I attended my monthly grief support group last night.
It was an emotional evening. More so than usual. We had several new people at the meeting and we all shared our stories.
These women encourage and inspire me. Some of them have been through so much, with as many as 5 losses. Some had early pregnancy losses, some were as late as 38 weeks.
It doesn’t matter the time frame or the cause, it’s painful and we grieve the loss of the child we will never watch grow up.
Before losing our daughter Kathryn and having much exposure to the loss community, I had a hard time understanding how someone could be so upset over losing a baby as early as 6 weeks.
But I understand it now.
You love your baby from the moment you find out you’re pregnant.
And you grieve that loss forever.
The dates are still a strong reminder of what could have or should have been. The due date, first birthday, 2nd birthday, 30th birthday.
Sometimes I think it may be even harder on the women who lose their babies early, because so many people make them feel as if it didn’t matter or didn’t count because it was so early. I’ve heard women say they’ve been told “you’re lucky it didn’t happen later,” or “at least you didn’t go through what so and so went through” or “you were only 8 weeks, it’s time to get on and get over it.”
That’s not fair. They have still suffered a traumatic loss. A life changing event.
We need to be heard. We need our friends and family to understand that we want to honor and remember these babies, no matter at what point they left us. We need your help to Break the Silence by allowing us to share.
One piece of advice. If you know someone who has had a loss, do not ignore it. That is the worst thing you can do. Even if all you can say is “I’m sorry” that is better than nothing.
A new movie is coming out soon about the impact a still birth has on a couple and their lives. It is called Return to Zero. Will you please pledge to see it and help us create a more understanding culture for the larger impact of loss? You can see more about it at my Return to Zero post.
You may also like the posts “The Magic Words When Someone Loses a Baby” and “How to Help a Friend Survive the First Year After Pregnancy and Infant Loss.”