Sharon Ashton

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My name is Sharon and I’m one of the Directors for Lighthouses.

I’m a professional singer and now own a performing arts school teaching children and adults. I also have qualifications in stress management and relaxation therapy, but more for using alongside performing arts. 

I met Nadine when she came to be a hobby singer as part of my adult group. Through music I’ve watched her confidence grow and used singing to get a balance in her life as well. I was there when she was becoming qualified as a counsellor. 

The more I talked to her, the more I realised how good she was at dealing with other people’s past life history. Then we got talking about miscarriage and the stigma around it and that was the first time I’d admitted that I had been impacted by miscarriage also.  

I’ve had two miscarriages, one of which was one of my twins. 

When I told Nadine, it was the only time I’d ever got upset about it. I’d never grieved. I always thought it wasn’t a proper loss, I didn’t have to give birth or anything. Maybe that’s all I could have handled at the time, but I put it aside. Nadine helped me and made me realise that this is just what happens and we’re not to blame. So I then said “anything you want me to do, I’m here for you.” 

If you’re in a room, there are always women who have gone through this loss. People just don’t talk about it.

At some point we have to talk about the father’s loss too. Emotionally, the father/partner can’t comprehend why it’s happened or how they can fix it, or the partner. And it just eats them up. They can’t fix the problem. 

I run a lady’s choir with ladies up to the age of 94. One day a lady told me about a child she had lost when she was about 14 during the war. And here we are in 2017 and she’s still talking and thinking about it. There’s been no closure for her. 
If only there’d have been somewhere to help her like Lighthouses then. 

In my role as a Director, I help out with the nuts and bolts side of things. Checking on the accounts, board meetings, marketing opportunities, or getting people on board with the work. Using whatever I’ve learnt from running my own business and using the tools I’ve used to help Nadine with the charity.  I promote it in a different way – I guide people towards her that I know are in need from the families I work with. 

I’ve dealt with so many families in my job over the 20 years and I see the heartache that the children in families go through when there’s a miscarriage, or a stillbirth. 

Most people shove all the emotion down.

Sometimes siblings feel like they have done something wrong. I can see there’s an emptiness that comes from them. They display attention seeking behaviour – their grief is so different. Often they want to just be told what’s going on, not have it hidden away from them. 

Grief comes in all different forms. It’s always been a subject that wasn’t spoken about. Good on Nadine to tackle a subject that we should all be helping each other out with. 

Nadine is incredibly courageous and brave through her work. She remains so open, even at the height of other people’s emotions and manages not to take it home with her. 

She’s got this beautiful personality and doesn’t realise the power she has created.

When she looks at you, you feel like you’re the only one in the room and she wants to hear everything you need to say.

She makes you feel safe.