Emma Poore is a bereaved mother whose baby daughter Lydie died on April 1st and was born on April 4th 2010.
I went on a writing course a couple of years ago with the intention of possibly dipping my toe in to the world of children’s writing and illustration… maybe, someday. Where are you Lydie? is not the first book I intended to write however it transpires it is the first book I needed to write. It is my sincere hope and wish that Where are you Lydie? might help the many children and families who find themselves walking the same path as us. SANDS helped me enormously in the initial months after Lydie’s death and I am hugely humbled to have their endorsement and support in helping to launch my book. Every book sold will contribute towards this amazing charity’s work supporting bereaved families.
As a parent to have to tell your very young child that the unthinkable has happened; that their baby brother or sister has died is something no one can truly fathom… unless they have experienced it.
George was three, almost four years old when Lydie died.
He was devastated and confused. He asked lots of questions many of which I found unbearably painful to answer, but I knew he deserved an answer. Just because he was 3 years old it didn’t make his grief any less than mine or Tim’s but he had no concept or resolved thoughts about death at such a young age. In the first days after Lydie’s death, I often said the wrong thing to George without realising it, ultimately because I wanted to protect him. I said she had “gone to sleep” and then George would not go to sleep. I said she was “ill” and then when he was ill he’d worry he was going to die. Every day I’d wait till George was in bed before I would allow myself to really let go and grieve, to collapse into sorrow. George was grieving too and I didn’t know how to help him. I didn’t know how to help myself or my husband Tim.
A good friend handed me a leaflet, “This is a baby loss charity, they have a website and a support line that you could call, it might help, when you’re ready…”
I was never going to be ready, I didn’t want any support, I didn’t want to talk to someone, I didn’t want to accept that my baby was dead, my beautiful little girl.
But I did call…it took a lot of courage to pick up the phone and dial the number. A couple of times I just hung up before anyone answered. What could they possibly say that could help? My heart had been torn to pieces, my world shattered and broken beyond repair.
“Hello you’ve come through to the SANDS support line.”
And from that moment started a relationship that held me together for many months to come. Every time I called, the same member of staff answered. It was quite unbelievable when they have a team of volunteers but I believe it was meant to be…
I was able to voice some of my most harrowing thoughts, worries and fears. I could talk about my grief and anger without fear of judgement. They gave me the emotional space and time that I so desperately needed to talk about my daughter, to talk about Lydie. They were compassionate, they listened and they gave me the support we so desperately needed both emotionally and practically where others perhaps could not. I felt understood. They gave me a sense of hope when all I felt was hopeless.
SANDS helped George, Tim and I so we could walk together through our grief, holding hands.
They are an amazing charity and I am so thankful I made that first call…
If you would like to purchase a copy of Emma's book, click here.
Note: A percentage of all sales will be donated to Sands to support our work to reduce the numbers of babies dying and to ensure the best possible care and support when a baby does die.
If you need support, you can download for free the Sands Bereavement Support Book or you can also download the Sands Bereavement Support App on your smartphone or tablet, or by visiting www.sands.org.uk/app Find out about other ways Sands offers support at www.sands.org.uk/support