Raising a glass to The Glass House Girls

Long before I became a shoebox and started blogging on grief, stillbirth and parenting after loss I mainly lurked in the shadows of Twitter absorbing all it had to offer.

I can’t remember why but I started to search for non-work related tweets to see what, if anything, I could find on stillbirth.

By chance I found a tweet with the intriguing title ‘Eastenders: We salute you’ from The Glass House Girls. It was around the time Eastenders started publicising its work with Sands on a stillbirth storyline so I clicked to find out more.

What I found in that article started what you are reading now.

There was so much hidden by that innocuous title and I had no idea of how much what I read would change how I viewed my grief and what I did with the mess of emotions it stirred in me.

A quick history lesson on past storylines where the scriptwriters had gone so horribly, cruelly wrong gained an unstoppable momentum as it moved seamlessly into a personal story of loss and all that followed to raise awareness and get the unpublishable published and the ‘unseeable’ seen.

It was a joyful litany of unrelenting efforts in the face of apathy, stigma and taboo. The list simultaneously celebrated the warriors of loss and provided a template for others to join in the battle.

It shamed me into returning to the TAMBA Bereavement Support Group on Facebook where I had stopped posting as often. It reminded me that fathers were more likely to post, participate and seek help when they say other fathers posting regularly.

It inspired me to go further and become a bereavement befriender and give back to that same community that had supported me in the dark hours and in the lonely days after returning to work.

It was the spark that lit the fire that nearly consumed in October and fed the need to write, write, write the pain away and encourage others to do the same.

It is for all these reasons and more that I was honoured to be asked to contribute a guest post to the Glasshouse Girls. I have crafted something inspired by a reflective visit to my box of memories and the panic I felt when I read Leigh Alexander‘s warning about entrusting our memories to strangers.

They took my words and gave genuine, honest feedback to help me produce something better and then made it beautiful with images that soften and enhance the writing rather than the stark minimalism of my own blog.

So, please, take a look at the site with a glass of wine or a mug of tea in hand and raise a glass to The Glass House Girls.


Originally published at shoeboxfullofmemories.wordpress.com on March 3, 2016.