From Grief to Gratitude

Nov 13, 2023 | Whānau Stories

Cooking dinner can be the last thing on your mind when wading through the depths of grief. Bellyful made sure Dunedin whānau had some meals in the freezer to help through the dual emotion of losing one of their twins, and welcoming his brother.

A close friend referred Sasha and Daniel to Bellyful after they lost one of their twin boys. Surviving twin, Jasper has spent weeks in the Dunedin Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) since his birth.

The couple has a large blended family; Daniel’s two boys Levi and Parker who are 12, Sasha’s daughter Melody who is 7, and their children together: Oakley who is 3, Arabella who is turning 2, and identical twins Jasper and Phoenix. They lost Phoenix, who Sasha calls their precious baby in heaven, at 23 weeks along.

Sasha says the grief of his loss comes in waves. “Some days we feel okay and other days we are an absolute mess with the ache of missing little Phoenix. On those days specifically, Bellyful meals have been extremely helpful when we can’t bear the thought of moving let alone cooking, but our other children of course still need to eat.

She says the family will always be thankful for the meals Bellyful Dunedin has provided in their difficult time.

During the weeks in the Dunedin NICU with Jasper they have also been able to fill their bellies with some warm Bellyful meals, which are stored on site for whānau in a freezer provided by neonatal support charity The Little Miracles Trust.

“We have been so grateful to also access Bellyful meals here, sometimes our schedule doesn’t align with the café opening hours, so these meals have been a lifesaver, especially while breastfeeding!” Sasha says.

Bellyful meals are available to whānau with babies or young children, who need support, as long as they are in one of our branch areas. This includes anyone who experiences the loss of a baby, partner or child.

This story was originally featured by One Percent Collective.

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