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How to help someone who has suffered a loss


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#1 Jo

Posted 30 January 2008 - 07:32 AM

Please share your ideas on how you have supported others, and the things others did to support you which you found helpful.

Ideas of things you may like to include are:
  • The things people said
  • The gifts they gave
  • Gestures of support
  • Poems/writings
  • Support Groups


#2 alliecat

Posted 30 January 2008 - 10:12 AM

A few things that I can think of off the top of my head...

- send a card (and a small gift if it feels right to do so)at the time of the birth / death and use the babys name
- remember them on the due date if this is still to come and send them a note, card or message of support then also
- listen often and long, provide opportunities for the bereaved parents to vent, cry or express emotion as often as they need, don't dismiss them even if quite some time has passed
- make a note of the date and remember them with a card or message in subsequent years, especially the first year.
- remember all the 'firsts' are hard, eg first Christmas, first anniversary, first Mothers and Fathers days, next babies born to other people, next pregnancy etc and be sensitive to that
- don't forget the dad

Some of my favourite gifts at the time were a plant that flowers at the same time of year, a (Willow Tree) angel ornament, butterfly mementos, a special photo frame, a small teddy bear, a special piece of jewellery (in my case it was an angel charm with a pink stone). Anything that is given with thought will be generally well received and most probably treasured.

All I can think of for now, hope that helps  wub.gif

(edited for spelling)

Edited by alliecat, 30 January 2008 - 10:13 AM.


#3 Grobanite

Posted 01 February 2008 - 03:38 PM

Some things that really helped me.

1. Lend a shoulder and/or an ear. My Sister let me ring her anytime just to cry and vent my feelings onto her after I lost Samuel. She still lets me vent from time to time when I need it.

2. I also agree with the card or note using the babys name. not only can it be of great comfort but it can be something to put in a memory box for the baby.

3. Also if you are ok with this and you feel the parents are ok also ask questions about the birth and ask to see photo's of the baby if some were taken. This seems to be done with living children but not so much when a baby dies. For me when my family and friends did this with Samuel this let me know that my family and friends considerd Samuel to be a part of our family.

4. I also agree with remembering the Dad. He is greiving too and will most times not show it like the mum.

5. Be there for the family on the whole. Cook them meals as that is the last thing on your mind after you've lost a baby. If they have other kids offer to babysit or take the kids out for a few hours so the parents can grieve alone and in peace.

6. I also agree with remembering Christmas time and birthdays etc. Christmas last year was just really horrible and hard for me and it was nice to have people close to me acknowledge that and help me through it.

#4 antz-pantz

Posted 01 February 2008 - 06:03 PM

QUOTE
1. Lend a shoulder and/or an ear. My Sister let me ring her anytime just to cry and vent my feelings onto her after I lost Samuel. She still lets me vent from time to time when I need it.


this was great support for me,just telling the person that your there really helps.

remember the day the child passed(edd,birthday,xmas),a card or small gift is so special,and is well loved.

make sure the daddy has time out to talk with friends or family.

never be scared to say the babys name its lovely to know people still remember the baby.

a coffee and chat came make all the difference to their day,i know it did for me.

CHRISTMAS ANGEL POEM


I met you once.
You were so small, and special.
I was awkward as I held you,
So afraid that you would break,
and amazed as you gripped my finger.
Now you are four months old,
but where are you, little harley?

No need for the hat and gloves I picked so
carefully for you.
No trucks and cars and mud for you,
no swings or bicycles.
Mummy and daddy want you home,
and big brother wants to play
I will visit you at the beach
where we said our last goodbyes
and know that one day i will meet
you again and hold you close to me,
We will always miss you little man.
you are our sweet christmas baby angel.

