The seed from which this blog has grown. Dear Orla was where I bared my heart when my world tipped on its head; a place to channel the energy that grief gifted to me, a space to share my thoughts and feelings in the aftermath of loss. Dear Orla was in recognition of the letters my husband and I wrote to our firstborn daughter every day of what should have been the first year of her life. They tell a family story – our family story – of loss, love and hope and how we found a way to communicate to ourselves, each other and our baby who was born without breath.
In 2017, I received the Mum’s Voice Award from Tommy’s the Baby Charity for this blog. This award recognises a mum who has given strength to thousands of other mums by sharing her story. I will be forever proud that Orla gave me the strength to share my words and press publish to the world.
Changing the name of my blog was not an easy decision – taking away Orla’s name was gut wrenching and filled me with overwhelming doubt and guilt. Yet the sense that my writing and direction had changed continued to grow. Orla will always form the core of this blog, and for that reason, she will always be included in her own right. Yet I feel she has given me the courage to take the plunge to write more broadly about the things that I feel passionate about and to include more of my knowledge and experience as a psychologist. And for that I will always be grateful.
Though less frequently, I continue to write to Orla when I am struggling to find my words. And every so often, I would like to share some of those here.