Written by Sarah Pridham, mum of Jasper, for Still Aware.
Continuing from my previous blog about the life lessons that I have learnt since the loss of our son, here is Life Lesson #5.
There is now nothing – absolutely nothing that I take for granted. This is life lesson #5 for me. Being a mother to our child is the best gift I could ever have been given, even if it is not in the way I wanted or expected. Even death can’t take that motherhood away. You become a mother the moment that you conceive a baby and you stay a mother even in death, how you choose to live your life and the memory of your child is then your decision to make as a parent and no one else’s input matters. It is your choice as they are your child.
To be honest, there is a lot that I have learnt – a lot about myself, about others, about life, loss, grief, hope, love, parenthood and being a mother. There is also a lot that I have learnt about memories and legacy, and how to honour someone by learning to carry these through every day to ensure that their memory lives on. Because there is now nothing that I take for granted, it means that every opportunity that arises for me to be able to do something in the memory of our son I take and embrace with hope that he continues to rest in peace and continues to know how loved and missed he is, and that he also realises that each and everyday he continues to be a part of our life.
I never want to take our son’s life for granted. Even though I can’t be his mother in the way that I had always hoped – I am still his mother and because of this, it means that I will protect his memory and carry his memory and legacy on for as long as I continue to live and breathe.
I continue to volunteer for Still Aware, I currently am in the middle of organising a big fundraiser for early March, which honours the footsteps that a loved one is unable to take, I am currently working with a group of ladies that are turning my wedding dress into angel blankets (which I will donate to hospitals to be able to hand out to parents that loose their baby whilst in hospital) and in 2018, I held a fundraiser and raised over $10,000 which was used to buy various items to donate to 6 hospitals in Adelaide and Country SA that will assist other parents with support and memorial items when they experience the tragic loss of a baby whilst in hospital.
A lot of people ask me why I do these things? A simple answer – to make my son proud, to do something in his memory and honour and to support other parents that will unfortunately endure the same terrible journey that we have and are still walking.
A lot of people ask me if the fundraisers and donations that I have done, and continue to do, make things better for me? My reply is always no, nothing can ever make baby loss better.
A couple of months after we lost our son (and a lot of research later), I couldn’t believe how unfortunately common baby loss is. I also realised that our son deserved to have things done in his memory and honour. Whilst the things I do can never make the loss of our son better, it can however honour him, whilst also supporting and assisting other parents and families that will also endure such terrible heartache, pain and grief.
It was interesting doing some research on this topic. I came across an article from a 45-year-old woman named Regina Brett, who wrote 45 of her life lessons so far. I couldn’t believe how much I could relate to most of them already and at only 28 years old – it just proved the point that I made earlier, I may only be 28 years old writing this, but I have learnt what some people have learnt in 45 years (or more). Some of the life lessons she wrote about was something that I could relate to through my journey so far, so here I share them with you:
- “Life isn’t fair but it is still good”.
- “When in doubt, just take the next small step”.
- “Cry with someone, it is more healing than crying alone”.
- “Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up your present”.
- “You can get through anything if you stay put in today”.
- “However good or bad a situation is, it will change”.
- “Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger”.
Sometimes it is amazing what you read and what you can relate to, so I just wanted to share those with you, and I wonder can you relate to them like I can?!
Whether it is someone 28 or 45 that writes about what they have endured in their lifetime, there is always one common lesson to learn and take from what you read, and that really is to make sure that you do not take anything for granted. We truly do not appreciate and value what we have in life and there are so many people out there that take what they have for granted, I know that I never will and I really hope that those out there that read this blog will start to value and appreciate what they have and hope that they too continue to take nothing for granted.
“There is a lesson in almost everything that you do, and getting the lesson is how you move forward. It is how you enrich your spirit” – Author Unknown.