erica stewart, sands, support, bereavement specialist, charity
Erica Stewart, Grandmother | 6 June 2017

During June 2017, as part of our 15 babies a day initiative, we will share 15 blogs by 15 people who have been affected by the death of a baby. By doing this we aim to show the sheer number of people who are affected by the tragedy of one baby’s death. Visit our 15 Perspectives webpage to view other blogs in the series. 

I am Erica Stewart, a proud grandmother to 13 grandchildren. Sadly three of my grandchildren (all boys) have died due to a genetic condition that affects the heart. Trevor Junior died at 20 weeks gestation in 1997, Abdullah died in 2000 and Adam died in 2012.

As a bereaved parent myself, I felt more than sad to watch my two daughters suffer the death of their babies. I felt completely heartbroken and helpless!

When our children are growing up, we protect them, we make things better.

They fall over - we put a plaster on their knee.

Their shoe laces come undone - we tie them back up again.

Their baby dies - we are helpless!

As grandparents we are also grieving for our expected grandchild. We put our grief on hold, while we try to balance being supportive and not intrusive to our son or daughter’s needs. We want, so much, to give our children their baby back alive, we want to know how they are in spite of knowing the answer and the fact that we can’t change anything. We are overwhelmed with the feeling of helplessness! Death is final and irreversible and it hurts.

Trevor Junior, Abdullah and Adam will always be very much a part of our family. We talk about them often and wonder what they would look like, and what kind of people they would be now and in the future. As a family we mark their anniversaries, and they remain alive in our hearts forever.

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Information and support for grandparents: When a grandchild dies before, during or shortly after birth

Bereavement Support
Our booklet Information and support for grandparents: When a grandchild dies before, during or shortly after birth covers the physical...

15 babies die before, during or shortly after birth every day in the UK. 15 too many. We want to reduce this number, but we need your help. Support our #15babiesaday initiative by donating or fundraising now.