Tragedy is unpredictable. We hope that no one reading this is ever touched by a miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss, but if you ever are - whether it is you, a friend or family member - there are things you need to know. We have compiled some helpful information that is a collaboration of voices from several women to help guide you or others through a loss, taken from our own experiences. It is important to note that in no way are any of these experiences intended to single out a specific person or incident in our lives, but to provide others with how to best help or what to say in a time of loss.
None of us knew exactly how to do that well for others until we were there ourselves. None of us knew how to walk this road without the help of other Parents of Loss.
As a general overview, what everyone needs to know about grief is that it is an exceptionally challenging road. It comes on in waves when you don't expect it and it is a roller coaster. It may affects the mother and father differently, at different times, and often emotions are triggered by different things. This can mean what may hurt or be difficult for one Parent of Loss may not be recognized as a pain or trigger to the other. It can also mean that while one Parent of Loss seems fine, the other may not be.
There is a common misconception that time heals all wounds. When it comes to the loss of a child, that is simply not true. It never gets easier, it only becomes more manageable with time. There are so many things we have to deal with like receiving formula samples and baby-related coupons in the mail for months after we've lost our baby because of where we shopped while pregnant or the registries we made. Social situations can lead to anxiety and interactions can change. Going to a dinner party or church event where the opportunity to meet new people constantly present Parents of Loss with the heartbreaking questions such as, "how many kids do you have," or "do you have kids?" It can also be difficult to watch as those we were pregnant with bring their babies into the world. Right after loss is only the beginning, there is so much more that occurs outside the initial pain of losing a child. You cannot put a time frame on the grief.
Coping With Loss
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