Capture Your Grief 2013
Capture Your Grief 2013 - In Memory of Koby James
CarlyMarie at Project Heal is hosting the Capture your grief challenge 2013 to help heal and to raise awareness. I will be joining in the challenge, you can follow it here. CarlyMarie sets a subject for each day and I will take a photograph representing my journey for that word. 31 photos in 31 days.
This of course is in memory of Koby who is missed each and every day and loved with all our hearts.
DAY 2 : IDENTITY
My baby - Koby James Coram-Stanley, born 12.43am on 18/11/11. A pure soul who never got to breathe our air. He was, he is, and he always will BE.
"Life will return to normal" ... There are many myths and things people say to try and comfort you, but unless they have been there, they really have no idea. How can life return to normal? That normal included my baby who is no longer here, and will never be here. I don't get to hear him cry, watch him sleep, hold him, play with him, or see him grow. He doesn't get the future I imagined for him, or any future I didnt imagine. Normal would be my baby being here. Life is a NEW NORMAL which does go on yes, for us, without Koby here with us, but including him in what we do and remembering him and loving him forever.
I thought I'd share a happy memory. I have lots - some hopeful, some happy, lots terrified, in disbelief, sad, distraught, numb and everything in between.. But this photo I took of myself just after my 20 week scan - when I was happy and excited and had just found out I was having a little boy.
DAY 6 : RITUALS
DAY 7 : ME NOW
This is me now. Today I am 24 weeks pregnant with my rainbow baby. I miss you Koby every day and think about you daily. I wish I had made another 6 days with you to get to 24 weeks also, and given you a chance. This is very bittersweet. I am standing beside your garden, with the mosaic I made just after we lost you. Your star is there, along with that of your brothers and sister, and the star that is /was the hope of this rainbow which I now carry.
This blue/purple is the colour I associate with Koby. My Mum bought us a whole lot of these beautiful iris's to his funeral and to our house and ever since this has been 'his' colour. Koby's star on my mosaic is this colour too. This beautiful flower just came out yesterday - just in time for todays photograph.
DAY 9 : MUSIC
"Goodnight my Angel" ... You'll always be a part of me Koby
DAY 10 : BELIEFS
I don't know what I believe in really. I know after we lost Koby I thought if there was a God how could he take my baby for no apparent reason. Why would a God do this? I still find it hard to believe that little babies have to die. It makes no sense. But I do like to believe that Koby is in the 'heavens', up in the sky, the stars, watching down over us. He is happy and loved and a pure soul.
He is with other babies and people who has passed, in peace and in love. I believe he is also with me. I believe I see signs from him. After we lost him I saw rainbows all the time. When we were trying to conceive I'd see rainbows right when I needed them. When I had thought to give up on my hope of having another baby, when I was late and thought it couldn't possibly be, I asked him for a sign to tell me I should go into the supermarket to buy a test. There wasn't a sign. Nothing. I went in, and couldn't even find them so left, sad, and feeling lost. As I came out of that supermarket, on a clear day with no sign of rain, before or after, there was this huge rainbow right in the sky in front of me. I remember smiling and the thought popped into my head 'Mum it takes a while to make a rainbow you know'. I went to a different supermarket, found the test, and half an hour later was standing in my kitchen with hope and love and a positive result. I believe you are with me, I believe you are watching over me.
EMOTIONAL TRIGGERS Sometimes anything and everything, somethings the same thing wont effect me. Sometimes the same thing that made me cry yesterday will make me smile today.
DAY 12 : ARTICLE
DAY 13 : BOOK
This is my Journal. I am planning on printing these photos and what I have written and putting them in here.
DAY 14 : FAMILY
Lighting the candle for the International Wave of Light - started in NZ at 7pm
For me Spring is Koby's season - when the flowers are starting to bloom, the weather is starting to warm up ... new buds, and life. These are the blossoms coming out today on the apple tree in our driveway.
