Chris was a lover of life and achieved so much in the short 15 years of his life. On August 14th 2006 Chris went to Capel Curig in North Wales with 5 friends that year had been a very hot summer and that weekend there was a heavy rainfall that caused an extreme waterfall. Chris fell into the waterfall. He was sucked back into a cave below and his trainer was caught in a branch of a tree. A team of divers and search and rescue dogs plus locals searched downstream for him for 7 hours his body was recovered at 7.03 that evening.
My life changed that day ….
Within a week of the funeral I began what I never imagined would be a legacy in Chris’s name educating over 500.000 young people across North Wales and the UK about water safety. I have won many Awards for my work. However the pain never leaves you … I guess acceptance is the final destination for grief but anniversaries still bring those painful feelings to the fore.
In the early days around 18 months after losing Chris I attempted suicide on two occasions, I don’t tell this for pity I tell it to help others because if I can recover from this dark place then I feel anyone can. It took lots of personal development work and I found myself on an amazing Spiritual path which I follow to this day. I truly believe there is so much more to life than we realise and have had too many signs that Chris is with me always… Rainbows … I feel them before I see them. They come at times when I need them and when important things are coming. Butterflies one day I walked the path to Angel Bay where I have scattered his ashes I had a strange feeling …. Suddenly a host of white butterflies were coming towards me they settled on my body and I felt myself opening my arms … People stared in amazement … It felt like the hug I’d yearned for for years.
Today I am looking forward to taking a huge leap with my Water Safety business teaching teachers to educate young people in schools. It is hoped that with our new plans we will educate over 50.000 young people a year. A Legacy that will live on long after I do …
I live in hope that when my time comes to meet Chris once again, in his Castle In The Sky, we will both be reunited for the rest of eternity.
If you enjoyed reading this inspirational story then please check back this week as others share their stories too. Find out more information here.
The amazing Sue France shared hers on Monday here’s the link.
The fantastic Kiki Deville shared hers on Tuesday here’s the link.
It was 5 years ago now that my world shattered and changed forever.
Let me start at the beginning… 2015 was a year full of so many different emotions and brand news that I had to get my head around. In the May I suffered a brain haemorrhage and ended up as an inpatient which is how I first learnt I was pregnant. I was shocked, overwhelmed, overjoyed, and confused. I didn’t think it would happen for me.
It was a scary beginning, trying to recover from what had happened to me and to now protect my unborn baby. I was discharged from hospital and had a new lease of life. I was so excited to know that I would soon become a mummy. I started my pregnancy journey as most do – having your 12 week and your 20-week scans. I remember feeling apprehensive but bubbling with excitement. At my 20-week scan my little baby kept hiding – I was sent out and told to do star jumps and bounce to try and get him moving. He was just not playing ball. I ended up having 3 appointments for my 20 weeks as he was being so stubborn.
On the third visit… no one expects to be met with those concerned eyes as they look back at you having scanned your baby. Instantly I knew something was wrong and my stomach knotted so hard, my chest crushed, and my throat fought back hard to stop the tears. “I’m not quite sure but something is wrong with your baby’s heart”. I’ve always thought ever since that my little boy was trying to hide his heart problem so he could live.
This is where my journey began with my little heart warrior. I was transferred to a heart specialist hospital for the remainder of my pregnancy and on Christmas Day 2015, my little boy, Joshua, was born, 2 weeks early.
The love that fills your body as you welcome this little human that you created is so incredibly powerful and one that never ever leaves you.
Joshua was born with severe Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). It is one of the most severe heart conditions. Joshua was whisked away very quickly following his birth and prepared for transfer to the Royal Brompton Hospital. This became our home for almost 7months. At day 2 of life, he underwent his first surgery. The first is always the riskiest as they are so fragile. He found recovery hard but as we soon realised Joshua had immense fight in him as well as one of my traits – stubbornness!
At 4 months he then had stage 2 of his surgeries as he started to struggle. Luckily Joshua was a big boy for a heart baby which served him well and enabled staged 2 to happen earlier than planned.
Joshua was a character and became so loved and known to fellow Brompton families and the staff. He was the happiest little thing, with the chubbiest cheeks. He showed so much concern for other babies when they cried and fought so hard throughout his journey.
