Today the postman brought me something pretty special that I wanted to share with you all. I wasn’t expecting it at all, I have no idea who put my name forward to receive such a present, but when I opened it and saw what was inside, I was so incredibly touched.
Inside was this; the most sweet little bear with a green ribbon around his neck.
Written on the label it says, “With love from the family of Tyler Leishman, 28.09.11. This bear is a gift to you from a family who have also experienced the loss of their baby. We hope that you will find some comfort holding it in your arms and know you are not alone.”
When I read more from the enclosed leaflet, I discovered that it had been sent by a baby loss charity www.achingarms.co.uk, ran by a group of bereaved mothers who have all experienced the pain and emptiness of leaving hospital without their much wanted baby.
They aim to raise awareness of the impact of baby loss, work with midwives to improve care and support to bereaved parents, reach out to mothers to let them know that they are not alone or forgotten and hope that they may find some comfort from holding the bear in times of distress.
I immediately clicked onto the website and realised that each bear is donated by one bereaved mother to another. For each parent that loses their own child, they can donate in their memory to provide a bear for a family who are going through a similar loss. And although holding this little bear certainly made me smile this morning, I felt incredibly sad for the mother of Tyler Leishman, a little boy who should now be four years old, happy, healthy, full of life, holding a teddy bear of his own in his arms.
It goes without saying that I have now donated the money to provide a bear for another bereaved family. In a few days time a Mother just like myself shall be opening her parcel and receiving her own bear, “With love from the family of Joseph Emmerson. 19.07.06”. And whilst she may initially feel sad, perhaps calculating the age of my child or re-living memories of her own loss, I hope that like me, she finds comfort in knowing that she is not alone.
I may never know who put my name forward to receive this gift, this gorgeous little bear who now sits on the desk in my office and makes me smile each time I glance over at him, but whoever you are, Thank you.