Time is a funny thing. How your perception of time can change. It has been 23 months since Koby was born. 23 months since we first said goodbye. It feels like yesterday, yet at the same time it feels like forever. Time is passing, yet time hasn't passed. 23 beads in this photo - one for each month. I was surprised by how many beads it looks like. I cant remember not missing him, and not loving him. I cant remember how I felt and how my days felt before he came into my life. I cant remember not feeling like part of me was missing. Yet, if I close my eyes, it was just yesterday. He is still my baby, yet it has been nearly 2 years. He will be my baby forever, my forever baby x
What do you want to let go of on this journey of grief? Is it fear? Guilt? Worry? Deep sadness? Regrets? This is difficult for me ... I think guilt - is there something I could have done? Should I have done something different? What if ... ? I'd like to release all the "what if's" - they come to me less now, but they still do. What if I had done this or that .. or hadn't done this or that? It was my body that failed, I feel guilty about that. Did I do something wrong? I feel guilty, but I don't know what I exactly I feel guilty about. Regrets - I wish I had opened his eyes ... I wish I knew what colour eyes he had. I wish I had hand/foot castings done. I so regret that. I wish I had a photo of just Koby and me. I wish I had held him more. I wish I had had a chance to hear him cry. I wish it was different. Some days I have acceptance. Some days I don't. I am ok with sadness. Sadness reminds me how much I love him. Its usually not overwhelming any more and I can smile from all he has given me. Sometimes it is, but that's ok too. Mostly I wish to release the guilt and the regrets. Because there is NOTHING I can do to change this.
My husband was my greatest support in the early days, holding me tight through my tears. I have also found great support in SANDS, in the meetings I went to, and the private Facebook group where everyone understands and you can say what you like. The wonderful people I have met because of Koby, have been support like no other, understanding and not judging. My lovely friends in Aussie, for listening ... and remembering. My children for including Koby automatically in what we do. Thank you to everyone, who has listened, and who understand Koby will be a part of my life forever.
My hope for the future is to find peace and happiness. My hope is that my rainbow baby will arrive safely, help heal, and bring happiness to us. My hope is that Koby is watching over us and knows how much we miss and love him. My hope is that noone else would ever have to go through this loss that seems so insurmountable.
DAY 21 : HONOUR
DAY 22 : WORDS
My forever baby I'll love you forever I'll love you for always As long as I'm living My baby you'll be
Both my husband and I got Koby's actual footprints tattooed onto ourselves. I love my tattoo so much. The jewellery I made, my first "Koby" Pendant, and now I wear the pendant with all the kids names on... and the little ring with my own 3 boys name.
DAY 24 : ARTWORK
This I created 2 weeks after we lost Koby. It took me all day every day and every night til I went to sleep for a week. It involved alot of smashing of tiles. The dark blue star is for Koby, the other blue and pink ones are for our other kids. The cream star was a counting mistake. Somehow I counted wrong... but decided to leave it there, and it became 'hope' and 'future' and 'love'. Turns out the star is all of those things and definately not a mistake. I feel Koby knew back then that this baby would be here, and that is why he is included in my artwork. This now lives in Kobys garden.
I know it is nearly 2 years since Koby was born ... and to the rest of the world it's something that happened in the past. But to me, it happened yesterday... I will never forget. I like to talk about him. I want to talk about him. Please don't change the subject or turn the other way if I do. He is my baby and talking about him makes me feel good. He is real and will be a part of my life forever.
I know if you haven't lost a baby, there is no way you can come close to understanding, but I know that, and I'm glad that you don't understand, because if you did, then you'd know how incomprehensible the pain of this loss is. How it is with you forever. I can talk about Koby without being sad ... but if I am sad, that's ok too. Don't avoid me now I am pregnant again. There are so many conflicting thoughts, but I love Koby, AND I love this baby. This baby is NOT replacing Koby. They are both my babies. I guess what I want to say 'out loud', is if you know someone who has lost a baby, don't avoid them. Let them know you are there, and that you don't know what to say .. cos guess what - noone does, and there is no RIGHT thing to say. Let them talk about their baby. And let them know you remember.