We were able to take Joshua home twice during his life – once in the May and the second in the July – both for short periods as sadly he deteriorated and had to be taken back in.
In this time, we witnessed our little boy grow and develop into such a beautiful, kind little soul. He was infectious! He also endured things you’d never wish on anyone. There were some truly enormous highs and some heart-breaking lows. However, Joshua had this smile that made any bad day instantly fade away.
Sadly, on his 9month birthday, after having spent a great day round my mum and dads, baking cakes and generally being so happy. He later deteriorated at home, and we had to call for an ambulance who took him into our local A&E.
This night has replayed out in my dreams most nights since I lost him and haunts my thoughts when awake. Things went wrong that night at our local and sadly at 2:34am the following morning he had his 4th and final cardiac arrest and left this world. The sound that left me as he lay lifeless and the begs I remember making to bring him back consume me. I sat holding him for 6hours after he died, and I felt him grow so cold on my chest, so heavy. My life literally crumbled. The feeling of losing your child is indescribable and the pain is unbearable. I just wanted so badly to switch places with him, take his pain away and to let him live. Let him have his firsts, let him experience life’s events, fall in love, have his own family.
The weeks and months that followed are a blur now, but I remember feeling so incredibly numb and so lonely. I didn’t want to burden anyone and tried hard to show I was okay, but you never really are okay after such an event. You just learn to deal with it and how to carry on somehow.
Each year I found myself writing Joshua a poem – a letter almost of how I was feeling, how I missed him so and what the last year had entailed. It has become my promise and almost my yearly tribute to him. I think of him every single day and often get caught off guard and just sob. I feel guilt a lot, especially when I laughed for the first time after he passed away. I felt physically sick that I had shown an ounce of happiness.
I have found life hard since and I now suffer with anxiety, but I found throwing myself into work or a project and keeping busy keeps me in an okay place. I have met a man who I am in-love with and have also had 2 other children, Harrison, and Millie since. Sadly, Harrison too was born with a heart condition. They are both so amazing and fill me with so much love. I also sadly had a miscarriage and lost twins before welcoming Millie.
Loss isn’t spoken about anywhere near enough and has a stigma that almost makes it so it shouldn’t be spoken of, but there are so many of us that have experienced loss. We all deal with it in very different ways but support from others is an enormous and powerful thing. Being able to share your story or provide a shoulder to cry on for someone else is huge. Loss is a lonely place, but we should be able to say their name without feeling shame or being met with awkwardness or eyes that look away. I absolutely love being a mum and feel so incredibly lucky to have had all of my children.
Since losing Joshua, my father and I have made it our mission to bring positive from Joshua’s death. I didn’t want it to have been for nothing. We have set up a charity called “The Joshua Lynagh Foundation”, The JLF, which went live on his anniversary this year – 26th Sept. The charity is to help others who have children with congenital heart disease (CHD). I want to ensure no one has to experience what I did. We aim to raise awareness of CHD, provide education to families and medics (especially those medics at local hospitals who do not have the expertise to deal with cardiac children) and help empower families, so they feel heard and not isolated. My ultimate aim is to learn from failures we experienced that night and to ensure they do not occur again.
You can learn more about Joshua’s story and The JLF at www.jlftrust.org.uk – you can help raise awareness of the charity by liking, sharing and donating. We can also be found on various social media sites:
Our first fundraising project, “ECHO”, is to raise funds to purchase a Vivid IQ portable echocardiographic machine with three probes (baby, child, and teenager – S12, S6 and S4) for The Royal Brompton Hospital.
This piece of equipment will help diagnose life-threatening heart conditions. It will be used on between 500-1,000 children per year, helping up to 5,000 children over a 5-year period.
As a portable machine, it will allow clinical staff to take it to other hospitals where children present to A&E very sick and for newborn babies. These hospitals will include Chelsea and Westminster, St Mary’s, Hemel Hempstead, and The Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals. The total cost is approximately £50,000.
This piece of equipment will help save children’s lives. It will enable clinicians to scan patients to diagnose: sick newborn babies, children with holes in their hearts, and those who develop heart problems, such as myocarditis (inflammation of the heart) or cardiomyopathy (heart muscle disease).
