Saturday, 28 March 2015

Remembering Charlie by Mamma Key

Remembering Charlie

Having four grandchildren makes me feel very lucky, I have 3 living granddaughters and 1 grandson in heaven.

I adore them all.

Keeping up with their daily lives, such as school, after school clubs, new friends, old friends, there never ending bigger clothes and bigger shoes, new photo's, videos,  all documented and all the new things they are achieving on a daily basis.

I am so proud of them and often feel like i'm bursting with pride.

When I think of Charlie it often makes me sad because I have missed out on all of the above with him, yes we have photos and yes we all include him in our lives and we talk about him so often I actually forget he's not here, but the reality is he isn't.  

The photo's we have won't age.

There is no first day at school, no school photo's, no new clothes, no birthdays or special occasions. 

The list is endless for what we will miss out on, I almost feel cheated that he has missed out on those things and not only mourn his passing but mourn all the things I will miss out on.

Grieving is a funny old game. 

The immediate aftermath of losing a son, daughter, grandchild is one of indescribable pain and horror, but looking back at the chaos of those early days, the raw emotion of our loss there was no time to think. 

My brain was incapable of thinking and there was so much going on.

Now 2 years down the line time gives you time to think,mull over things what we are missing, Charlie will always be in our lives and he has achieved so much in his short life and will continue to do so.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

We have now become a charity partner with, where you can buy your gifts and items through our very own page.

Every time you buy something from the page you are helping raise funds for us.

This is a massive step forward for us and it helps us get one step nearer to building our bereavement centre, offering help and support to bereaved parents and families 24 hours a day.

Please visit and see what you could buy.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

This week saw us get our response from the letter we sent to the Prime Minister.

Although we haven't got our meeting (Yet),and they incorrectly addressed it, we are very pleased to get a reply.

With our letter being forwarded to the Department of Health directly from the PM we are hoping that we are much more likely to get a response.

We see this as quite a positive step forward for us and hope that it will be the beginning of a good working relationship between us and the Department of Health.

With the current petition we have on, where each time we get a signature an email gets sent to the Health Minister, and the forwarding of our PM letter hopefully this will generate enough discussion on the provision of bereavement services throughout the UK.

Our ideal outcome would be that they then see what need there is for an improvement in the current provisions and initiate a complete review and overhaul of the services.

Bereaved families across the UK deserve and need a change to happen as soon as possible. We really do hope that this could be the first step.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

While Mother's Day is generally considered to be a day of celebration, for many women it is a day of pain and loss, It's important to remember those mums who have had a failed pregnancy or who have lost a child at any age.

1. Recognize that they are a mother: Offer a hug and a "Happy Mother's Day". Send a card to let them know you remember they are a mother even though their child is not with them physically.

2. Acknowledge they have had a loss: Express the message, "I know this might be a difficult day for you. I want you to know that I am thinking about you.”
3. Use their child's name in conversation: One mother responded, "People rarely speak his name anymore, but when they do it’s like music to my ears".

4. Plant a living memorial: A tree or rose bush, like memories, will grow in beauty as the years pass.

5. Visit the grave site: Many mothers felt that it was "extremely thoughtful" when others visited their child's grave site and left flowers or a small pebble near the headstone.

6. Light a candle: Let the mother know you will light a candle in memory of their child on Mother's Day.

7. Share a memory or pictures of the child: Give the gift of a memory. One mother wrote that the "greatest gift you can give is a heart felt letter about my child and a favorite memory with them".

8. Send a gift of remembrance: Many mothers felt a small gift would be comforting. Suggestions included: an angel statue, jewelry, a picture frame, a library book or toy donation in the child’s name or anything personalized.

9. Don't try to minimize the loss: Avoid using any clich├ęs that attempt to explain the death of a child. ("God needed another angel.") Secondly, don't try to find anything positive about the loss ("You still have two healthy children").

10. Encourage Self-Care: Self-care is an important aspect of the "healing the mind and spirit effort" according to several mothers. Encourage a grieving mother to take care of herself. Give her a gift certificate to a day spa or any place where she can be pampered.

Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Tonight we are asking for help for another charity set up in our local area.

Elliot's Footprints is another Leeds based charity set up following the loss of their little boy.

They are currently undertaking some research into the care and support bereaved families have received following the death of a child.

Elliot’s Footprint  
Research Communications  
I’m contacting you from Elliot’s Footprint (charity number 1155966), a charity dedicated to ensuring that families have the support they need in the aftermath of losing a child.  
The charity has identified that you may be able to help us to complete a new piece of research with bereaved families.  
To improve bereavement services for families who have experienced the sudden death of a child, we want to speak to more of those who have relied upon themso we've launched a brand new piece of research to gather the thoughts, feelings and experiences of bereaved families in and around Leeds. The findings will guide our strategy and ensure we are doing the right thing to achieve better outcomes for grieving parents and families.  
As an organisation that may have come into contact with bereaved families, we need your help to recruit people to take part in our focus groups and survey.  
We appreciate how sensitive this subject is and how difficult it is to invite people to take part in research such as this, but in our experience to date families are very keen to share their stories and meet people who have been through similar experiences to themselves.  
Below is some information that you may find helpful if you’re able to contact families and invite them to take part.  
I hope that you feel able to support our work. 
If you have any questions, or would like to talk further about our research or the work of our charity, please do get in touch.  
Many thanks in advance. 
Kind regards, xxx 

An invitation to take part in new piece of charity research. 
Elliot’s Footprint (charity number 1155966) is a charity dedicated to ensuring that families have the support they need in the aftermath of losing a child.  
The charity is currently asking for parents and families who are willing to talk about their experience of bereavement support. 
Founded in 2014 by bereaved parents Andrea and John Kerslake and created in their late son's name, Elliot's Footprint is working hard to enhance and improve the systems and processes that families face in the aftermath of losing a child. 
If you feel that you could talk about your recent experience and provide feedback that would help the charity to understand the strengths and weaknesses of the current bereavement support services please get in touch with xxxx. 
T: @ElliotsPrint  

If any of you feel like you would be able to help them please use the contact details above.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Our letter to David Cameron should have arrived on his or his assistants desk or be arriving there tomorrow.

It will be interesting to see if and what reply we may get.

I would like to think that with the experiences he and his family have been through with losing a child that he will at least give us a response.

Maybe with it being election year he may think how good it would be for his cause to get as many people on his side.

We know he is a busy man and to him we are just a very small family, but if he bothers to look into our story he will realise that we are just the tip of a very big iceberg.

There are thousands of bereaved families out there all over the United Kingdom that are crying out for help and support.

These people are also his voting public.

We want 2015 to be one of the biggest and constructive years for Charlies Angel Centre. 

David Cameron could help us to make that happen.

We will keep you all informed of any correspondence we receive from Number 10, hopefully it will all be positive.