I don’t usually do movie reviews here but today I want to tell you about a movie with a subject matter that is very close to my heart. As some of you may know, I am a member of the charity organisation Heartfelt. As the State Representative, I am responsible for organising photographic sessions (and take the odd session myself) for over 300 Victorian families a year who experience stillbirth, neonatal loss or who have a critically or terminally ill child. Yes its hard sometimes. Most of the time I get off the phone and I shake my head at yet another devastating story. Sometimes I wipe away a tear or two. Most times I just get on and organise. My mum and my friends around me look at me and say “not another one?” “How does that happen today?” “Is it getting worse ?” “How can so many people still be experiencing this with all the technology and science and medical expertise we have?”
But is does happen. Every day in fact.
Every day a family’s hopes of the world they dreamed about are shattered. Every day something “just goes wrong”. Unexplained. Or explained. But either way a pain too many know.
These families need our support. They need to know that people may not get it, they may not know what to say and they may feel completely inadequate…. but we have to let them know that we feel a little of their loss.
One of the ways we can do this is to bring stillbirth out into the open as something that “does keep happening”. Movies such as “Return to Zero” can only help to bring this to light. I have seen the movie and there is definitely a “Hollywood” element to it (which includes an amazing performance by Minnie Driver) but it certainly does enough to bring this issue to the hearts of those that may not quite “get it”. And for those of us that have experienced the loss of a child, I have to say there were moments in this movie that took my breath away. There were conversations I had, there were doctors appointments I had experienced, there were talks with friends I had engaged in and there were emotions I thought only I had ever felt. There was the feeling of walking in to a hospital so damn scared of what will happen that I thought nobody else could ever know that feeling. And for those reasons I want others to know just what it means. It wasn’t “for the best”. It wasn’t “something you will forget about with time” and it wasn’t “something that we shouldn’t talk about”.
If you would like to see this movie, Heartfelt and the Stillbirth Foundation have joined up to put on some special screenings. You have the choice of purchasing a ticket only or donating extra money to help fund a Heartfelt session or support a family via the Stillbirth Foundation. There will also be an introduction by the makers of this film, Sean and Kiley Hanish at each screening.
If you are in Melbourne, Sydney or Brisbane please share with your friends and family and support two truly amazing organisations and play a part in helping to bring stillbirth and neonatal loss into the hearts and minds of everyone.
For more information or to book your tickets, click on this link or the relevant State link above.