#SandsAwarenessMonth: What Sands means to me

As you will have seen from the blog header and Twitter profile, June marks #SandsAwarenessMonth.

Turning_Orange_3

This is an opportunity to raise awareness of charities like Sands that offer help and support for bereaved  parents and their families, friends, colleagues and the health care professionals affected.

Charities like Sands, Tamba and Tommy’s are helping families bereaved by stillbirth and neonatal loss and working to improve bereavement care and reduce the number of preventable deaths through research and lobbying decision makers to get this issue on the health agenda.

I want to use this post to explain a little more about what Sands has done to help me and why I think it’s deserving of your donation.

What Sands has meant to me

In the hollow weeks following the stillbirth of our twin sons we heard many variations of the same sentiment.

I don’t know what to say

Sands are very aware of the difficulties of saying the right thing and how often the fear of getting it wrong can lead people to say nothing at all and how this in turn can increase the sense of isolation of parents struggling with their grief.

When I posted the announcement that our sons had not made it I made sure that there was a link to the Sands guides on what to say to help friends and family understand what was and what was not helpful.

When I made my first hesitant steps back towards the mundane horrors of a job that seemed more pointless than ever I sent the Sands guide to my colleagues to help them better understand the insubstantial wraith that would be sitting among them.

When I received a well-intentioned but tragically misjudged attempt at consolation unwittingly dictating to me the terms of my own grief it was a volunteer on the Sands helpline that talked me through the mixed emotions and best handling strategies.

Sands were there when it all got too much and helped me make sense of the maelstrom of thoughts threatening to overwhelm me.

They also helped facilitate the special consultation events for bereaved parents as part of the NHS Maternity Review enabling parents to feed in their experiences into the review and make sure their voices were heard.

How you can help be part of this

All of these activities cost money and while they do receive some Government funding they rely on donations for fundraising to support their helpline, research and campaigns.

5for5

As part of Aoife and John’s  #5for5Challenge  in memory of their son Seamus I sought to raise a modest sum with my blogging challenge to raise awareness and encourage others to share their stories.  Donations help towards the efforts of Sands and Tommy’s to prevent what happened to us from happening to more parents and supporting those where that wasn’t possible.  It also goes towards training and supporting the professionals involved in maternity care so they can help parents and also have their own emotional support.

Chances are if you reading this blog (unless you came here for Paw Patrol rants, in which case I’m sorry but please read on) then you will be familiar with my story and the often brutal accounts of the raw grief that is always there and never fades.  You may have also read my posts on the good and bad of maternity care and the good work going on and what needs to be done to #endstillbirths.

If you have then you will know why a charity like Sands is important to not only parents like me but to expectant parents in helping maximise their chances of a safer birth.

If you are able to contribute even a small donation towards Sands during #SandsAwarenessMonth you are helping to support that work.

Thank you.

Run Jump Scrap!
Mudpie Fridays
3 Little Buttons
Reflections From Me

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Post Comment Love
ethannevelyn

Keep Calm and Carry On Linking Sunday
This Mum's Life
Marvellous Mondays badge by Hello Archie

40 Comments Add yours

  1. My friend I will be re-sharing this! Much Love!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. carolcliffe says:

    You are so right, people don’t know what to say. I still don’t know what to say now, except you have my utmost admiration for the continued work you do for this charity. They have obviously helped you a lot, and it’s great that they can continue to help others because of your efforts. #BestandWorst.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      Thank you for your kind comments and sharing the post. Even if people don’t make a donation it’s packed full of links to helpful information and support.

      Like

  3. ourrachblogs says:

    I’m sharing this. So important. I’m so sorry for what you went through, I wish I had the words but I don’t. I’m just so glad there are charities such as SANDS who are there to support families. #bestandworst

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      Thank you for sharing. It all helps build awareness and break down the stigma and taboos around stillbirth and baby loss.

      Like

  4. ljdove23 says:

    Great post to raise awareness, it’s such a worthwhile charity, even to those that haven’t needed it, it strikes a cord with every parent. We are holding a SANDS fundraiser in July, commemorating Josephs birthday, and raising funds for the charity, although there is sadly nothing at all we can do to change our outcome, perhaps in a small way we can help contribute to changing the same outcome for others. #PoCoLo

    Liked by 1 person

  5. This has really raised some awareness for me and thanks for writing it.Knowing what to say to support someone is just so vital. Have donated. It’s good to understand all the work that goes on and is needed post a tragedy like you have been through and I hope the charities can continue doing so. Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      Thank you Sarah. I really appreciate that.

      Like

  6. mackenzieglanville says:

    I have shared this on my Mackenzie Glanville Facebook Page and my Reflectionsfromme Facebook page as well as Twitter. I hope that this encourages more awareness and more donations too! Thank you so much for sharing this post as it holds such an important message and what you went through is so incredibly painful and if we can help others then let’s do that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      Thank you! I don’t know if Sands Australia and the UK one are linked but happy to amend with a link to the Australian donation page.

