“Faith” Brought Us Together

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The “Faith” episode of Outlander in season 2 has affected quite a few Outlander fans who have found themselves in a similar situation as Claire.

I have been where Claire was…. I myself lost twins, one at around 15 weeks into the pregnancy, the other was born at 26 weeks and lived for 2 1/2 days before he went to live with the angels.

Just like Claire I held my baby for a few hours before I had to hand him back to the midwives.

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Caitriona Balfe did an amazing job as an actress playing the part of a distraught mother so realistically that I could see myself in her when she didn’t want to let Faith go. (her child taken from her before she really had a chance to acknowledge that she had given birth). A feeling that never really leaves you …. even now I have a pain in my heart when I think about how I had to say goodbye before really saying hello.

The feeling of leaving the hospital without him still makes me catch my breath 14 years later.

Everyone was so kind ..Doctors, Midwives, Chaplain etc but I couldn’t really talk to anyone apart from my husband as my friends didn’t know what to say, that was until I came across SiMBA ( www.simbacharity.org.uk ) a few years later.

The good work that SiMBA does is amazing so that babies that are taken too soon are never forgotten.

Susan Simpson (an Outlander fan herself) approached us to see if we would write a blog talking about this very sensitive subject and highlighting what SIMBA does as an organisation to help bereaved families that have found themselves in Claire and Jamie’s situation.

Susan sent us some information she thought we could include but we all felt Susan had said everything so we thought you might like to hear Susan’s story and all about what she does here in the Highlands.

so this is Susan’s story……

When a couple discovers they are having a baby in that moment of joy they are hit by the realisation that they become a family. Even in the early stages of the pregnancy they start planning for that family, imagining what their baby will be like, how much their life will change, what their child will grow to up to be ~ close family and friends are invested in the excitement and anticipation, often bringing gifts as they await the happy day.

The death of a much loved, greatly wanted baby can have devastating effects on the parents and can have an immeasurable ripple effect on the surrounding family and friends.

The storyline with Jamie and Claire when their daughter Faith is stillborn is not only beautifully written but stunningly acted by Sam, Caitriona and the rest of the cast. For families bereaved through the loss of a baby it was painful but empowering to watch. Each of us who has been experienced the loss of a baby will see so many aspects of the scenes that strike a bell with us.

When Mother Hildegarde of L’Hopital des Anges says, “I am sorry Madame, she has joined the angels, she was born dead” this resonates with so many who have been told “I’m sorry, there is no heartbeat.” The feeling of loss can be overwhelming as all your hopes and dreams come crashing down around you.

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When Claire says, “My body had healed, my soul had not” she encapsulates all that a bereaved parent, especially the Mum, feels.

The solemnity and sorrow of Claire returning to their Parisian home without her baby … the anguish of opening the Christening gift … Jamie’s heartache as Claire tells him about their beautiful daughter, describes her, shares the lullaby she sang to their sleeping daughter, talks about how she counted her fingers and toes, and kisses her goodbye as she hands her to her friend Louise de Rohan ~ every single scene brings memories flooding back for those who have experienced that grief.

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And finally Jamie and Claire return home to heal in the Scottish Highlands …

I am Highland Ambassador for a charity called SiMBA, Simpson’s Memory Box Appeal – I found the charity after our fourth and youngest daughter, Eilidh Beth, was born still at 34 weeks gestation in September 2010. We left Raigmore hospital in Inverness with empty arms and aching hearts, having spent so little time with our beautiful lass. With no offer of support out with our family and online search led me to SiMBA, a charity working tirelessly throughout the UK acknowledging and honouring babies lost at any stage of pregnancy and after birth.

SiMBA’s services include:

• gifting precious Memory Boxes to hospitals, full of beautiful memory making items, for staff to give to bereaved families.

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• through the Lola Commons Fund, refurbishing and equipping Family Rooms in hospitals, enabling families to spend precious time with their baby.

• installing full sized, hand sculpted copper Trees of Tranquillity in peaceful locations, the leaves of which are sent to bereaved families to be engraved before attachment, provide a permanent memorial for families to visit.

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simba 1 leaves

• training volunteers to host SiMBA Monthly Support Groups bring parents, Grandparents and others affected by loss together in a safe place where they can talk about their baby and experience of loss.

• offering Bereavement Care Training in hospitals for midwives and other health professionals

• hosting Annual Awareness Events like SiMBA Butterfly Releases and Wave of Light, which brings bereaved families together to honour the memory of their baby

I feel so privileged to be able to volunteer for SiMBA, the charity that not only encourages and supports me to talk about the daughter we lost in her last trimester, but also about the baby we lost to miscarriage, my wee forgotten lass. Of all that I’ve been involved in with the charity I am most proud of our Inverness Tree of Tranquillity and our Annual Butterfly Releases which were first hosted in the beautiful Botanic Gardens there. That garden is a place of healing, a place that speaks to the grieving soul, a place that gathers our babies together in a beautiful portrayal of remembrance, where we can celebrate their short lives.
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I cannot watch many TV programmes where baby death is featured, but Outlander is one of the few that I have been able to watch and that is purely because the actors portrayed the reality of the anguish of losing a child.

If you or someone you know has been affected by the death of a baby during pregnancy or after birth, if you would like information on any of our services, or to speak to someone who understands please do contact us via our website www.simbacharity.org.uk or by emailing me at simbacharity.org.uk.

All of SiMBA’s services are funded through donations and fundraising events ~ if you would like to raise funds and awareness for us please contact our Fundraising Coordinator Danielle Vailitis on fundraising@simbacharity.org.uk

People can donate by texting SIMB17 £2/£5/£10 to 70070 & 100% goes directly to SiMBA.

And for other ways to donate –

https://www.simbacharity.org.uk/get-involved/donate/

Susan Simpson
SiMBA Highland Ambassador
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4 thoughts on ““Faith” Brought Us Together

  1. A wonderful post. So sorry for your loss. A very dear friend went through this loss 3 times (at different stages of gestation). A wonderful cause. X

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  2. I am a student of psychodrama. When I have individuals or families that are grieving the loss of an unborn child, part of the healing work I do is to help them have a proper funeral as this can initiate some sense of closure.
    my participants are asked to collect a few items, either that had been given as gifts for the baby or purchased items that would be meaningful to the parents. They are further instructed to get a shoebox and paint a casket on the box with an appropriate religious icon if necessary . They are asked to put the items in the box and dig a hole in a place meaningful for them where the box can be buried. They are requested to write a eulogy and to have a proper funeral and if necessary, officiated by clergy. Then they are requested to plant seedlings of flowers that will bloom as a symbol of the life the babies body provides to nurter Mother Earth.
    This can be a very cathartic process from beginning to end and can provide families a way to begin the process of letting go… to remember, but without the heart-wrenching grief sometimes accompanied with the baby being taken, sometimes without the advent of saying goodbye.

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  3. This is very touching, everything said is true. Me too I could not utter a word about my feelings and had no one who understood how I felt. Hearing and seeing my feelings expressed by Cait brought me to tears so well was it done. Your charity is one of the best I have heard of to help those being left alone knowing their child being with the angels.

    Liked by 1 person

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