SANDS meeting(4 Posts)
I lost my baby daughter during childbirth 4 and a half weeks ago and I'm finding it difficult to cope. There is a SANDS meeting on in my local area tonight and I've been thinking about going. Just wondering if anyone has ever been to one before and what the format is like? I'm a little worried it's going to be set up like and "AA" meeting and we will have to sit and share our stories one by one - don't think I'm quite ready for that just yet.
I'd really appreciate it if anyone who has been to one before could give a little insight.
Hi Steph, I am so very, very sorry to hear about your little girl. How incredibly sad. You have my every sympathy. The early days, just trying to keep going, are absolutely appalling. I remember them all too well (we lost our newborn baby girl nearly five years ago), and I can only say - as you will doubtless have read and heard elsewhere - that the unbearable pain and blackness does, very very slowly, get better with time.
I apologise that I only have a couple of minutes to write this, but I didn't want to read and run. In our area, yes, that was the format of the Sands meetings - sitting together and sharing stories one by one, then general conversation. It is hard listening to other people's stories, but comforting to be in a place where everyone knows how are you feeling. I think that most of them are run in a similar way, though you'd need to check with the local organisers to be entirely certain - maybe an email or text, if you don't feel up to calling? I am 100% sure, though, that if you want to go, but don't feel able to talk, no one will press you to do so and you will be able just to listen. The nature of these groups are such that everyone understands... But if it seems as if it would be too much, then do just plan to go to the next one and then re-evaluate how you feel nearer the time; don't put yourself under too much pressure. Your days are hard enough at the moment without pushing yourself too far beyond your current comfort zone.
Also, just an idea, if you can't go, you could ask the organisers if you could be put in touch with some others, individually, who might want to meet up? The local friends I made through Sands were a lifeline to me in the year following DD's death.
Sending love to you and to your daughter x
Hi Steph, I'm so sorry for your loss.
I went to my first Sands meeting about 2 weeks after losing my little boy last July, and most months since. It has been a lifeline. We don't go round in a group and have to share stories. The organiser will usually start by asking how everyone is feeling, someone will start off the conversation and it goes from there really. Usually it will be someone who has been to the groups before that starts off. General conversation. People can share as much or as little as they feel comfortable. No one is put on the spot or judged.
I found it helped validate my feelings and made me feel much less alone. The 2 hour sessions were quite draining but I always was glad to have gone and felt it helped me work through my grief.
You can always get there a few minutes early and ask the organiser to explain the format and tell them that you don't want to share until you feel ready. And there is nothing to say you need to stay to the end if you're not comfortable (though no one has ever felt uncomfortable to leave early at any of my groups, we tend to feel we need a bit more time to wrap things up if anything, but no one would mind if anyone did leave early).
All the best xx
Hi Steph, I am very sorry to hear about your lovely daughter. I've only just seen your thread so it may be by now you have gone along and tried it. I lost my baby son 20 years ago and it was a couple of months before I got in touch with SANDS. Someone came to the house first and we had a chat, then I went along to a meeting which was in the same hospital where he was born, which was hard. Some people were quite new to the group, others had been going for a while. The thing about groups like this is that everyone has experienced the most terrible loss, and understands your pain and grief. You will be made welcome and given lots of support. If you want to talk about your baby, someone will listen. If you are not ready to share your story, that's fine, you don't have to. If you want to cry, someone will hold you. If you want reassurance your feelings are normal and you're not going mad, you'll get it there. I made some friends there, and we saw each other through subsequent pregnancies with all the anxieties they brought; we still see each other from time to time many years later and will always have that shared bond that only someone who has been through such an ordeal can begin to understand. Whether these meetings turn out to be for you or not, take care and be kind to yourself and if you want to talk about your little girl here, talk away x
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