If you enjoyed reading this inspirational story then please check back this week as others share their stories too. Find out more information here.
The amazing Sue France shared hers on Monday here’s the link.
The fantastic Kiki Deville shared hers yesterday here’s the link.
Happy 6th Birthday to my darling girl; the girl who made me a mummy and taught me how to be strong, even when I don’t want to be.
Today you should be excitedly opening your birthday cards and presents before school. Perhaps taking sweets or cake or fruit in for your classmates to enjoy whilst wearing your birthday girl badge.
We would have probably done you a birthday party in the back garden in the sunshine the weekend just gone. Some of your friends would have come that you have been friends with pretty much since birth, school friends too and also your amazing cousins. I bet your baby sister would have had a meltdown because she wasn’t the centre of attention for once too.
I wonder what we would have bought you for your birthday? Judging by your cousin who is seven now probably a new bike or perhaps you are still as musical as you were aged 15 months so maybe we got you a piano? Your Aunty Kate would have made you the most amazing birthday cake too.
Anyway today we will do what we have done for the last 4 birthdays and we will take birthday balloons to your grave to say happy birthday to you darling girl. This year we have sent beautiful wild flower bouquets to your Grandmothers to make them smile through their tears.
Last year we gave party bags to all of the people who have supported us since you passed with sweets, mini champers (you did like your bubbles although not the alcoholic kind) and uniquely thoughtful gifts for them to make them smile.
In the years before that we always did random acts of kindness on your birthday like taking balloons and sweets to the Children’s Hospital; delivering cakes and balloons to your old nursery and leaving token gifts of sweets all around the local area and park. Alas once again for the second year we are scuppered by COVID19. I will do some random acts of kindness in a different way so check back here to find out what they were as if I reveal all now well they won’t be random and a surprise will they?
As we always do we will donate money to various charities, including giving money for a little child your age to receive a school uniform and toys that their parents wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. We have renewed sponsorship of a little girl your age in Africa paying for her to complete her schooling. We also renewed sponsorship of the elephants at Chester Zoo in memory of your favourite elephant toy.
Does anyone have any good ideas for something we can do this week?
I will also be starting the ball rolling to establish a charity in your honour to enable us to support many smaller causes and charities so we can help lots more people. It will also continue to build your legacy.
I hope we will make you proud little girl. You had such a big heart, such an appetite for life and a calm wisdom about you that was so advanced for your years.
Your little sister I know misses you even though she never got to meet you. She misses not having a sibling to share things with. She adores her cousins and whenever they visit she loves spending time with them. She shares her toys and games generously. She loves other children so I know she would love you.
Both your dad and I miss you more than you can imagine. We would do anything to have you back with us again. To have you arguing and squabbling with your sister, to watch you teaching her how to do things and to listen as you read her stories.
Sending you so much love on your birthday and wishing we could cuddle you once more.
Mummy, Daddy, Arthur (who is with you) and your baby sister Aurora
(who sang Happy Birthday to your Nanna a few days ago). xxx
Thanks for reading this and if you enjoyed it then please check out
I have delayed posting or commenting anything about the heartbreaking story of the loss of Meghan and Harry’s baby.
Was it royal?
There is a lot of debate as always in the media and online about whether it was or wasn’t a “Royal baby”. Well to be frank who cares if it was royal or not it was still the loss of a poor baby; someone’s baby; Meghan and Harry’s baby and Archie’s kid brother or sister. It is sad to hear of the loss of any child and it is equally sad to see they haven’t had any family support (that we can see publicly) from the Windsor side anyway.
The lack of support and understanding for child loss is palpable. It is a shame that the official stance from the Royal family was to refuse comment and to keep it as a private matter, when clearly the taboo of child loss does need to be spoken about rather than a continued adoption of the English way of pretending nothing has happened and simply moving on.
I am hoping that privately the Windsor’s have reached out, especially to Harry. For a dad it can often be even worse support wise than it can for mothers of loss. I would imagine Harry could really use some support from his father and brother at this time. I hope privately that they have reached out to him and that he has had this.
MORE COMMON THAN YOU THINK
Meghan said in the eloquent column she wrote for the New York Times.
