Significant days - Back to school

Back to school, it's not really a day that stands out in people's minds that will have an effect on bereaved parents (apart from the date their child should have first started school)..

But for many it is a really difficult day. Seeing the excitement of other children heading back, new bags and uniforms bought, knowing you have a child or children who you will never get to experience that excitement with. The what ifs about who their school friends might be, what bag would they want, would they be a ham sambo and yoghurt type kid or a little more adventurous with their lunch choices.

I (Jen) find the back to school day really difficult. Jess should be heading into 3rd class this year, I wonder how she would be feeling heading back, would she be excited like her sister Hannah or indifferent like her brother Eoghan. Would she give in to the teasing from her older sister Ava about having soooo much work to do in 3rd class or would she ignore her.

On the day I'll smile, wave them off with a hug, tell them to have a good day and then I'll head up to Jess's grave with new flowers, to give it a tidy up and most likely have a cry because it's another moment missed in a life of missed moments.

How to cope with the build up or actual significant date?

Firstly, acknowledge how you feel, don't be afraid to tell people that you are finding the build up or the actual day tough. Give yourself time during the day to grieve what might have been. If you feel up to it, do something that includes your baby in the day if you feel that will help. It might be as simple as taking a photo of a memento you already have in memory of your baby and keeping it in their memory box or going somewhere you feel at peace or feel a connection to mark the day.

We hope anyone finding these days tough have somewhere to reach out, we should never face loss alone.

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