** trigger warning – the post is about baby loss **
As many Gin Funders will know, MGFers are marvellous at rallying around parents in need to ensure #noparentleftbehind. One of the ways in which we do our rallying is by supporting MGF parents and their families in times of need. In the past year we’ve cleaned one family’s home in preparation for their baby to return home after heart surgery, members have donated Christmas gifts to the teenagers of Abbey Manor college and within an hour of a request going out for an old phone, one was delivered to a Gin Family whose terminally ill parent was in a hospice…the list goes on because Gin Funders are a generous, compassionate group.
MGF is a trusting community of parents who will be touched by different stories, or respond to the same stories in different ways (and not always in public). When lovely Gin Funder Iona read Caro’s post about her competition entry to win an ‘ashes to glass’ keepsake in memory of her baby Elijah who was stillborn in December, she leapt into action and set up a gofundme page so that Caro will have that keepsake even if she doesn’t win the competition.
“Understandably a lot of people didn’t know what to say to me when we lost Elijah or perhaps they thought they would upset me if they spoke about what had happened. I found myself trying to appear like everything is ok and instead put their focus onto Emmanuel to avoid people feeling awkward or uncomfortable around me.
I believe that if there was more awareness and conversation around stillbirth my experience would have been different.
I was really nervous about opening up about what happened when Elijah and Emmanuel were born and although I’m often accused of ‘oversharing’ on my Facebook it’s never really my innermost thoughts, just pictures and memories. This is because at times I’ve felt i’m not supposed to be sad anymore as if there is some sort of timeframe for grief and that people feel I should be grateful that ‘it was ONLY one twin I lost and not both’.
Of course, I do feel truly blessed to have delivered Emmanuel safely and grateful that he is here to brighten up my days but that doesn’t take away from the fact that I am still a grieving parent.
I hope that my story helps others who have been in or may find themselves in the same situation and let’s them know that it is ok to talk. The only feelings you need to focus on are your own. This is your experience, your reality and your unique journey.”
We’re half way to the £500 target already but MGF-HQ would love to help Iona reach that target for Caro, Elijah’s twin, Emmanuel and the rest of her family. If more than the target is raised, any additional money will be donated to the bereavement suite at the PRU hospital where Caro, Elijah and Emmanuel were so gently and thoughtfully cared for.
Iona is delighted with the response so far:
“When I recently saw that one of our mummies was trying to receive likes and shares in order to get her baby’s ashes made into a ring I really wanted to help. I am touched by the messages I received from this wonderful mummy and I’m just so grateful to everyone that donated. I hope this can bring much comfort to Caro x”
You can donate to the page here: http://www.gofundme.com/2tf6xp8