“I discovered that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with (unwarranted) shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”
‘She asks “Are we ok?” This is the question that all child loss sufferers need to be asked and we need to feel we can escape from the traditional English response of “I’m fine” or “I’m OK” to be more honest with our feelings in order to encourage others that it is ok to do so too.
FIRST CHRISSY THEN MEGHAN
Meghan and indeed Chrissy Teigen earlier in the year were both criticized for their honesty and openness around the loss of their children when in fact they should be praised for it (as well as given love and support). They are doing a great service to the child loss community. It is an exclusive club that no one wants membership of and lots don’t feel they can admit they are members of it either so the more celebrities open up discussions about the subject then the better the fuel to help rid us of this awful taboo. By enabling people to talk about Meghan or Chrissy rather than themselves it enables greater dialogue around the subject avoiding the fear of offending a friend or loved one.
NEW YORK TIMES
If you want to read Meghan’s article in the New York Times here’s a link to it. Thank you to Meghan and Chrissy for sharing their pain with us to help others to speak out too.
I had a new business meeting today and mentioned Violet Skies in it. The lady I was chatting to then opened up that she had lost two children herself too and praised the fact collectively we are helping to encourage dialogue around the subject.
So let’s get talking about it. Why not be open about it? Let’s ask “How are you today?” and “Are you ok?” genuinely ready for an answer that doesn’t include the word “fine”.
Please let me know what you think as always and if you can share that would be amazing too.
Lots of love
Always Violet Skies
If you enjoyed this then you might enjoy these blog posts too –
Lots of Aurora’s friends are now getting to the age where little brothers and sisters are arriving. She has been obsessed with babies for the last 6 months but now seems to notice and comment on photographs more than before.
The photographs she comments on are those of her big sister who technically should be older than she is now at age 5 but of course she died at 15 months so will be a baby forever. Aurora is finding it a hard concept to understand. She understands when she points at photos of my niece as a baby and I can say that was what she was like as a baby because she knows her as an older girl now.
When she points to say “my baby” at photos of Violet, because in the photos she is indeed a baby compared to 2 year old Aurora, and we say that’s your big sister Violet she looks very confused.
Today in the park she met her nursery friend Erin who was there with her new baby sister & on the way home she said my baby sister & I said yes you have a big sister who’s a baby. Even I’m confused goodness help a 2 year old!
Any advice as to what we say to her so she understands better?
The unknown challenges you face with a rainbow toddler. Please let me know if you’ve been through anything similar.
Always Violet Skies,
Love Sarah xx
If you like this post then you might enjoy these –
Well what a weird year this one has been. Even September feels a little different than usual because we are unable to have people round to the house & with a little one entertaining at home is what we do really so that’s out then. Our fire pit & BBQ haven’t had that much use this year.
I used to love this time of the year being a nerd at school I loved going back for challenging new lessons, my new notebooks & stationery. I try to embrace these old memories of September by learning new things & treating myself to new stationery too.
In recent years September has always been a tough month for us. The beginning of the month saw us saying goodbye to our little rainbow boy Arthur (read more about him here), the middle of September saw us spend a few weeks in the children’s hospital with Violet & then the end of the month was when she sadly died.
Usually at the end of September we try to escape on holiday somewhere to try to take our minds off it but for obvious reasons we won’t be going overseas for sunshine this year. Not because I am fearful of my own safety I should add but more because we aren’t willing to take any risks with the health of our rainbow toddler no matter how slight they may be.
I recently heard something an amazing man called Les Brown said that resonated with me so wanted to share.
He said “I’m not going to let adversity define who I am and how I show up. It shows you who you are. It will either make you or break you.”
I really resonated with this. Yes I have been through adversity but I’m not going to let it define who I am. Yes it has changed me and made me see the world differently but it will not stop me from being me.
What about you? What resonates with you?
It’s a great time for reflection.
Are you back to school? What do you like about September?
Always Violet Skies xxx
If you enjoyed reading this then perhaps you might like –
Recently I’ve been beating myself up about putting on weight during lockdown and the fact I’ve not exercised a huge amount. My body isn’t how I’d like it to be. My heart is now fixed so there’s no physical reason for not doing more exercise.
