November has become a weirdly emotional month for me over the last six years. It’s always been special because my Dad’s birthday is in November but for six years this month has also been tinged with sadness and wondering what might have been. In a different world I’d be running around like a headless chicken organising a sixth birthday party. Maybe the house would accommodate more dolls and sparkly things, or maybe I’d have an even bigger pile of sticks by my front door right now. Of course, I’ll never know, and that sixth birthday will never get to be celebrated. I find myself saying goodbye again to the hopes and dreams I once had for the second child who never made it into my arms. Six years on and it’s still very much inside me, more contained these days, but the pain is still there. Saying Goodbye by Zoë Clark-Coates written for all the families out there, who’ve suffered baby loss at any stage.
I wasn’t totally sure how I’d feel about reading Saying Goodbye if I’m totally honest. But a few pages in, I found myself nodding and weeping as I followed Zoë’s very personal story. So much resonated, although I only dealt with one miscarriage, whereas Zoë and her family had to endure the loss of five babies. I shared the feelings, the despair and actually reading Saying Goodbye helped me to realise that actually it’s totally fine to still feel a terrible loss six years down the line. That I may have suffered a miscarriage fairly early on in my pregnancy, but that loss is still as valid as any other. That alone has helped me to be frank.
Not only does Zoë share her own journey through grief and motherhood but the second part of Saying Goodbye provides a 90 day process of support and guidance to help families through those first three months of torture after baby loss. It’s heart breaking to know that 250,000 babies will be lost in the UK this year. So many families will be enduring that pain. I wish I’d been able to read Saying Goodbye in 2011 when I felt lost and alone. When I felt that I wasn’t really allowed to feel loss for a baby that hadn’t been born.
Putting her training as a counsellor into practice Zoë offers advice in a 90 day diary format, to help families get through each day and those first big steps. She also suggests a task each day to get you through, all things I’d wished I’d had to read at the time. I’ve been really touched by Saying Goodbye, but in a positive way, and I hope others will too. I’ve included my Amazon Affiliate link below for your reference, in case you know someone who might find some help and support too.
So on Armistice Day this year, my ‘Poppy’s’ due date anniversary, I’ll feel that actually, if I want or need, to shed a tear, that it’s ok, it’s fine, and there are others out there who know exactly how I’m feeling. I’m not alone, and saying goodbye again might not be quite so hard.
disclosure: we were sent the item mentioned in exchange for an honest review