Following the loss of her baby in 2017 through miscarriage, Chiara Barbaro reached out to the Dove Service for support and now hopes that by sharing her story, it will help others going through similar circumstances and to know that they can reach out…
Life has taught me that angels exist. Not the kind of angels from the religious narrative that are constantly fed to us through books, films and social media, with white feathery wings and a glowing light surrounding them, who we cannot see but who look after us secretly. I mean the kind of angel you can actually see, and hear, who listens to your darkest thoughts and is not afraid of them, who collects the pieces day after day and puts them back together gracefully.
My own angel is called Amanda, a former counsellor at the Dove service, who literally saved me from the spiralling depression and trauma I went through when I lost a baby in pregnancy in early 2017.
Words truly cannot describe the deep gratitude I feel towards her and every other person at the Dove Service, including other bereaved people who looked after me, reassured me, listened to me, shared their stories with me and acknowledged my pain.
Amanda was the first person I spoke with on the telephone when my body was actively miscarrying. She was there at the group sessions facilitating so many different stories, and yet making us all feel comfortable and heard. She pushed me to face my trauma and pain, to let it all out and to show it to others around me. I opened my heart to her, we looked at the scan picture of my baby together, and she taught me how to be compassionate to myself. She rejoiced when I told her I was pregnant again, she listened to my worries, never dismissing them, always caring.
Amanda is one of the main reasons why I started to heal and eventually I managed to set up my own miscarriage support group (Mariposa*) in Stoke-on-Trent – one day I found myself comforting others at group and afterwards, Amanda was there to tell me that I had it in me to help others going through the same heartache. If it wasn’t for her – and all the people I spoke with and listened to at Dove – I truly believe I wouldn’t be telling this story.
The words I heard during those raw first few months will always resonate with me and they helped to shape the person I am today. The work the Dove Service does is incredibly important; I cannot recommend it enough. Talking about loss (any kind of loss) is hard, upsetting, painful and uncomfortable, and the path towards healing is bumpy and messy, but it’s worth every fall when there’s a hand there every step of the way.
If you have been affected by grief through bereavement, significant loss or life-changing illness, support is available. Contact us on 01782 683155 (Mon-Fri 0900am to 5.00pm) for more information.
*The Mariposa Miscarriage Support Group is a peer support group for those affected by miscarriage, ectopic pregnancy and early loss, providing a safe place to meet others who really do understand. Set up with the support of A Child of Mine (ACOM) Supporting Bereaved Parents, the group is faciliated by Chiara and they hold their meetings online via Zoom on the first Tuesday of the month – from 6.30 to 8.30pm (the next group will be meeting up on Tues 5th January 2021).
For more information, please contact ACOM direct or connect with their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/groups/mariposamiscarriagesupport