My fixed heart now seems to have slowed my metabolism down because it is working more efficiently so I seem to be burning less calories – typical hey? Anyway I was moaning the other day to a friend and she reminded me that I have actually had 3 pregnancies/babies in 5 years which is quite a lot and a huge impact on your body. Add into that that I’ve also had and recovered from heart surgery after having a titanium device fitted inside it.
Looking back over 5 years
I had a very traumatic birth with my first baby Violet who was undiagnosed breach resulting in me being rushed into surgery shortly after the birth. She was blue lighted to Alder Hey in Liverpool where she underwent heart surgery at 4 days old. She survived that luckily and we took her home 10 days later with major chest wounds weighing less than 5 pounds. Anyone who has had a prem baby will understand the additional challenges with caring for a baby so small.
Childloss x 2
Then I’ve also had the trauma of losing two children. First Violet at 15 months old then my second baby Arthur. With Arthur we had to face the near impossible decision of a termination for medical reasons after hearing at his 20 week scan that his brain hadn’t developed at all and in fact was just fluid. We said goodbye to him at 22 weeks and he was stillborn.
We’ve then undergone a horrendous inquest hearing for Violets loss almost 2 years after she died having to relive every moment of it and I did that whilst heavily pregnant with Aurora my third baby.
I faced the additional stress of a rainbow pregnancy following those two losses whilst rehabilitating a German Shepherd and project managing a home extension that we lived in throughout too. All while still working as a PR consultant too.
Child with special needs
After Aurora was born we discovered she was deaf and so are now adjusting to raising a deaf child. She also doesn’t sleep so 2 years in we’ve had to adapt to only 4-5hours sleep maximum a night on a good day.
Other minor things
In the last 5 years of my life I’ve also gotten married, travelled round the planet twice, raised over £50k for Alder Hey hospital, had heart surgery and most recently a cancer scare (luckily now confirmed as nothing to worry about).
I also started this child loss blog to help others out there and to try to raise more awareness of the issues faced. I’ve started lecturing in marketing at university, launched a new travel business and also made more of my love for photography by studying for a diploma in it. Now with covid changing the landscape of my career in travel and hospitality PR too. Grounding airlines and closing bars/restaurants. The working me has seen a huge shift in my outlook and what I do.
I’d say that’s quite a lot in 5 years wouldn’t you? So you know what? I’m going to give myself a bloody break and a pat on the back for still being relatively sane. So what if I’ve put some weight on. I’m not going to stress about that at all and in the grand scheme of things now with covid challenges too who cares?
Make a list people
So my word of advice to anyone out there is to make a list of all the things you have faced, overcome, survived and achieved in the last 5 years. I bet like me you’ll be surprised and so try to recognise what you have actually done rather than beat yourself up because of a saggy tummy, grey hairs and wrinkles. See how amazing you actually are to have got to where you are today. What have you done, over come and experienced in the last 5 years?
Appreciate the now
I did think about doing a list for the last 18 years but that just made me feel very old and exhausted 😂maybe I will write a memoir someday to share the full story and it’ll be perfect bedtime reading (to send you all to sleep or you will think it is fiction).
Big love to you all and thanks for reading
Always violet skies xx
If you enjoyed this then you might also enjoy these posts –
I’ve not written a blog post for a fair few weeks (well over a month!) because to be honest I just couldn’t be bothered.
I wondered if anyone was actually reading these and so whether I should continue or not.
Then I did a few extremely honest captions on instagram and got a fair few comments back from people telling me thank you, as what I said really resonated with them too. Someone also thanked me for making them feel less alone and that they reached out to find my blog when they were at their lowest ebb. That my blog showed them they could move on too and that there was a glimmer of hope at the end of the apocalypse that is child loss.
I’m back… did you miss me? (don’t answer that!)
So I am back again with my ramblings and I hope you will find them insightful. I’m also going to re-jig my website a little over the coming months so posts are easier to search for and to find.
I know a fair few of us have found the last 3 months especially difficult as we adjust to a new way of life, perhaps facing new financial pressures leading to a change of outlook, lifestyle or having to rethink career or business goals.
