I figured it was time that I shared some of things I experienced at the Sands conference in Wellington. I felt I needed a few weeks to let everything ‘digest’ and reflect on it. I have shared some thoughts with people who have asked me about it. I know there are some people who aren’t in a position to ask me or haven’t seen me since I went, but I just want to say I would love to talk about it if you want to listen.
We had an extremely bumpy landing in Wellington, it was my suggestion to fly so I take full responsibility and again I’m sorry to the other 2 ladies I flew with. I usually don’t mind flying but this particular morning I wish we had driven down the night before. On a positive note the weather was fab when we flew home, so it kinda made up for the unenjoyable arrival.
I had the pleasure to hear 4 wonderful keynote speakers. Sherokee Ilse and Suzanne Pullen from the United States and CarlyMarie and Jane Warland from Australia. All four of these ladies shared their babies stories and it was truly an honour to have them share their stories about their losses. It was definitely a weekend where it seemed to appropriate to say your babies name and share your story of babyloss.
There were various workshops to attend, often there were 3 running at the same time so we were able to choose which topic we wanted to be a part of. There were a couple of workshops that were ‘creative’ focused, so I was pretty keen to attend those.
CarlyMarie spoke about Creativity in Babyloss, this was fab. She shared the things she has done to heal herself since the loss of her baby. Another Mum who is also a bereaved parent shared the things she has created and made in her babies memory. This workshop was called Speaking from the Heart and this Mum also has a great blog where she shared the things she creates and provides information for others wanting to do the same. Check out milaandcuatro
I also attended a workshop which discussed the importantance of sharing your baby loss story and ways you can do this. We were all encouraged to write a letter to our babies and we were given the opportunity to share what we had written with the group, if we wanted too. It was actually the first time in 4 years I had written to Alex. The words flowed easily once I put pen to paper, and it make me question why I had never done it before. I found it very therapeutic and I was happy to read my letter out loud.
Another workshop I found beneficial was Parenting After Loss; a workshop for Bereaved parents. Since I have been fortunate to have 2 children after baby loss I felt this appealed to me. I found it really good. Jane Warland was the speaker and she discussed parenting after loss with and without living children. I often worry that I will mess up my children due to the loss of their big brother but there is actual research out there which states the opposite. This is a great relief to me. It is important that my children grow up knowing there have an older brother and why he isn’t here.
I managed to go to a session which discussed Natural therapies for grief and loss. We were all given a gratitude journal (which I’ll save for another blog post) and did a deep breathing/mediation exercise which was very beneficial.
I also attended the conference dinner on the Saturday night which was a lot of fun. I was feeling pretty tired though and didn’t party too hard as I was keen to get back to my hotel room and sleep.
I’m going to end this blog post, I feel I have summed up my weekend. I am so grateful for the opportunity to meet some wonderful people and hear their stories on baby loss. I feel I came home healed, refreshed and more positive about my grief. It was a great experience to attend the conference and I look forward to the next one in 2017.