Day 25 of Capture Your Grief (in memory of Freddie Leigh Bromley) and the subject title today is ‘#sayitoutloud‘.
#SayItOutLoud is The STILL Project’s famous hashtag. STILL is a feature-length documentary film project aimed at breaking the cycle of silence surrounding pregnancy and infant loss. STILL will tell the stories of individuals and families from all walks of life who have suffered the death of a baby during pregnancy or infancy.
Since losing Freddie I learnt about this project and most recently came across an interview with Leroy, a grandfather of a stillborn, which was taken as part of the STILL research. The interview video is only seven minutes long but I found it so touching. I even sent the link to my father as I thought it might help him hear what another grandfather is going through. I especially love when Leroy says he now looks forward to seeing his grandchildren’s fingerprints around his house.
This project and video got me thinking about how important it is to acknowledge the birth and loss of a child and #sayitoutloud, regardless of when you lose them. So I have chosen to use the image of our family notice in the Guernsey Press of Freddie’s death for this subject.
In the last week or so of my pregnancy I had time to partly prepare Freddie’s birth announcement and had it ready to finish with the date, weight etc. When Freddie passed I was still keen to have our announcement put in the birth section with a slight change in wording but when we met with our funeral director he explained to us that in our circumstances, it was normal to put it in the death section rather than the birth section.
I was taken aback as I still considered my son to be born but took their advice and moved it to the death section. I felt like my son had skipped the birth section and went straight to the death section. What happened to announcing his birth? He was still born inside of me and then born earth side, just sadly not alive. I can see it from both sides but as a grieving mother I would have preferred it to be included among the births.
Maybe it was part of my way of coping with the loss that I didn’t want to fully admit I had lost him but I still think it is important that the birth should be acknowledged.
Looking back now with the knowledge and growing confidence I have, I think I should have been more assertive and requested it feature as a birth notice. I just hope that other people in our situation have the confidence to speak up, stand up for their baby’s birth and #sayitoutloud.