MORE POEMS
http://members.essentialbaby.com.au/index....howtopic=457791
http://members.essentialbaby.com.au/index....howtopic=470615

#5 MagentaBaby

Posted 08 February 2008 - 09:56 AM

QUOTE
* The things people said

1. One acquaintance offered that I could say anything. With her gentle and well placed questions, I found I did say quite a lot.
2. Another good friend established up front that she felt devastated (for how this had impacted her life and that of her family's), this was comforting somehow - but I do believe it has to be said appropriately. There was no ownership of my grief and pain and she did not make it about her. (Hard to explain! But relevant, because it was very relieving to hear she knew a little of my pain because it had also effected the course of her life so much)

QUOTE
* The gifts they gave

Plants - they were difficult to receive, as there is great pressure to keep them alive. We have one very special rose from an old family friend which luckily is well established in a big terracotta planter.
IMHO plants aren't the best (unless it is a hardy plant which can be potted and easily moved in case the family ever moves house).

QUOTE
* Gestures of support

1. DO provide food in the early days and weeks. Don't offer, just do it. Nothing fussy, just simple soups or things that can be frozen. Make them hearty, nurturing foods. DH and I only ate because a friend cooked big soups for us - and we only ate it because we felt obliged wub.gif If we didn't have that, we may not have eaten much, if at all.
2. Keep in touch with your loved one. When you do phone, don't feel you have to fill silences. Be paced by the parent's responses to you and don't "overstay your welcome". They don't have to be long phone calls/visits, even 5 mins is all that's needed some days, as it is far better (in my experience) to have frequent but very short contact than it is to have loooong calls or drop ins that are mostly taken up by the supporter talking about their day, when all the bereaved parent may want to do is curl up in a ball. Or talk about their feelings and/or their baby. Give them that space, always.
3. Expect that they may take many months to seem more like that person you know again. And even then, on days when they are more quick to tears or seem more bitey than usual, give them that same space. Remember they are forever changed, whether they like it/realise it or not, and be guided by their individual timeframe to healing, not your perceived one. Partners within the relationship don't always heal at the same time either - when they are both as low as they may ever get, it is even more difficult for one to pull the other one out of the muck. While it's not a supporters 'responsibility' to rescue them from this stage of grief, a very sympathetic ear may do wonders to get them through another day or hour.


QUOTE
* Poems/writings

Despite requesting we did not want cards at DD's memorial, a couple of people did give them. I cherish them to this day and wish in hindsight I had not asked for gestures like this not to be given. The main thing is, the cards we were given were true heartfelt expressions - they say more than simply "I am sorry for your loss" - so if you are going to give a card, perhaps write from your heart without over-expressing (very hard to balance but you cannot go wrong if you are genuine).


QUOTE
* Support Groups

EB has been the most open and supportive place for me. SIDS & Kids was also excellent (phone support), I could not face going to any of the meetings as I did not want to hurt more by hearing others' pain (apparently this is quite common). Once I was ready to step out and give more, EB appeared in an internet search I was doing - I would recommend the boards here, it can be quite cathartic just to write and share that way.


ONGOING:  I cannot stress enough that once the initial shockwave dissipates and people go back to their normal daily lives, the parents included, it is very easy to forget anniversaries (of EDD's and/ or birthday, as well as anniversary of passing). There is nothing more heartwarming than to receive a card or call - even an sms - on ALL of these days. Every year. Not just the first or second. It is like asking a parent to choose when they want their living child/ren's birthdays to stop being celebrated. Those anniversaries will forever be there, every year, so it would be a lovely gesture to have them remembered every year.



Thanks to the member who suggested this sticky original.gif If I think of anything else along the way, I'll be back to post more.

Edited by MagentaBaby, 08 February 2008 - 10:01 AM.


#6 joey-annie

Posted 25 February 2008 - 10:02 AM

Hi Ladies

My comments are mainly confirming those already mentioned.
I've just given a friend a beautiful journal book in which she can write her thoughts and feelings - her baby is not developing properly and at 20 weeks she's got some tough decisions to make and tougher times ahead.  Once thing I did do for her was to remind her that there will be plenty of time to grieve and at the moment she can still enjoy the pregnancy.  I wish now we had spent more time enjoying having a 24 weeker for 6 days instead of grieving even before she died!  

