Pages

For Grieving Parents

First, I want to disclaim that I am not a doctor or a specialists or a counselor. These are things that I experienced that I want to share that may help another Mom or Dad that's out there seeking a cyber hug of understanding from another parent who has been through this.

Big Hug
First, I want to just give you Moms and Dads out there that loss your baby a big HUG .  I remember when it happened the best thing my best friend ever did was he gave me a big bear hug, listened, and then just sat there in silence with me for what felt like at least a solid 10 minutes. So, especially for you Moms or Dads who are suffering through this alone, I hope this big hug lets you know that you do have a friend in this HUG.


Cry, Cry, and Cry Some More
Crying is OK and it is good. Cry. Cry whenever and where ever you need to do it. Do not be surprise when you start crying all of a sudden during a moment when you know that had you not loss your child you would not be crying. I remember literally bursting into tears before walking into to Target one day months after losing my daughter and with no obvious triggers for tears in the moment (later when I thought about it I believe something deep down in me was especially sad because I remember how happy I was when I pregnant to be shopping for baby items from Target for my baby and not a friend's baby shower).  

But our crying is normal and appropriate. We loss our baby. We loss a part of us. We loss a dream. We loss a life. We cry for our children because that's what a loving parent does. 

Now on the reverse, it is OK NOT to cry. One day the sun will be seem bright again. A joke will be funny again. You will regain a sense of normalcy again except now your new normal will include your feelings and sensitivity about your loss baby. It may take weeks, months, years, or decades to get here but you will have times again where you will not cry-- and that is fine too. 

I remember I felt like I had to give myself permission to laugh again because I felt wrong feeling any happiness after losing my daughter. But I knew my baby would not want her brief life to be the source of my sorrow. Therefore, I decided I needed to continue to live a complete life because I knew she would want that for me. 

Now I still cry; and most of the time it happens at the most random moments. That is OK. Know that no tear shed for our loss babies is stupid or crazy. Do not feel guilty when you find happiness again or if the tears do not come because you may just feel numb. However you express your grief, it is all OK as long as you are not hurting yourself or others.

Stages of Grief?

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. I do not know how many books, websites, and materials I went through that told me while I was going to go through this these were the stages of my grief. Then they all try to assure me that once I reached the acceptance phase life would be better.

Well, personally, I know I experienced so many "stages" of grief beyond these five stages. And the titles of these stages make the emotions seem so "less than" what you actually feel. It should be more like 'Not Having It, Ticked Off Beyond Belief That This Happened, What Do I Need to Do to Fix IT, I Feel Like The World is Standing Still, and The Daily Mask I Must Now Where to Make it Through Another Day'.  Does that sound about right?

I just know for me there are days where I feel like I feel every emotion possible all at once. Then there are days where I almost feel like how I did before losing my daughter. I know for a fact that that woman I was before I loss my daughter died that day too, and I'm still trying to figure out who I am now with the loss. 

I know for me there are no "stages". I just feel. Sometimes, I feel sad. Sometimes, even now, I still get angry about what has happened. I never denied what happened to me but I do remember the first morning in the hospital I was hoping this was the most vivid dream I was having in my life. 

But know that there will be days where you feel like you are "over" the initial pain just to find yourself crying like it just happened again. It happens. Just know if you find yourself in one state too long you may want to seek help. One of the things I learned quickly after losing Ashley is there is a thin line you can easily cross where you could lose your mind. There was a time where I could seriously feel myself about to give up on life. I really had to fight for my sanity through prayer, talking to friends, eventually seeing a therapist, and reading websites like this one. 

And as for stages of grief, if it helps you rationalize what is happening to you-- use it. If not, just continue to feel what you feel in your own time. Most of you know if how you are coping, dealing, and healing is unhealthy for you or not. So what it's been a month, six months, a year, 10 years or more since you loss your child. We loss a lifetime when our child died. We are grieving more than our pregnancy. We are grieving our baby-- and others just need to respect that and give us our time. 

4 comments:

  1. Shannel Simmons JohnsonApril 22, 2012 at 3:03 PM

    Thanks for sharing this I'm so very sorry for your loss. I admire your courage and faith. May God continue to strengthen you and your family. Happy Birthday to your sweet beautiful angel.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear Shannel,
    my name is sandhya and i lost my baby boy to MSUD one month after he was born..he was born a health baby on oct 12th,2011 in India..he was soo adorable..after a week he stopped taking feeds and we had to take him to the hospital.even on the way to the hospital the worst i could think was that he was colicky or maybe an upset stomach..i froze when the doctor told me on our arrival that the baby was slipping into a coma and he was having epileptic fits..they kept him in the nicu and after a lot of tests they confirmed MSUD after a week..then what followed was a series of tests,scans and heel pricks done every 2 hours..he had to undergo peritoneal dialysis and had to be put on a ventilator.i could be with him in the nicu and the doctors and the staff were really nice.he came out of the coma partially but then he couldnt take bottle feeds and they had to tube feed him and he had no pupillary reflexes.they suspected brain stem damage and told me that the prognosis wasnt good.by then i had read up on MSUD and understood that with the treatment available in India he didnt have much chance on survival but like every other mother i hoped for a miracle and on november 10th they told us that we could shift him back to the room and i felt so hopeful..those were the most precious days of my life..and all i wanted was to spend as much time i could with him..by then the doctors told us that ther was nothing they could do at the hospital and advised me to take him home..nov.14th we got him home but he developed high fever and his intra cranial presure increased and i literally saw him die slowly..he passed away on 16th november..my baby boy..he fought as far as he could..i dont know whether i will have a healthy baby again..but i treaasure the moments i had with him..there are times when i feel why me...its been 6 months now but ther's not a single moment that i dont think of him..reading your blog has made me feel stronger.May God give you the strength to bear the loss.Have faith..ur lil angel's lookin over you and i'm sure you will be blessed soon.take care dear

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sandhya, thank you for sharing. I feel that the faith of the mothers that have to endure losing a baby/child has to be something fierce because to experience this trial is the ultimate test of everything we are. The test extends beyond the actual event of losing the child. Every day we have to make a choice of how we want to deal with the constant pain. Every day we have to decide if we will wear the mask of being "fine" or just allow the tears to flow. Every day there is always a part of you that feels like you are living a lie because you know that deep down your truth is you would do almost anything to just one more second with your child. The fact that we are still here shows just how strong we are. You are strong, Sandhya. By losing my daughter I realized just how precious and delicate life is. But I also realized what I'm really made of-- some pretty strong stuff. Your son will always be with you because he was literally a part of you. You hold on to the time with your precious son and continue to be strong as you live on. Many big hugs to you as you cope, heal, and deal with losing your baby.

      Delete
  3. I really appreciate your professional approach. These are pieces of very useful information that will be of great use for me in future.

    ReplyDelete