Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Over the last 3 years talking to parents and their families, one thing that has stood out is the feelings of jealousy and resentment towards friends/family members that have become pregnant. 
Some feel so bad that they should feel like this as these are their friends but it is a normal reaction following the loss of your own baby.
Seeing other pregnant women can be very difficult to face when you have suffered a loss. Seeing babies can sometimes be even worse. 
It is totally OK to feel like this, anger, jealousy and resentment are all normal feelings of grief and you are entitled to have them. Don't let other people make you feel bad for having these feelings.
These feelings are also Ok for other family members to experience, they are also grieving and seeing pregnant ladies or babies can stir feelings of 'what could have been'.
When we lost Charlie I know that I used to find it difficult when I would see women with their children who were shouting at them. I would want to go up and say how lucky they are to have such wonderful healthy children, don't waste any moment you have with them.
It can also be difficult when you see friends or colleagues complaining about how they are feeling during their pregnancy, complaining of morning sickness or tiredness. You understand that they may be feeling bad but you would love to be in that position.
Some of the people we have spoken with have said that to start with after their loss they found it easier to try and avoid seeing their pregnant friends/relatives.
This is also ok, if this is what helps you survive through your grief then it is the right thing for you to do. This won't go on forever and you will reach the point where you feel comfortable to be around pregnant ladies or small babies.
There is no point forcing yourself into these situations as it will just be too much for you emotionally. Why should you make yourself do something that will cause you more pain and heartache. You need to remember that you are the important one at the moment and whatever makes it less painful has to be ok.
Some of the families we work with have also told us that when they were pregnant their friend was also at the same stage of their pregnancy and they used to be able to swap stories and experiences. Now they find it extremely hard to be around them as it just reminds them of what they should be experiencing. 
Again this is perfectly normal to feel like this and in time these feelings will ease. If they are close friends they will totally understand why you have to distance yourself at the time and will be there for you when you do feel ready.
Eventually you will feel strong enough, and will remember how good it was to be pregnant, and you will find that you can become excited for friends or family who become pregnant.
When you feel stronger you will also start to think that it is not their fault that they are pregnant and it is not their baby you are missing. You will get back to feeling happy for them.
The one thing I would always say is to remember to be honest, both to yourself and others. If you are finding it difficult or are struggling to be around pregnant ladies then say so, if they are friends they will totally understand.

Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Over the last 3 years we have never given up hope that we will make a change to the face of bereavement support for parents and their families after the loss of their baby or child. 

We have had some very difficult times and times when we have felt like we were not getting anywhere, but then something would happen that would motivate and inspire us again.

The last 8 months have been absolutely amazing for the charity and we now see ourselves as being an established organisation that the NHS and other organisations take seriously.

We have had to run the charity from our own houses since we set up and gradually they have gotten fuller and fuller. 

Two weeks ago we managed to organise storage to enable us to empty out our spare rooms of all the things we have accumulated.

Last week Clive Key, trustee, spent many hours turning their now spare room into an office for us to use for the charity. 

He has done an amazing job and we have been very lucky to have furniture and carpeting donated so keeping the costs to a minimum.

It will make it so much easier for us now to have a central area to keep all the paperwork together and having an area for us to meet up or invite people to meet us there.


Things are certainly looking really positive for Charlies-Angel-Centre and we think that the next 12 months will see us get even busier.

Tuesday, 16 August 2016

why there's no time limit on grief

Probably the most common question we are asked is "When will i feel better?" It's a little like asking, "How high is up?" Grief is a lifelong process. While the agonizing pain of loss diminishes in intensity over time, it's never gone completely. It is absolutely normal to feel the aftershock of loss for the rest of your life. Grieving is not a reaction to a single event, like an illness that can be cured and from which you will recover. It's more like a deep wound that eventually heals and closes, but whose scar remains and still can hurt at times.

Don't put a time limit on your grief. And don't let others set one for you either. A broken heart leaves many people feeling stunned and stuck. Try to focus on the basics of a daily routine. Get out of bed. Take a shower. Go for a walk. Feel the sun on your face. If you feel fragile, limit your exposure to emotionally driven events. That doesn't mean to cocoon yourself away from people. some days are going to be harder than others, but taking one day at a time is a start 

MYTH # 1:

Grief is a negative experience which must be gotten over quickly. Life must go on. 
Truth: Grief is a normal, appropriate reaction to loss. Grief gives the individual time to do self-evaluation and to reconcile themselves to the change in the relationship with the person who has died. The only way to get through grief is to experience and cope with it. Embracing grief and its painful emotions leads to healing. In grief and loss, emotions are neither good nor bad. They just exist.

MYTH # 2:

Grievers are best left alone to grieve.
Truth: Occasional solitude can be helpful for mourners. To be alone with your thoughts now and then can be helpful. Mourners need opportunities to share their memories and receive comfort from others. Community and support systems play an important part in a healthy grief journey.

MYTH # 3:

Giving into grief and its emotions shows weakness, a lack of faith or spiritual strength.
Truth: All people, whatever their religious or spiritual beliefs or practices, experience grief at the loss of a valued loved one. Spiritual and religious beliefs can be a comfort and can provide additional resources to ease mourning, but they cannot eliminate completely grief or the pain of loss.

MYTH # 4:

Grief is a predictable process and takes place in successive stages.
Truth: Although common emotions and grief tasks toward healing are experienced by all mourners. grief is not a linear, predictable process. Grief is a progressive, individualized
journey to healing.

MYTH # 5:
Grief can finally end. 
Truth: Time gives people an opportunity to heal and to learn new coping skills, but the process and pain of grief can last a life time. The good news is that the intense mourning period immediately following the loss does not have to last a lifetime. Grief and the mourner change over time.

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Yesterday saw one of our supporters, Anna Bishop, compete in the Leeds 5K at Roundhay Park. 

I went along with Charlies 3 cousins, Rhiann, Amy & Mila to give her lots of support and encouragement.

Anna will say herself that she is not a person who runs (a lady after my own heart) but she wanted to do something that was a challenge.

Anna did the run in memory of her son, Jonah, who was born sleeping on 7th April 2016.

Anna has also signed up to do the 5K Colour Run in Birmingham later on in August.

We are all so proud of her to even consider doing something for our charity. She has struggled sometimes to get out and train as she has a little 2 year old who takes up a lot of her time.

When you have lost a baby or child you can often find it hard to get out and about as you are worried about how people will be around you and how they will interact with you. 
Often it is easier and definitely less stressful to just stay at home where you feel safe and protected.

Anna has fought through this and even when she felt really nervous she kept on going.

Luckily it was a beautiful day for the race and there were plenty of people encouraging people on. 

Anna's husband and son were also there on the side line cheering and clapping.

Anna found a lady at the start of the race who was also running alone so they decided to keep each other company. 
I think having someone else to keep you motivated can be such a help and Anna said that she found having someone with her definitely made her race easier.

So far Anna has raised a massive £1437.50. 

We have been blown away by the generosity of her supporters, but it just confirms what a wonderful lady she is as so many of her sponsors left some wonderful messages.

We will keep you up to date with how her next run goes.

Thank You so much Anna for all you have done for Charlies-Angel-Centre, you truly are an amazing lady.