Melissa is a proud mother of five children, only two of which are here with her today. She shares the story of her losses and the love that she will forever carry in her heart.
My name is Melissa Lucas and I have five children.
Only two of them are still growing up today.
Aaron James was stillborn at 38 weeks on the 6th June 2001.
Jared was born the following year, and is now 18 years old.
Casey Anne died from SIDS at 3 weeks old on the 8th June 2005.
Chloe came along a few years later and is now 12 years old.
Bryan was stillborn at 26 weeks on the 2nd December 2011 after I was in a serious car accident.
The loss of my baby is a journey that I have endured not just once, but three times. But just knowing that it is a road that has been travelled by many others has helped.
There will always be the ‘what if’ moments.
The days when, as I watch and enjoy being Jared and Chloe’s mother, that I feel that internal sadness of my missing babies Aaron, Casey and Bryan.
There are many ways I remember them.
I make cupcakes for Casey and have a special garden at our home to just sit in and remember or wonder about Casey, Aaron and Bryan.
Allowing me the chance to acknowledge my babies that have died and speaking their names is all I ask. The taboo surrounding child and infant loss is still very present in society.
After losing Casey it was a seemingly hopeless time and I reached out for a lifeline to help me process the unimaginable pain.
Red Nose (formerly SIDS and Kids) were there 24/7 to support myself and my family through the loss of Casey. They helped me guide Jared, who was just 3 years old at the time, through his grief as well.
I was paired with a gorgeous human, whom I met in person, that had shared a loss similar to my loss of Casey.
This was valuable to me because it helped to know that we will walk our own separate path through our grief journey - individually but never alone.
Red Nose also provided a support person during the Coroner’s reading for Casey.
This was a very traumatic and overwhelming time. Just that calming person being there was appreciated more that I can say with words.
Love never dies and I will never forget my babies in Heaven.
I will never just get over it or forget my ‘other’ children.
The pains that I suffer will always be with me but it is a pain that other bereaved parents also know and it has helped so much to know that I am not alone.
That empty seat at the dinner table is less noticeable over time, but it is because of my sorrow that I can experience the absolute joy of motherhood.
Every year for Red Nose Day we buy merchandise and ask our family and friends to buy products and raise as much awareness as possible for this vital service.
By supporting Red Nose Day, you can help fund vital research into stillbirth and SIDS as well as safe sleeping education.
Every product bought and every donation also helps support families like mine who have lost their children too.
A quote I feel summarises the work that the Red Nose team did to help me and my family through;
“It is in that moment when we are brave enough to share our thoughts with a fellow griever, and they nod, smile and understand. That we know we are not alone.”
Red Nose Grief and Loss services are here for anyone affected by the death of a baby or child. Call our 24/7 Support Line on 1300 308 307 or visit rednosegriefandloss.org.au