There are many dedicated staff, volunteers and supporters who together make the work of Red Nose possible. This is Ines’s story.
After the death of my beautiful baby, Louis, at just eight days old, my husband and I struggled to deal with our grief, as most do.
Nearly fourteen years ago, we sought support via Red Nose (then Sids & Kids.)
We learned so much from the groups, the private counsellors and even grief workshops. Through these services, I made what I am sure will be lifelong friendships with other bereaved parents. We have been gently guided through our grief and given some tools that have helped us to navigate the various stages.
One of the most critical aspects included learning to understand our differing grieving styles and knowing that this will take time, careful observation, communication and a willingness to be vulnerable. Through this support, we learned everyone grieves differently. The support we received made me want to help other families.
I am now one of the many peer supporters at Red Nose (including Sands). It is such an honour to be able to give back. Helping people feel less alone whilst experiencing the devastating loss of a baby or child is one of my favourite parts of my role. I wish no one had to go through what we did, but just being here for others is a wonderful feeling. I learn so much about grief from the incredible team around me each shift.
As a society, we need to continue to be more open about grief. It’s great to see that we are getting more dads calling the helpline to talk about their loss. But there’s still many more that could use the help.
When Louis died, my husband felt so much pressure, rightly or wrongly, to be strong for me, for the family. This still seems to be the case, with many fathers, fourteen years later. After my husband attended various bereavement services, he learned to give himself space and time for his grief. He surfs, as being in the water makes him feel closer to Louis. Losing a baby in pregnancy through miscarriage or stillbirth is still taboo in our society in general, especially for dads. Still, Red Nose (including Sands) are doing a fantastic job to get people talking.
I’m proud to be part of this!