#CaptureYourGrief2016

This page collects links to all of the posts written in response to the #CaptureYourGrief daily prompts.

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I have included the full text of the prompts should you feel inspired to write your own posts. If you do please let me know and I will share them on Twitter, Facebook page and Pinterest account.

These prompts are about reflection and the project’s emphasis is on them as being a different way to explore the difficult and complex emotions of bereavement.

It’s not monitored and there are no strict rules on commenting or even publishing. If a prompt doesn’t work for you then you don’t have to do it.

I felt very uncomfortable about the Day 8 prompt as it is something I have spent a lot of energy not doing but allowing myself to think of what it might have been like had they lived did feel like a positive step. I had tried to write a ‘happy post’ before but it went in a very different direction so this was a good way to counterbalance that and think of the boys with warmth rather than regret.

Other writers

This is a huge project and it was posts by some of my favourite bloggers that inspired me to take part. You can see their responses in the links below

An Elefunk Never Forgets

The Legacy of Leo

5 Little Doves

The Prompts

  1. SUNRISE DEDICATION Let us celebrate the beginning of this healing month by waking up early to watch the sunrise wherever we in the world. Step outside into the fresh air and take some time to breathe the sunrise in. Watch all of the colours of your world transform before your eyes.  Spend some time reflecting upon what you want your intention for this month to be. Maybe even come up with a word for your intention so that you can write it down and revisit it each day. If there is no visible sunrise in your part of the world because of the weather, that is okay, this is life and mother nature. All that matters is that you take the time out of your day to be with us all in spirit and make space for a new beginning. Take a photograph of your sunrise where you are right now and if you post it online share what State/Country you are in and the time of the sunrise. You can google the sunrise time in your part of the world and set your alarm if you are a sleepy head like me. Send some love out to everyone else in the world who is grieving the death of a child and remember those gone before us who were made to grieve in silence. We honour these people too.
  2. WHO THEY ARE | Share about your beautiful children today. Who are they? When were they born? How long did you have them for? What is their name? Share as much or as little as you feel comfortable with.
  3. WHAT IT FELT LIKE | In honour of this month of awareness today we give the outside world some insight into what it is like to be a bereaved parent by sharing what a certain experience that you had during your grief journey. This can be a positive or negative (or both) experience. Some experiences that you could share about are what it felt like to hear the words “There is no heartbeat” or maybe you had an experience where some did something very special in memory of your children. Pick a moment and share how it made you feel.
  4. SUPPORT CIRCLES | Have you felt supported in this journey of grief and healing? Maybe it is a friend, family member or organization that has been there for you. Share how they have helped you and let them know how grateful you are. Please feel welcome to post links if you would like to share about a charity or support group.
  5. THE UNSPOKEN | Normalizing grief is so important and that I why today I am calling upon those who feel brave enough to speak about the nitty gritty side of grief. Share something about your grief journey that you might feel is strange or not common. It might be something you do to remember your children by or maybe it is something you fear about the future. Often while grieving we have feelings of isolation because we fear judgement that what we are feeling isn’t normal. But it is amazing to see just how many people feel the same way. When others stand up and express how they feel through sharing their experiences, it allows us to say “Hey, I feel that way too!” and the fear of feeling like we are crazy is lifted and in some cases embraced!
  6. EMPATHY | So often when someone experiences the death of a baby or child, family and loved ones fail miserably at empathy because they try to fix what has happened. They usually do this because they either love you so much or just can’t deal with it themselves so they say things like “God needed another angel. It was probably for the best. At least, blah blah blah” They are desperate to show you a silver lining when there really isn’t one. As we know these kinds of words rarely ever help, in fact they more often than not make us feel even worse. So today you are invited to educate people on the art of empathy. We don’t need to turn this into a vent about what not to say, but rather, what to say and what they can do that will actually comfort the grieving. What does empathy look like for you?
  7. MYTHS | Have you discovered any myths about this grief experience?
  8. BEAUTIFUL MYSTERIES | To me, my son is a beautiful mystery. I gave birth to him and yet I never knew him. I sometimes allow myself to imagine that he is alive in another time and space and that we are all together. If it is not too painful, allow yourself to imagine who your child would be now. What would they be like? What would they be passionate about. Tell a wild, beautiful story about them.
  9. SURRENDER + EMBRACE | Completely surrendering myself to grief on multiple occasions has allowed me to release my emotions. The hurt, the anger, the unfairness. I was always afraid to giving in to how I was feeling. Like I had to hold it together for my family or if I did break down, I would not be able to bring myself back together. But I always did and afterwards I felt lighter. I was able to flow with grief rather than fight with it. I have screamed into pillows, cried myself to sleep and I am amazed at how much tension I was able to release. Surrendering to whatever it is you are feeling is one of the most powerful experiences of being present and in the moment. To sit and allow yourself to feel sadness is very profound. How do you feel about surrendering to grief? Have you done it before or are you more the type that just keeps carrying it all inside? Does the idea of falling apart frighten you? Share your thoughts.
  10. SYMBOLS + SIGNS | Do you have a symbol that represents your child? Maybe it is a butterfly, tree or bird etc. Share how you came to find that symbol and what it means to you. Do you believe your children send you signs at all? Have you had any? How did they help you?
  11. CREATIVE HEARTWORK | Have you done anything special to memorialize your child? Maybe you got a tattoo or commissioned a piece of art to be created. Maybe you have a special piece of jewellery to remember them by or created a garden.
  12. LEMONS + LEMONADE | Have you made anything positive come from this unimaginable loss? Did you find any blessings among all the sadness and sorrow?
  13. DEAR WORLD | What is on your heart that you want the world to know about your kind of grief? This is your day to choose your own topic. Some topic ideas are pregnancy or infertility after loss. Anxiety or PTSD. Forgiveness. Trust. What is it that you want to talk about?
  14. BELIEFS + SPIRITUALITY | Has the death of your child strengthened or changed your beliefs? Share as much or as little as you like. Please be respectful to the beliefs of others today. We are all in this together and our differences are what make this project so beautifully interesting. Choose kindness.
  15. WAVE OF LIGHT | October 15th Wave of Light is a very significant day of remembrance and awareness of our community calendar. At 7pm you are invited to light a candle to honour and remember all of the babies and children who have died. If everyone does this, there will be a continuous wave of light around the world for 24 hours. Share your candles and children with the world.
  16. FULL MOON RETREAT | We are now half way through our Capture Your Grief experience so I wanted to take some time to retreat a little and give everyone some rest from all the thoughts and feels. This evening there is going to be a beautiful full moon rising. Google the time that it rises in your city and take some quiet time out to watch it. Share a photo of the moon rising in your part of the world and make sure you share where you watch it from. Today take regular moments out to stop what you are doing and turn your attention to your breathing. Place one hand over your belly and the other over your heart. Close your eyes, breathe deeply as you feel your own heartbeat. I will be hosting a live guided meditation on facebook and everyone is welcome to join in. I will post the time of the meditation closer to the day.
  17. SACRED SPACE| Do you have a special place that you visit to be with your children? A place that you feel connected to? Maybe it is their grave, or a beautiful garden, beach or forest. Maybe it is a special spot dedicated to them in your home, like a shrine or altar. What does this place mean to you? Why that place? If you haven’t got a sacred place that you visit maybe have a think about finding a beautiful place or space to remember them. You could create one in your own home or garden. If you would like to create a space in your home or garden, put on some beautiful music, make yourself a cup of tea and light a candle. Clear the space so it is clean and new. Think about what you would like to place in this space. Some ideas are fresh flowers, a candle, photographs, pieces of paper with your favourite quotes of poetry, an ornament that represents your child.  The beauty about your space is that you can make it whatever you desire and it will grow, change and evolve over time. It’s a lovely idea to keep a photographic record of how it changes with your grief and life experience. I light a candle or some incense every morning and every night in my space. If you are lost for ideas, you can visit my pinterest page.
  18. HEALING THERAPIES | Have you discovered any healing therapies in your life after loss? Please share what has helped you.
  19. GRIEF RITUALS | Creating rituals in grief do wonders for healing your heart. Do you have any grief rituals? Maybe something you do on special dates like birthdays or anniversaries? How do these rituals help you?
  20. GRATITUDE | Telling people to be grateful while they are grieving is kind of absurd. You cannot force a person to feel gratitude, just like you cannot force someone to feel forgiveness. You either feel it or you don’t. I remember when I started on this journey of grief, people always said count your blessings and be grateful for what you have. I remember wanting to scream in their faces! But I took note of what they were saying and I started keeping a gratitude journal. I started writing down anything I felt grateful for and before to long gratitude lifted me out of a dark pit of despair. What are thoughts about gratitude? Do you feel it and if so, share something you are grateful for.
  21. RELATIONSHIPS | How have your relationships changed? Did you lose any? Have you made new friendships?
  22. PEARLS OF WISDOM | Do you have any words of wisdom to share that you have found helpful? It could be from a writer, speaker, philosopher, maybe even a friend. Feel free to share quotes, poetry, song lyrics or just ideas. I invite you to share a message of hope for all the newly bereaved parents and loved ones out there.
  23. SOUNDS, SEASONS + SCENTS | There are reminders of our children everywhere. We find them in songs, in scents and different seasons. Share the things that bring you closer to your children. Feel free to share a song that reminds you of them.
  24. CONSCIOUSLY BECOMING | So many of us split our lives into a timeline of before and after our children died. Who were you before your children died? Who are you now? Who are you now in this present moment? What are you feeling? Have you been irrevocably changed by the death of your children? How are you different now? Do you love anything about the new you? Do you want and old part of you back? Who are you becoming?
  25. I AM | Finish these 5 sentences

