A HANDFUL OF LEAFLETS AND SENT INTO THE NIGHT
As I looked at other peoples stories on the internet, one thing became clear, the hurt and needlessness that comes with the loss of a child is so heartbreakingly devastating and destroying both to families as well as to others who is involved. In our case we found that generally, the first line of support was amazing, from the police and ambulance crew who came to our aid within minutes to the accident and emergence doctors and nurses who dealt with George with compassion and care.
As we was sent into the night nothing felt real, we stayed at the grandparent’s house, who seemed to be given the role of both our carer and nursemaid for the children. They also was going through hell, trying to keep under control for the pair of us. It was a few days later that I said to Sarah “what should we be doing, should someone be contacting us?”
As we was so unaware what to do or even who to talk to, each step was hard if not impossible to take. We was left to muddle through this difficult time blindly, I called a local bereavement counselor who was brilliant, but had limited funding, we was informed that the service may be closing at the end of the month.
We did experience a number of failings, George’s burial looked at if it was going to be canceled, there was delays on transporting him from hospital to hospital, losing items of clothing and non-returning of phone calls was just a few difficulties we faced. Things however did work out, George was returned to our loving arms.
Looking back at the events of the evening and the weeks that followed, I was left thinking that things could have been done differently, we were let down, not by anyone in particularly but by a system that is either out of date or isn’t in place. While working with our counselor a number of changes have been made, suggestions have been put into practice and hopefully communication from departments have been made.
Still I feel more can be done to ease the unnecessary worries, so I’ve been looking at the idea of putting memory boxes first into the Fylde coast Accident and Emergency departments and Hospice, if the scheme is successful extend it to Lancashire A&E departments, these will contain only things which the grieving parent(s) may find important either in the first few hours or coming weeks, the Items I believe would be best suited would be a simple information leaflet pointing out what steps to expect, a leaflet from the bereavement councilor and relevant contact numbers, a clean baby grow and blanket, little keep sake bags for a lock of babies hair, inkless print kit for baby hand and foot print, a teddy elephant called Jummy for the baby to keep him/her safe in the hospital, and a candle to feel at peace.