I have tried my hardest to be positive about the situation even though work dried up, my birthday was in lockdown and we spent the majority of 3 months isolating to keep our toddler safe.
I volunteered my time to help the lonely elderly by making regular phone calls to them to give them a caring ear and someone who cared. I also gave some of my PR assistance for free to help charities out including setting up one to help benefit those struggling from lockdown who are self-employed missing out on government support.
Missing family and friends I found hard along with valuable social interaction for the greater good.
Now as lockdown eases a little, we have decided to venture out more to open spaces, parks and to meet friends and family, observing social distancing of course. This I find really does help my mood and improves perspective too.
I do feel as though I’ve also been a crap friend too over the last 3 months as I’ve been struggling somewhat but hope to make it up to you all during the rest of the year.
I’m thankful that lockdown had eased as this week it was Violet’s 5thbirthday, meaning that we could visit her grave and even more lovely was the fact that Chester Zoo reopened on her birthday. We sponsor the elephants there in her memory so like to visit them to remember her and this we got to do yesterday. It helped to make a very painful day a little brighter.
Gorgeous violet flowers at Chester zoo
Visiting Arthur’s Giraffes at Chester Zoo
Violet’s elephants at Chester Zoo
I still find I have a great deal of anger at the world because of Violet’s loss and my soul aches as though part of it has been ripped away.
I often think about what she would have been like as a 5 year old. What would she look like and sound like? What would she enjoy doing? How would she be?
I try to focus on the positives and doing good deeds for others to try to spread the joy that Violet embodied. She brought a calm stillness to those she met like a master of Zen, pretty rare in a baby.
We are paying for a 5 year olds school uniform in Violet’s memory to help a family who are struggling. I have also made up little party bags that will be delivered to friends this week to hopefully make them smile and spread some joy. Once again we have renewed sponsorship of the elephants at the zoo too. Some kind people have also donated to her fund so Alder Hey will once again benefit from Violet’s legacy.
It was lovely that quite a few friends and family remembered Violet on her birthday, surprisingly lots of people who never met her sent messages of support and even flowers.
I do find it additionally upsetting & heartbreaking though that lots of people who did know her very well didn’t remember or acknowledge her birthday. This makes it all the more painful for us.
At the end of the day the greatest comfort you can give to the parent of loss is to remember and talk about their child especially on their birthday.
Failing as a mum of loss
My mission as a mum of loss is to try to keep her memory alive and when those who were close to her fail to remember she existed I feel as though I am failing as her mother.
Please remember this with anyone in your life that has suffered the loss of a child or a spouse or sibling. A simple text message can mean the world to them. They want more than anything to bring their loved one back and one way to do this is via memories so help them to remember the positives.
I’ve been watching comedy to take my mind off things and this I thought was quite poignant by Jason Manford
“Just because you’re struggling it doesn’t mean you are failing” I will try to remember this.
Take care and spread the love if you can
Always Violet Skies
If you enjoyed reading this you might be interested in –
If you’ve ever lost anyone and especially if you’ve lost a baby or child then you will know more than most that life can give you almighty curve balls.
These sudden changes in circumstance if it involves the loss of a significant other or a child can feel like the curve ball is an asteroid sent for total destruction. If you have somehow managed to survive this mother of all apocalyptic curve balls then you will understand now why the curve ball of a virus leaves me shrugging saying “meh”.
Yes I’m in a high risk category because of my heart op recovery and if I catch the dreaded COVID-19 then could be very poorly. I’m self employed and my business is travel and hospitality. These industries are currently in free fall and I have mortgages to pay. I also have a house overseas again with a mortgage that I rent out to holiday makers, again that will be hit by this epidemic. People I’ve spoken to expect me to be far more stressed out and panic stricken than i actually am.
I think I’m so calm about it because you know what I’ve already been to hell and I lived there for a while. I’ve already had the very worst thing happen to me. This virus isn’t the very worst thing. I’ve lost 2 children and still I’m clawing my way back into a new reality.
I’m not overly worried because you know what? I’m a survivor. My family are survivors. We will get through this new challenge the way we have gotten through all the other sh*t that’s been thrown our way, over the years, and yes we’ve had a lot.