I also read recently about a scientific stufy into happiness and it suggested that at the end of each day write down 2 or 3 things that did make you happy - it can be simply that the sun is shining, a card, a phone call, a funny story - as time goes on you'll notice more important thinks that make you happy and it'll help you move to a more "happy" time in your life and beyond the darkness.

I also have one friend who sent me an email on our DD's due date and again a couple of weeks after our most recent loss - it's nice that someone recognises that the sorrow doesn't end and takes a long time to heal - that's been such a wonderful support.

Take care
Joanne

#7 Mariamsmum

Posted 05 March 2008 - 11:43 AM

Thank you for this thread original.gif

I also just wanted to confirm what everybody has said...

but I also wanted to emphasise what Magentababy said:

QUOTE
ONGOING: I cannot stress enough that once the initial shockwave dissipates and people go back to their normal daily lives, the parents included, it is very easy to forget anniversaries (of EDD's and/ or birthday, as well as anniversary of passing). There is nothing more heartwarming than to receive a card or call - even an sms - on ALL of these days. Every year. Not just the first or second. It is like asking a parent to choose when they want their living child/ren's birthdays to stop being celebrated. Those anniversaries will forever be there, every year, so it would be a lovely gesture to have them remembered every year
.

althogh the first year was hard, the second anniversary of Mariam's birth and death almost went without acknowledgement by my friends (my immediate family were the only ones who remembered). In some ways that made the second anniversary harder...

so make a note in your diary and acknowledge, even in the smallest way, via a phone call, card, or visit, each and every anniversary of the baby's birth, death or EDD.

I'll come back if there is anything more that I think of original.gif

#8 yankmomof3

Posted 01 April 2008 - 10:20 AM

First of all, I think this is a WONDERFUL topic, that everyone (not just those who have lost a baby) should read.

I totally agree with what everyone else has posted. All of those ideas are important steps in grieving and healing.

We got so many flowers the week after we lost our son, that I started to hate when I heard a knock at the door. It was like "Oh no, here come MORE flowers to keep alive." While they were all beautiful and sent with much love, I didn't have the energy to water them all the time (and it was really hot outside!) We ended up requesting that people donate to the Stillbirth Foundation at the funeral, rather then sending more flowers. Hopefully the foundation got plenty of helpful money, in the memory of our baby.

A few people gave us presents, that I will always cherish. We got two "Willow Tree" angels which I love.

Also, my 2 best friends bought me a beautiful locket to wear. They had Gabriel's name engraved on the back and I put a photo in it. (Someone even suggested that I could 'glue' some of bub's ashes in the other half, and treat the locket as cremation jewelry- which apparently exists.) Either way, I love wearing my baby around my neck, close to my heart. It was the best idea and something I will have forever.

Oh, and my one suggestion (that hasn't been made) is:

Not to forget other existing children. With everyone so wrapped up with supporting the parents, I think the kids often get overlooked. My son's kinder teacher came to the funeral/wake, for us, and for him. At the wake, she played cricket with him outside for over an hour. It was lovely that someone paid him extra attention.

We also found a website that makes personalized teddybears. Both of my boys have chosen a bear, his jumper and what they want written on it. It's a bit on the costly side, but they can't wait til their "Gabe bears" come in the mail.

Edited by yankmomof3, 01 April 2008 - 10:21 AM.


#9 irishmum

Posted 27 June 2008 - 09:06 AM

This is something that really helped me.

BEREAVED PARENTS WISH LIST

I wish Bailey hadn't died. I wish I had him back.

I wish you wouldn't be afraid to speak my child's name. Bailey lived and was very important to me. I need to hear that he was important to you also.

If I cry and get emotional when you talk about Bailey, I wish you knew that it isn't because you have hurt me. Bailey's death is the cause of my tears. You have talked about my child and you have allowed me to share my grief. I thank you for both.

Being a bereaved parent is not contagious, so I wish you wouldn't shy away from me. I need you now more than ever.

I need diversions, so I do want to hear about you, but I also want you to hear about me. I might be sad and I might cry, but I wish you would let me talk about Bailey; my favorite topic of the day.

