COPING WITH LOSS
Tragedy is unpredictable. We hope that no one reading this is ever touched by a miscarriage pregnancy 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 us and 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 manic roller coaster. It effects 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 as time goes on, the Parents of Loss get better, 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, interactions 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 or you have," or "do you have kids yet?" It is also difficult to watch as everyone we were pregnant with brings their babies into the world and starts their life as parents, something taken from us so quickly and without warning. Right after loss is only the beginning, there is so much more that occurs outside the initial pain of losing a child. It may have to get worse, much worse, before acceptance can set in and managing the grief can get better. You cannot put a time frame on it.