This post is probably most helpful to my friends that have sadly lost their babies recently.
I am privileged to be friends with some lovely people who have also had babies die. I have connected with people through Tamba and Sands mostly and have been lucky enough to share my story and hear about others people’s babies.
At the time that Charlie and Joshua died I didn’t really think I would need any other support apart from the support from Dominic and my family and friends.
To start with I began to write down my experience. I wanted as much detail as possible so that I would always remember everything. I found it very helpful to write down all of my story and began sharing it with anyone who would read it!
I also wanted some jewellery that I could wear all of the time. Dominic bought me a gold ring which I have worn everyday since with their names on and two stars. I also bought a locket to put their photos in. Much of my jewellery that I wear even now has some significance to the twins. I have a Pandora star ring, a bracelet full of twin related charms and a necklace with star charms, amongst other things. One part of my 18th birthday challenge is going to involve some new jewellery!
I began to buy anything star related or to do with angels as well as anything with Forget-me-nots on. It kept me busy! The only reason that we put up a Christmas tree a few months later was because I wanted to decorate it with stars and things with their names on. I still do -our theme for the tree is always the twins!
The thing I found most difficult was that the world and general life carried on as normal. I didn’t have any interest in everyday things, going to Tesco was just the worse. (I would walk around with my head down.) It was at this point that I realised I needed some more help with my grief. I contacted Sands and met some of my best friends now. And I got in touch with Tamba because I needed someone who would understand the whole ‘twins’ thing. When I spoke to the first person who had also lost her twins, the relief was incredible. I was also lucky that in my local Sands group there were a few people who had also lost twins that I could meet up with. We would just meet for coffee and spend hours chatting about our twins and sharing our photos. Sands also provided the chance to go along to support meetings. I have met such lovely people along the way. I will talk more about how my roles in Sands and Tamba have developed in a different post because for now it was just the support and the strength it gave me.
I also had a mission to find a candle with 2 wicks, one for each of them. It was quite a task but kept me busy for a while. I always light a candle on any significant dates such as Christmas day, our birthdays, Mother’s day etc. and sometimes just when I want to!
We were really lucky that we have so many photos of the twins, so we spent quite a while deciding which ones to print out, to put in frames etc. That also kept me occupied for the first few weeks; arranging their photographs albums. We have photos up around our house of Charlie and Joshua and I used to love it when I could hear Jess or Samuel telling their friends about their older twin brothers. I remember Jess wanting to take in a photo of them to school. Her first teacher was lovely and is a good friend of mine now.
I would say that my main way of dealing with my grief was to talk and talk about them: to Dominic, to my mum, to friends and other family members and also to my new Sands and Tamba friends. I loved to say their names, their weights, talk about their characters, share their photos. Once I even showed a poor girl in Argos my photo as she saw it in my purse!
Becoming pregnant again with Jess also helped me a lot. It was a worrying time but it gave us something to focus on and to look forward to.
I would say that the first year was the most difficult, the first’s of everything; Mother’s Day, Christmas, our birthdays – right up until their birthday. Luckily Jess had been born a week by then. We were just so pleased that she was Ok and we had a lovely family day on their birthday, starting at the cemetery, Jessica’s first visit! Then on to Stratford for the day. It was as lovely as it could be. For me particularly I just wanted to celebrate their day and keep their memory alive. It was hard but it was a special day.