      Like

  7. Jayne SMABL says:

    What an amazing charity and your post is full of information that will be so helpful to others.
    I am so sorry that you both went through such a terrible time but I have so much respect for you, for taking something positive from this and raising awareness x #PoCoLo

    Liked by 1 person

  8. You are absolutely right that people don’t know what to say. So thoughtful of Sands to write a guide. I will be sharing this. thank you. Pen x #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      Thanks for sharing. They do so much and not just for the bereaved.

      Like

  9. SANDS is a fantastic charity and I have many friends that have, sadly, come into contact with them and said amazing things.

    I’m so sorry to hear of your experiences. It’s tragic and you know what, people don’t know what to say. I guess to know someone is thinking of you is enough xx

    #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      Thank you. It’s a charity that’s there for everyone, that’s part of what the awareness month is about, letting people know that they can find support even if it is not them that have been directly affected.

      Like

  10. Mrs Tubbs says:

    I frequently don’t know what to say, but hope something is better than nothing. Shared post

    Liked by 1 person

  11. what an informative post thank you so much I will be sharing this x #marvmondays

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      Thank you. It’s hard keeping momentum going after the first week so all sharing is appreciated.

      Like

  12. Thank you so much for raising the awareness. The charity have certain made their differences on you and that you aim to do the same. I am therefore sharing this too. My most respect to you. x #mg

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mummy Rules says:

    Thanks for your tweet earlier, i have ‘gone orange’ on my Facebook profile. Our friends experienced the sadness of a stillborn last year and I found SANDS so incredibly helpful for giving us information, in order to support them as well as we could. They are a wonderful charity. #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wow what a fantastic charity. It sounds like they really helped you through some extremely hard times. I’m going to donate right now. : ) Thanks for sharing with #StayClassy!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Kaye says:

    What a cause and thankyou for raising awareness. We lost my brother to SADS and I completely understood that no one knew what to say. It’s so hard as people want to say the right thing, but I don’t think anyone really knows what that is. Thanks for linking up to #MarvMondays. Kaye xo

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Annette says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this post with the #DreamTeam. Sands is such an important charity to be aware of and has such a wealth of information and support for those in need. I think it’s wonderful that you are showing your support for them, and sharing with us how they have helped you and your family. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      Thank you. I hope that the message is getting out there that they are more than just about supporting the bereaved but researching to prevent it happening to more families.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. I will share your post and donate because I think this is so important. I followed your link and read the sands guide and it is so useful. My mum is a neonatal nurse so they direct a lot of parents towards Sands #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      Thank you for sharing and donating. Sands do a lot of work to train and provide emotional support for those looking after the bereaved. I don’t underestimate the impact on them of having to see it play out time and time again.

      Like

  18. Becky, Cuddle Fairy says:

    I’m so sorry for. your loss lovely. Sands sounds like such an important organization – it’s great that they have resources online & someone you can chat to as well. I can’t imagine the grief & difficulty in getting back to work & routine that you must have had. It’s great you are raising awareness & funds for Sands. Thanks so much for linking up with us at #BloggerClubUK

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Morgan Prince says:

    I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine the pain and grief you must’ve gone through. I really wouldn’t know what to say to someone, I’d be so afraid of saying the wrong thing so I think the fact that you had Sands there to help is a brilliant thing. It’s brilliant that you’re trying to raise awareness and funds for them.
    Thanks so much for linking to #PoCoLo

    Liked by 1 person

  20. pinkpearbear says:

    I think you are doing a wonderful job of helping others. Your story is just heart breaking but I hope you can take a little comfort from knowing that you are helping others. Shared again for you. #bigpinklink

    Liked by 1 person

    1. ShoeboxofM says:

      Thanks for sharing. If I focus on awareness raising and campaigning it helps me feel like I’m doing something to change things for the better. It also allows a certain distance from why I’m campaigning in the first place.

      I manage to raise £40 through fudge! That’s more than the blog challenge! As my wife points out if I broke out of semi anonymity then I could raise more (we raised over £1000 for Tamba) so maybe it’s time to go public.

      Like

  21. Back again from #FabFridayPost
    Thank you so much for linking up. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  22. This is an amazing charity that does so much important work. I am so sorry for your loss and I can’t imagine how you must have felt. I think it is great that you are raising awareness and funds for Sands, a charity that has helped you and your family.

    Thanks so much for linking up with #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  23. azarialynch says:

    Sands do so much great work and I am so glad they have been such a great help to you and I am sure many others.

    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday.

    Azaria- Being Mrs Lynch

    Liked by 1 person

  24. this is the second post I have read around this topic this week and I honestly don’t know how you do it. what incredible journeys and so incredibly sad. and I still don’t really know what to say. What a fab organization though. just so sad that people still go through this #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  25. A wonderful cause to support and I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s so terribly sad that anyone has to go through it. #KCACOLS

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Clare says:

    An amazing cause, I would always wonder what to say to someone after this horrid and tragic experience so would find the guides very helpful. I am so sorry for your loss, and good luck raising more awareness and understanding around this deeply saddening experience. #KCACOLS xx

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s