THE (very few) RULES: I’m not massively concerned with having rules for this project. I just want this to be a very relaxed and peaceful project for everyone who takes part in it. Just make sure you only use your own photographs – don’t take someone else’s off the internet, this is your journey, not google’s! The main rule that I have for this project is this… I created this project to aid you in your own healing. Please do not put any pressure on yourself to complete this whole project. It is not about that. If you only want to take part in a few of the days, that is great. If you want to do the full month – wonderful. Do whatever feels right for you. I really want this experience to be a healing one for you and not a drag or something that makes your heart even heavier. I certainly do not want anyone to feel disappointed in themselves if they could not complete the project. So if you find yourself stressed about it, then you are not following my rules! Take a step back and remember, that it does not matter 🙂 Not even I was able to complete the entire project last year. It really does not matter how many days you complete. If you would rather keep your photos private, you are more than welcome to do that. So please, just breathe this month in and make it just for you. A really lovely idea would be to go and print all of your images at the end of the month and place them all into a special album for your memory box. If you are posting your images online take a screen capture of them or create your own private album so that you have a record always of them The online event can move very quickly so your posts may move off the front page very quickly.
Anyone who is found to be trolling the event or making nasty comments will be automatically deleted and banned.
HOW TO TAKE PART PUBLICLY: You will be able join in this project publicly through your own blog or website, your favourite social media website like facebook or twitter or any photo sharing website like pinterest or instagram. This is an opportunity for you to document your grief and your healing for a month and if you choose to, share it with your chosen friends or if you want to, the world. You can be as creative with your photographs as you please. If you want to help break the silence surrounding the death of babies there will be a public facebook event through my facebook page for people to share their images and raise awareness for this month. Please note that the photos placed up in the event page will be public and can be viewed by anyone, so if you do not want the world to see your photographs, do not post them there. These photos can be viewed by so many and have the ability to go viral. We all know the word is not a safe place and people can be cruel so please be aware of that. If you would prefer to share your photos in a private support group you are welcome to do that. Please remember though that it really does not matter where you post your photos on the internet, once they are there, they are there forever. So if you are uneasy about putting certain photos up, listen to what your heart is telling you.
When posting your photos online please make sure that the beginning of your photo caption is titled with the day number and subject, for example: “Day 1. Sunrise” If you are a hashtag type of person you can use the hashtag #captureyourgrief. In the caption of your image please feel welcome to share the meaning behind your photograph and talk about your experience with the subject of the day.
MY HOPE: My hope is that everyone who takes part in Capture Your Grief 2013 is able to explore their grief on a deeper level while all at the same time raising awareness for this community. I pray you all can find healing aspects of this project as well as personal growth. I hope this project gives you an outlet to openly speak about your experience with the death of your babies and therefore give valuable insight and more understanding to those around you who have never experienced such a loss. I hope you all discover new things about this journey that bring light onto this path that you walk, may that be realizations or new friendships. For those of you who took part last year I hope this is a wonderful opportunity for you to see how you grief has transformed over the last year. I wish you all much peace and healing for this journey that we take on together as the bereaved community that we are.
I will be heading to California to meet with up with The STILL Project Team on October 3rd and I will also be taking part in the OC Walk To Remember on October 5th. I will be returning home on the 9th. While I am away I am going to try to take part in each day but there will be a couple of days that I will be offline as I will be between Earth and Heaven! I will try to be in touch with everyone as much as possible.
THE DAILY SUBJECTS: Below are the 31 daily subjects for the 2013 event. Some of the subjects may not entirely relate to you, or you may not feel comfortable with the subject so you are more than welcome to take a photo inspired by your own subject for that day. (See, it is all about makes you feel comfortable!) If you are looking for inspiration for another subject you can always have a look at the list from last year. My subjects are simply a guideline. Below are also a few extra ideas to spark some inspiration in your own heart.
Wishing everyone a beautiful, heart warming and healing October! Thank you for taking part in this years Capture Your Grief. I am so honoured to have you here.
1. Sunrise: Just like last year, I thought it would be very meaningful for us all to capture the beginning of this journey and important month by us all getting up early to photograph the sunrise from wherever we are in the world. I know depending on where you are and what climate you are in that there may not be a sunrise, but if you can still get to a window, snap a photo of the morning. When you share your photo online make sure you write what State/Country you are in and the time of the sunrise. It will be a wonderful way for us all to feel connected.
2. Identity: What is your child’s name? Why did you chose that name? What is the meaning of their name? If they were born, what were their birth details. What were their features? Who are they?
3. Myths: Do you believe there are any myths about grief? You could write the myth on a piece of paper and photograph it.
4. Legacy: Do you believe your child left a legacy behind? It could be something very simple but meaningful.
5. Memory: What memory do you have of your child that stands out for you the most. It may be a positive or negative memory. When you think of your child what is the first memory that comes to your mind?
6. Ritual: Do you have any rituals to help get you through the day? Maybe it is a daily affirmation or prayer. It could be that you light a candle or recite a mantra etc. Do you do anything meaningful on special dates for your baby?