The baby loss community has been so important to me. While I wish there was need for such a community, there is, and these people have made all the difference in my journey. This is a group of people who understand what it is to lose a baby. What it is to lose the promise of a future. This community is a place where you can talk freely and people understand. Its a place where you can feel 'normal', and realise what you are feeling is normal for what you are going through. These people know there is a new normal and that this journey will change you.
These people accept you. These people allow you to talk about your baby, and they remember your baby. For me this community includes the Sands community, both in real life, support meetings, conference, and online in forums and facebook groups. Includes other online groups, and friends, mainly new, but a couple old, who are also part of this community. Without this community I would be lost.
DAY 27 : SIGNS
Once I started venturing out into the world again, I'd see rainbows everywhere I went. I'd see them on the way to work, on the way home, at work - under my desk, and coming through the front window. I'm sure I've told this story before, but we'd been TTC for a long time, and had 7 failed fertility treatments, I'd resigned from work to concentrate on my business, and took a month off the fertility treatment. A few weeks later I was a couple of days late (though I was unsure due to things being irregular after the drugs etc), and thought I should buy a test. I went to a different supermarket than usual, was nervous, and thought it was a waste of time and I was probably just setting myself up for more disappointment. It was a beautiful clear day and I asked Koby for a sign ... I looked around and there was nothing. I went into the supermarket and couldn't even find the tests, so left, feeling sad and that I wouldn't bother testing. As I walked out of the supermarket there was a huge rainbow in the sky and I had this thought Koby said to me "Mum it takes a while to make a rainbow you know". I went to a different supermarket, went home, tested and it was positive!! I KNOW it was a sign and Koby telling me to be positive and that he had sent me this little baby. I believe in signs. I believe he is here with me. This is a picture of a double rainbow I saw on the way to work one day.
DAY 28 : SPECIAL PLACE
I have several special places - the cemetery, Kobys garden, a special place in my bedroom, a plaque and flowers on the dining table, his picture from CarlyMarie in the lounge .... But I do go to his grave to contemplate life and visit him ... I took this photo yesterday at the cemetery.
This is a hard one, knowing what has helped me heal the most. I have kind of a general answer... like the photo ... a new bud, life, love, hope, time is healing. I have found that finding hope in life, is healing. Beauty in nature is healing. Love for Koby is healing. Love for my children is healing. Becoming pregnant is healing. Hoping for the future is healing. Time is healing.
Do you believe you have grown or are growing as a person since the loss of your precious baby? How? How do you see other people now? How do you see the world? I have changed as a person. I tend to automatically think of the worst that could happen in most situations. I no longer think of pregnancy in the same way. I know the worst thing that can happen. My baby, my child can die. For no known reason. I survived. Does that mean I have grown? I don't know. I do appreciate some things more. Beauty. Happiness. Love. Children. At the same time I am scared, scared of what might happen. Scared of loss. I see other people in a different way too. There are those who understand. Those who don't. Those who don't know there is something to understand. I am slower to believe and slower to trust people. I appreciate the people who are in my life more.
The people who stay. I see the world as a beautiful place which can be filled with the most unimaginable sadness and grief, confusion and tears. But know the world also contains hope and love and beauty. I see the world as incomplete now, as Koby is not here in it. What would it have looked like, had he lived. This picture is me now. I look the same. But I often look out into the world, seeing something that others cant, and sometimes I cant... just looking out into what should have been.
We've had nice, but cloudy days the last few days so I decided to use CarlyMaries sunset photo for Koby as my sunset to finish the challenge. I think its appropriate since it is her Challenge.
Thank you to everyone who has joined me on this x
Remembering and loving Koby forever x