Much of the blog has been given to gloom, misplaced humour and uncalled for cultural reference points. This one is a break from that (well, one out of three…) and follows what ‘In the best possible way…‘ started.
The horrible treatment and mistakes made along the way have been well documented but I want to take time to thank all the people that were an exception to that. The ones that listened, the ones that helped and all those that tried.
I thank our twin specialist consultant and our midwife for the continuity of care they were able to provide after the death of our boys and the pregnancy that followed. There was a genuine attentiveness and kindness to their care and for that I am grateful. The second pregnancy was a time that swung between absolute terror and a cautious joy and they were there to help us manage that and ensure the safe delivery of our daughter.
I have already thanked the mortician (and his colleagues) but it doesn’t hurt to mention again the respect that he showed to our children and to us. It is thanks to him that we have photos that we can keep and keep on show. He helped immortalise their foot and hand prints at a time when we had barely the strength to hand him the box.
Thanks again to our midwife for making sure that we got access to couples’ bereavement counselling not only for the aftermath but for during the following pregnancy.
I thank the funeral directors for allowing their professional mask to slip and show us genuine sympathy and for their help in organising the funeral and looking after us.
Our counsellor was patient, kind but not afraid to make us question some of the more destructive aspects of our grief and gently explore the underlying reasons and motivations behind our attitudes.
I thank all the friends and family members that showed their support and love even if they didn’t always get it right. That we get little birthday presents and a card for the boys’ birthday means so much to us.
I thank my colleagues for listening and for taking care of me during those rare drunken descents into ‘gloom bunny’ territory and for never making me feel bad or guilty for doing so.
I thank the people behind the pseudonyms and funky avatars on message boards for offering support to a virtual stranger during one of the worst times of my life. I thank the not anonymous members of the TAMBA Bereavement Support Group on Facebook for being there to guide us through the aftermath and being a safe place to vent when it all got too much.
Whilst the post-labour ward for our daughter was a terrible mess, the ante-natal care during induction was superb and we had the luck to have a supernaturally calm midwife to help guide my wife through delivery.
I thank the voices at the end of the phone that offered counselling and listened to awkward silences and muffled sobs without judgement or empty platitude.
Thanks to all the other bloggers that have shared their memories and experiences and all the article writers working to raise awareness around grief and baby loss. I thank anyone that reads this blog or takes time to contact me on Twitter. By reading this blog the memory of our boys lives on.
I thank all the musicians, writers and developers that created the music, books and games that provided catharsis, comfort and distraction. And for bands like Killing Joke that make a song about being grateful into something that sounds like a collapsing building.
I thank my wife for her patience, love and for putting me back together again when it’s my turn to fall apart. I thank for her edits, fact checks and memory corrections. It’s hard for her to relive all those moments again when we are grieving in different ways and different times and I can’t thank her enough.