7. You Now: Where are you in your grief right now? How are you feeling? How far have you come? Are you wrestling with anything? Is your heart heavier or lighter now?
8. Colour: What colour/s represent your baby? Why that colour/s?
9. Music: This might be hard to capture in a photograph so why not post a youtube clip of a piece of music that reminds your of your baby/ies/child/ren. Why this piece of music?
10. Beliefs: Do you have a certain belief about what happens to us after we die? You might believe that we go to a heaven or you might believe that our bodies eventually turn to dust and that is the end of our story. Before you take part in Day 10 please note this, I welcome everyone to join this Capture Your Grief Challenge including people of all belief systems and also those who have no beliefs at all. What I ask of you, is that you respect everyone else here. Please feel free to share your beliefs whether they are religious, spiritual or not. If you choose to share your beliefs today, please make sure that you respect everyone else’s beliefs even if you do not agree or understand them. Do not tell anyone else that they are wrong if they do not share your own beliefs and please do not push your views onto anyone else. I am very proud to say that everyone who comes to my page are 99% of the time respectful to each other and very kind (I sometimes wonder if I am being protected by a greater force as it is so rare to have so very few problems on a social media page with 1000’s of people!). I would really love everyone to honour this request for love and respect today. We can all complete this day peacefully together. I believe this day can be a very interesting and beautiful one. Let us honour our similarities and our differences too.
11. Emotional Triggers: What triggers emotions associated with grief for you? Is it the weather? A scent? Photos? Places? Holidays? Words? Certain people?
12. Article: Have you read an article about grief that you would love to share with everyone? Maybe it is something from Still Standing Magazine or a blog post from your favourite blogger or writer. Please feel welcome to share who wrote the article and how the article resonated with you and also the direct link to the article if it is online.
13. Book: Have you read a book about grief that helped you immensely in your journey of grief? Please feel welcome to share the book and links to where it can be purchased so others can find it.
14. Family: What does you family look like now? Is it just yourself carrying your child’s heart in yours? Do you have other children? A partner? A pet? You may not have what society perceives as a family but we all know that just because you cannot see any children, that does not mean that they are not a part of your family.
15. Wave Of Light: Today is October 15th Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day. Light a candle at 7pm to help create a continuous wave of light around the world for 24 hours. Photograph your light! Please remember to share your location for this day as well. Wishing you all a ton of love for this sacred day of remembrance.
16. Seasons: Share what certain seasons or holidays mean to you now. What season did your baby die in? What season were they conceived/born in? Etc. Do you dread those seasons now? Are they more meaningful to you because of your baby?
17. Time: How long has it been since your baby died.
18. Release: What do you want to let go of on this journey of grief? Is it fear? Guilt? Worry? Deep sadness? Regrets?
19. Support: Share about what has been the best support for you since the loss of your baby. Maybe it is a special friend or family member? A pet? An organization? What have they done for you? Where would you be without them?
20. Hope: Do you have hope for the future? What do you hope for those who will join this club in the future.
21. Honour: Is there anything that you have done to honour your baby since they died? Did you give back to the community? Make a conscious decision to live as beautifully as possible? Take on the role of helping others in your situation? Maybe you work as an advocate for breaking the silence for our community.
22. Words: Share your favourite quote, poem, song lyrics, scripture that you have found.
23. Tattoos/Jewellery: Do you have a piece of jewellery in memory of your baby? Or maybe a tattoo. Please feel welcome to share links too.
24. Artwork: Have you created a piece of artwork in the wake of your baby’s death? Or maybe someone has given you some artwork to honour your baby? Please feel welcome to share links to your own website or to other artists.
25. #SayItOutLoud: Say It Out Loud is The STILL Project’s famous hashtag. STILL is a feature-length documentary film project aimed at breaking the cycle of silence surrounding pregnancy and infant loss. If you could say anything out loud about your journey with grief with the death or your baby, what would it be? What do you want the world to know? Is there a cause that touches your heart that you want to raise awareness for?
26. Community: What does this community mean to you?
27. Signs: If you believe in life after death do you believe your child has ways of contacting you? Have you had any signs?
28. Special Place: This could be your baby’s place of rest. If they do not have a grave, maybe you have a special place that you associate with your baby. A place you go to, to remember them. Where is it? Why did you choose that particular place?
29. Healing: What has had the most healing impact on your life through this journey of grief?
30. Growth: Do you believe you have grown or are growing as a person since the loss of your precious baby? How? How do you see other people now? How do you see the world? Do you believe you have a higher purpose? Do you believe your baby had a higher purpose?
31. Sunset: To close this project and this month of Baby Loss Awareness I thought that we could all photograph the sunset from wherever we are in the world. If there is no sunset where you are, you can still take a photo of the early evening sky. You just need to be able to get to a window. Remember to caption what State/Country you are from and the time.
You can see my photographs on my facebook page by clicking on any of these images below.