Our beautiful baby daughter Anabelle was born sleeping June 2010.
Blessed with the screaming arrivals of our gorgeous rainbow sons,
Alexander October 2011, Zachary November 2013 and Lucas July 2016.

After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows
Heartbreak. Joy. Death. Life. But most of all Love.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

The Fourth - Support Circles

Already two days behind. The demands of a new baby, keeping on top of a rainbow children filled house, choosing sleep over finding the time to blog. I knew it would be harder to make myself make time for this this year! 

Support Circles. 

I think nearly everyone in the grief community, would agree that in the aftermath of unfathomable profound grief, all your relationships take a battering to one extent or another.  

Marriages, partnerships, friendships, family links. 

There is so much truth in the saying finding out who your real friends are.

Some relationships falter, some relationships fail, but some will weather well and come out stronger than ever.  Finding out who your real friends are. 

Some people cannot cope with your grief and drift away quietly. Some people unbelievably betray you. Some relationships are so irreparably damaged that there is no going back. Some will over time start to recover and paper over the cracks, but will never be the same again. We're cautious with our trust now. Secondary losses. (Click to open)

We've been there.

Some friendships and family links took a battering. 

And it hurt.  Some people we miss. Some people we didn't. Some people we realised we were better off without. 

But the people you're left with, the ones that had the strength of character to weather the storm with you, to hold you together, to be a shoulder to cry on, to be a person to rant and rave at, to be the person you could take it out on, to be the person that tried so very hard to understand you; they are beautiful thing. 

Finding our who your real friends are. Finding out the family you can rely on, lean on. 

People you might not have expected it to be. People who kept loving you even when you weren't very loveable. Who keep loving you when you're not very loveable. 

A long-suffering husband, parents. Those who've seen me at my rock bottom worst and never gave up on me, even when I've pushed their love and support away. Closed in on myself, lashed out and let grief devour. Jon, Mum and Dad, unfaltering, always there. 

In those early days leaning heavily into online grief support charity networks. Bereaved parents networks. Finding people who had lived it too. I lived through a virtual support network for the first 18 months after Belle died, posting almost daily on the Sands forum or Mumsnet. And then I found I didn't feel like it was a good fit anymore. I wasn't there anymore, I couldn't immerse myself in such raw grief anymore, it wasn't helping me heal. I spend little time immersed in online bereaved parent networks at all these days. They had their time. They're still there in the background, I still dip in and out of the facebook groups from time to time, other Mum's a similar length along this grief journey as me, but I've noticed I'm not really there in that place so much online anymore. 

There was an undeniable shift in friendship groups. Before friends. In the midst of it all friends. Friends who accepted me as I was then, and as I am now; good days, bad days and all those in-between days. New best friends. After friends. Friends who didn't know the old me but were there at the beginning of life After Anabelle. Fellow bereaved parent friends, who have their own stories, own dead children too. Sands events and Rainbow Baby coffee mornings. Reaching out and making real life links with people who've been there too. Newer friends. More recent links. People who may not even know that much, or anything, about our grief.

Support Circles (Click to open) 

I've been lucky. Many of my relationships survived. There are people I can lean on. People who really want to know me still. And that is so important because grief doesn't end. It changes, it shifts, but there is no end.  

Support circles. They are the core to surviving. 

Capture Your Grief 2016. Day 4. Support Circles.


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After Anabelle - Raising Rainbows. I'm Caz, Mummy to beautiful angel Belle and my wonderful rainbow boys, Xander, Zachy and Luc. Wife to Jon. Twitter @cazem Instagram @cazzyem
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