life? Your life just shatters. You have to break the hearts of people you love. You give birth and spend just a few days with your baby, your baby you have fought for almost to the point of giving up. You have to bury your child. You have to pick funeral outfits whilst other people are picking coming home outfits next to you. You have to navigate a new normal. You have to relearn everything again. Relearn how to smile, how to laugh, how to leave your house, how to socialise and talk, how to enjoy yourself, how to not feel utter guilt at any level of enjoyment. You have to find some acceptance that this is your life. You can’t change it. Your heart is broken and no amount of time, cups of tea, or rainbow babies would ever fully heal it. You have to survive with no idea how that is even a possibility. And then you see that organisations like SANDS are there with you. Surviving. Fighting. Bringing people together. Remembering babies gone. Listening. Helping. Giving hope that you can carry on living. Every single day.
SANDS does not say I cannot possibly imagine what you are going through. They have been through it. They do understand. They don’t have to imagine.
SANDS does not say I don’t know how you carry on living, I just couldn’t cope. They help you carry on living. They allow you to fall when you need to fall. They know how your life is forever changed. They tell you that it’s okay that your life is forever changed.
SANDS remembers your child’s name. SANDS honours your child. SANDS help you weave your child into daily life. SANDS doesn’t say I just don’t know what to say.
When life is beyond shit, but someone before you survived, stood up and fought – you start to believe that somehow, it will be okay, it will get easier to balance, it will be unique, you will not forget and you can laugh, you can smile and you, most certainly, can have hope. Hope for just being able to live. Through all the practical things that SANDS offer, what they are really giving people is hope. And that’s priceless.
There is not enough thanks that we could give to organisations like SANDS. That is why we fight too. In our own way. This is why we fundraise. Why no amount of money is enough. Leo has stolen our hearts. SANDS and the baby loss community has taught us how to survive having Leo in our hearts, and not our home.
If you would like to support us, pop over to Facebook, give us a like, and a hello. Awareness and acknowledgement of the baby loss community helps breaks a shattering silence that comes quickly after your baby dies.
If you see someone has turned orange on social media for SANDS Awareness Month, give them some support.