Invite your friends and join us for a fun-filled virtual Quiz night on Saturday 6 Feb at 7:30pm!
You can enter as a team of 6-8 people or as an individual and we will allocate you to a team.
To book your place please use our Virgin Money giving page and donate £5 per person. Use the link below and select donate.
Places are limited so book soon!
Christmas is often billed as “the most wonderful time of the year”, and for many reasons and for many people it really is. Yet it can also be an incredibly difficult time. As we head towards the end of 2020, we are all having the realisation that this has been one of the most difficult years that I think many of us can remember. Here at Reflect we want to not only wish you a Merry Christmas but to acknowledge how hard this time of year can be, especially this year, if you are dealing with loss. We also want you to know that you are not alone.
When we are dealing with loss, Christmas can feel daunting. It can feel like the world is carrying on as normal when your world feels upside down. There is a pressure to be jolly and to get into the Christmas spirit, which may be the last thing that you feel like doing. Navigating these feelings can be hard, upsetting and exhausting. The desire to put on a brave face, particularly around Christmas, can be intense.
Alternatively, Christmas may act as a reminder of a previous loss and you may find this season difficult because of feelings it brings up from previous years. I had a miscarriage several years ago, I have dealt with many of the emotions around this as part of my training as a pregnancy loss advisor for Reflect. However, whenever I hear Michael Buble’s dulcet tones tell me “it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas” I still have a momentary pause of sadness which transports me back 5 years. Ironically it’s only through coming through this grief that I can look back and realise how much it affected me at the time and that my brave face, possibly wasn’t as brave as I thought.
You may wish to enjoy this Christmas and all of the festivities that it brings but feel guilt given a recent loss. In my opinion, enjoying this time and moving forward in no way lessens how you feel about your loss. Moving forward doesn’t equate to no longer caring or no longer recognising the significance of the loss it just means you have seen a way through some of the darkness.
This year is definitely not your typical year. It may be that the emotions that you are feeling are heightened as we navigate the challenges of household bubbles, tiers and social distancing. Where previously we could seek solace in the arms of loved ones, this year we are having to keep our distance. This can lead to feelings of isolation which can make us feel like we need to walk this path alone. Honestly, this is not the case.
I think the important thing this Christmas is to realise that there is no right or wrong way to feel following baby loss, your feelings are valid and how you choose to navigate this season will be personal to you.
If you are struggling with grief during this Christmas period, please speak out. Whether to close family and friends, a medical professional or one of Reflect’s pregnancy loss volunteers. You do not have to walk this path alone at any time but please do not let the Christmas celebrations prevent you from connecting and sharing your pain.
Equally if you know someone who is walking through grief this Christmas season, ask how they are doing. Check in with them, connect, see if they are ok. They may not want to talk or share their grief with you but, asking and acknowledging the presence of their grief beats avoiding the one thing you can feel between you but are pretending is not there.
Whatever you are facing this Christmas, please know that you are not alone. Whatever you are feeling is valid and if you need help or support during this time please please reach out. Here at Reflect we would love to hear from you and would feel privileged to sit beside you in your grief. Sometimes the hardest thing can be initially reaching out.
Our office will close on Monday 21st December and reopen on Monday 4th January 2021.
Our volunteers will still be available for urgent telephone or email contact during this time if you are in need of our support.
A huge thank you to the Co-op Community Fund, and to all of you who have supported us through this - we are so excited to have raised £2,550 to support Reflect!! Your support will mean we can continue to provide our free support service to anyone facing a Pregnancy Choice or dealing with a Pregnancy Loss.
With an estimated one in four pregnancies ending in miscarriage, you are almost guaranteed to have close friends or family who have suffered a pregnancy loss. We have a tradition of keeping a pregnancy a secret until we hit the 12 week mark, where the risk of miscarriage significantly drops. This can leave families secretly grieving a loss that those closest to them know nothing about.
I know from experience that this can be a painfully dark time. The excitement that you feel on discovering you are pregnant almost implodes as the feelings of loss take hold. No matter what stage of your pregnancy journey you are at, the loss of the hopes and dreams that you start to imagine for your little one takeover and the grief can be immense. Add in the additional cocktail of emotions ranging from guilt to anger to shame and it can feel so overwhelming, like a black cloud that you are sure will stay with you forever.
Please do not grieve in silence. Speak out to whoever you feel comfortable with, be it friends or family or alternatively, speak to somebody professionally. We can support each other through this if we shift the secrecy around baby loss to allow those experiencing it to speak out without embarrassment. Help is available and can be invaluable.
Baby Loss Awareness Week runs annually from 9 to 15 October. Its aim is to amplify the voices of those who have suffered losses, to raise awareness around baby loss and to unite families in remembrance of those babies gone too soon.
If you are North Yorkshire based and dealing with a baby loss, no matter whether it was recent or long ago, and it is affecting you in some way, please do reach out to Reflect Pregnancy Support Reflect provides a free, fully confidential and safe space for women and their partners to explore their feelings around a loss in a guided way. Their sessions are currently being run online or over the phone.
If you want to get involved and support Baby Loss Awareness Week, there are numerous ways. Here are a few ideas:
Support your local pregnancy loss support charity.
Join the global Wave of Light at 7pm on 15 October. Light a candle and leave it burning for at least an hour to remember those babies who have gone too soon #WaveofLight
Buy a pink and blue ribbon pin in support of Sands, the Stillbirth and neonatal death charity and wear it to show your support.
Raise awareness about Baby Loss Awareness Week on social media by changing your profile picture to pink and blue, add the ribbon or use the hashtag #BLAW2020.
Author: Becky Shepherd, Reflect Volunteer
6th February 2021, 19:30-21:30
Save the date! On Saturday 6 February 2021 we will be having a virtual Quiz Night on zoom to raise funds for Reflect!
Sign up information will be coming soon.
Venue: Reflect @ The Gateway Centre