I wish ________________________

I remember _______________________

I could not believe _____________________

If only _______________________

I am _____________________

  1. #WHATHEALSYOU | Turning the WHY into What Heals You? has been one of my greatest healers. Whenever I found myself asking “why did this have to happen. Why me? Why him?” etc etc I started asking myself what heals me? I revisited passions of mine and spent a little bit of time each day giving those passions my attention. Before too long, my life started becoming beautiful again. Share about what heals you and if you are not sure, have a think about what it is you ar passionate about. What heals you if often hidden there.
  2. FAMILY IS FOREVER | Description to come soon.
  3. SELF COMPASSION | Self Compassion is integral to healing your broken heart. You can start to practice more self compassion by showing yourself a little more love and care. Do you have any self-care practices? What are your thoughts on taking care of yourself.
  4. GIVE AWAY YOUR LOVE | One of my greatest healers when it comes to mending my own broken heart has been sharing kindness with strangers. Today you are invited to perform an act of kindness. Spread kindness wherever you go today. In all your interactions, be an example of love and compassion and see if it helps your heart. You are welcome to share what you did or you can keep it private and just share how it made you feel. It is completely up to you.
  5. MY PROMISE TO YOU | I made a promise to my son a few years ago to live my life to the fullest in honour of him. I have succeeded and failed at that promise many time but what matters most is that it has helped me to hold onto love when there is only darkness and to always try my best to make him proud of me. What promise would you like to make to your child?
  6. SUNSET REFLECTION | More information on this special day to come.