Four and a half years ago, almost. One month shy. Leo was born. Back then, my social media accounts and this blog site were created to provide a space to unload the fast running and overpowering thoughts in my mind.
These accounts became a literal lift raft. The chance to write kept me afloat. It stopped me drowning from the flood of thoughts. The overwhelming guilt, the loss, the depths of darkness. They were my digital comfort blanket.
In four and half years, we’ve journeyed through using them in different ways. Responding to the changing needs of parenting from afar and grieving a little boy that never really was – but who really, really was.
They’ve created friendships, seen volunteering, fundraising, advocacy and support work, and the opportunity to lend our voices to the wave of change in the baby loss world since Jan 2016. It’s journeyed through many phases; and now I find myself with having deleted all social media for the past month or so from my phone. Taking little time in my day to day to engage with the community, my grief or my desire to share.
What was once the release for noise, is now the creation of noise. The bigger picture of the world and the impact that all has on the world inside our little house has led to a need to just turn the noise down. Peace, time, space, quiet – all crucial aspects to my self care backpack. And it’s actually been quite nice. I never thought I could physically step away from it all; from the tangible evidence of Leo’s legacy. It felt too huge to do that. To grand a message to the world about Leo and what he means.
That said, I’ve found myself here today as a result of slow, gradual change. A year or so of finding a new way to hold Leo’s legacy alongside our day to day life. It’s what is needed now – but is in no way an assumption about what will be needed in the future. If grief has taught me anything; it’s that life is unknown.
Despite all of this, I’m so very conscious that this website continues to stand as a document of our recovery. I always wanted it as evidence for ourselves that we survived the worst thing imaginable. For ourselves, mostly, but for others too. I took great comfort in reading other people’s words and I too wanted to give back to the world in the form of another story, another journey.
So if you find yourself here in search of a story, a journey. It is still here. The posts may be less frequent, less deep, less personal – but this too is part of the journey. I guess it all just shows how grief and the need to process it has changed. I find my writing is less about me, and my emotions and more about the bigger picture of baby loss. I feel less able to share, in the instant, the snapshots of grief that at one time, I felt I had no choice to do – I felt without releasing it, I’d explode. Talking it through also enabled me to understand and process those emotions; and four years later, that’s less needed, it’s less new and unknown after all. I understand my grief and this blog has helped us achieve this place tremendously.
Any silence here or on social media is not a sign of my wavering passion or care for baby loss advocacy (or other world-altering events of late); and most certainly not as a sign of our wavering love or deep, deep missing for our son who never really was. Grief is still felt, deeply. We still visit his grave. We still crave his name to be heard. We still navigate challenging moments, triggers and fears. We are still anxious about the fragility of life. We still love. We still grieve. He’s still forever ours.
A quietening of his legacy here is never a quietening of his legacy, overall. For that continues to live on us, how we navigate the world, what we teach his little brother, and how we give back to the world.
If anyone ever feels the need to reach out for whatever reason – please don’t hesitate to email me firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jess, forever just one of Leo’s mums.