We will get through this new challenge with as always compassion for others, the adaptability to be able to seize every opportunity and by looking after ourselves to ensure we avoid taking unnecessary risks to our health.
This too eventually will pass and then people will be travelling, shopping and partying again until then please be kind to others.
In the words of the poet Bon Jovi “keep the faith” and wash your hands people!
So I have spent the last few years writing this blog about how to survive child loss and I’m pleased to say I have survived so far but then I saw the interview that HRH Meghan did when she was in Africa and still an HRH. Something she said in that interview really resonated with me and don’t get me wrong I’m not a huge royalist fan at all although I did love Suits!
Meghan said in that interview –
“it is not enough to just survive something, that’s not the point of life. “You have got to thrive”
This resonated with me as I suddenly realised that I owe it to my daughters (one an angel and one very much alive and thriving) and son’s memory to not just survive but to thrive.
Over the past few years the notion of enjoying something or loving life felt abhorrent to me. How could I do that when my daughter and son are dead? This abhorrent feeling has now been challenged by my rainbow baby who, as anyone who has met her will tell you, is larger than life and lights up a room as soon as she enters it; truly as her name means a Goddess of Light. How can we not strive to now enjoy life with her? I know Violet would want her sister to have a wonderful life and for us to enjoy our time with her too.
Now my heart is finally fixed it is surely not enough for me to just survive life?
It made me think that the last few years have been about me working hard to continue on with life, to go through the motions and to try to rebuild my confidence, by to a certain extent, doing the same things I used to enjoy and have always loved doing.
I’ve re-evaluated a little now and thought about the things in my life that despite childloss I actually enjoy. I love photography. My hubby bought me a camera for Christmas after we lost Violet to try to encourage me to take photos of landscapes and architecture, which were something I enjoyed. Check out some of my photos in my gallery here.
Confidence loss is real after child loss. A friend a few years ago suggested my photos were good enough to be exhibited (I laughed it off), another friend offered to display my photography for sale in a boutique hotel (again I laughed it off as felt it was certainly not that good) and then more recently another close friend and client suggested I really need to do something with my amazing photos. Even just typing this now a little voice of the old me (pre-child loss) is screaming in my head “take every opportunity” as the old confident me used to seize every moment and opportunity that passed her way.
I suddenly realized and recognise that I need more confidence in my abilities again. That I should invest more time in this hobby that I enjoy and that people seem to think I have a talent for. I’m now doing a Diploma in Photography to improve my technique and confidence. Another friend has now offered to feature my work on the front covers of his magazines. Wow just wow I’m blown away and for the first time I’m going to seize this opportunity rather than just brush it away as I have in the past.
Travel is another biggie for me. I’m a travel PR at heart and I have a real passion for this industry. A friend told me about a new type of business where you can qualify as an Independent Travel Agent working from home and fit the training in around your current lifestyle and work. So I decided in my new “thrive” mindset to go for it so I have now qualified as an Independent Travel Agent and this I feel will be a game changer to my family’s long-term happiness. We love to travel. We don’t travel anywhere near as much as we did but I love travel. I love talking about it. I love planning it so why not utilize my passion to help others?
We have family and friends all over the world so why should we not be able to earn commission whenever we travel to see them. I love travel and have been to nearly every continent on earth so why should I not share my passion with others. If I can help them to plan and book their dream trip then this is amazing. If I can help them to do start this business too so they earn commission from their own travel also amazing. This is a business that neatly weaves in with my PR career and my photography passion too plus I get to take the family along for the ride.
I’m going to try to write a little more in my blog about motivation and health too as now my heart is fixed as I need to get active and back into shape again. Don’t get me wrong I won’t be running any marathons anytime soon but would be good to get healthier.
Also going to continue to renovate our home hopefully to make it a nicer place for my daughter as she grows and my hubby.
I plan to work further on charitable causes too to build a legacy in my son’s memory so watch out for something happening Spring 2021!
Thought I’d post this cute video just because….
I’ve now had a spring clean of my life. How about you what do you hope to change or build more of now spring is here?
If you want any advice or to share your hopes then I’d love for you to get in touch or post on here.
Always Violet Skies xx
If you’ve enjoyed reading this then you might also enjoy these posts –