I know that you think of and pray for me often. I also know that my Bailey's death pains you too. I wish you would let me know these things through a phone call, a card or note, or a real big hug.

I wish you wouldn't expect my grief to be over. These first years are traumatic for me, but I wish you could understand that my grief will never be over. I will suffer the death of Bailey until the day I die.

I am working hard in my recovery, but I wish you could understand that I will never fully recover. I will always miss Bailey and I will always grieve that he is dead.

I wish you wouldn't expect me "not to think about it" or "be happy". Neither will happen for a very long time, so don't frustrate yourself. I don't want to have a "Pity party", but I do wish you would let me grieve. I must hurt before I can heal.

I wish you understood how my life has shattered. I know it is miserable for you to be around me when I'm feeling miserable. Please be as patient with me as I am with you.

When I say, "I'm doing okay", I wish you could understand that I don't "feel" okay and that I struggle daily.

I wish you knew that all of the grief reactions I'm having are very normal. Depression, anger, hopelessness and overwhelming sadness are all to be expected. So please excuse me when I'm quiet and withdrawn or irritable and cranky.

Your advice to "take it one day at a time" is excellent advice. However, a day is too much and too fast for me right now. I wish you could understand that I'm doing good to handle an hour at a time.

Please excuse me if I seem rude, certainly not my intent. Sometimes the world around me goes too fast and I need to get off. When I walk away, I wish you would let me find a quiet place to spend time alone. I wish you understood that grief changes people. When Bailey died, a big part of me died with him. I am not the same person I was before Bailey died and I will never be that person again.

I wish very much that you could understand ~ understand my loss and my grief. But, I pray daily that you will never understand.

The Elephant In The Room
By Terry Kettering

There's an elephant in the room
It is large and squatting, so it is hard to get around it
Yet we squeeze by it with "How are you"? and "I'm fine,"
And a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.
We talk about the weather
We talk about work
We talk about everything else, except the elephant in the room.

There's an elephant in the room
We all know it's there
We are thinking about the elephant as we talk together.
It is constantly on our minds.
For, you see, it is a very large elephant.
It has hurt us all.

But we don't talk about the elephant in the room.
Oh please say his name
Oh please say his name again
Oh, please let's talk about the elephant in the room.

For if we talk about his death, perhaps we can talk about his life
Can I say his name to you and not have you look away?
For if I cannot, then you are leaving me....
Alone...
In a room...
With an elephant.

Would you let me talk about my baby that died?

Would your heart be open to all the sadness that’s still inside of me?

Would you listen as I would tell you of the joy he gave to me?

Would you want to hear about his sweet beautiful, perfect face,

The toes and fingers that were all there?

Would you change the subject when I told you about his naming ceremony shortly before he died?

That they took off all the wires and tubes and that his life truly was coming to an end?

Would your face change when I told you that in my arms, he died?

Would you get up and walk away from me if I just had to tell you more?

About the perfection I held in my arms for such a very, very short time.

The tears I cried could have made a river as I had to let him go

Would you help to wipe away the tears as I told you more?

About the months he’s travelled with me in my heart and in my mind

Would you hug me and just listen about the pain that I endured?

Would you just be there quietly open to all the feelings I may need to express?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then you have passed the test So many others could have failed and I would be alone, with no friend to share my precious son's life. I can’t and won’t forget him and I need to be able to talk about him. He is very real and precious to me. And you just passed the test.

Written by Sheryl Mc Mahon, Mummy to Alison Hannah, one of Bailey's angel friends.

A Grieving Parent is...

A grieving parent is someone who will never forget their child no matter how painful memories are.

A grieving parent is someone who yearns to be with their dead but cannot concieve leaving their living ones.

A grieving parent is someone who has part of a heart as the rest has gone with their child.

A grieving parent is someone who begs for relief from the memories which plague them and then feel guilty when they get it.

A grieving parent is someone who pretends to be happy and enjoying life when they are really dying inside.

A grieving parent someone who can cry or laugh at the drop of a hat whenever they remember their beloved child.

A grieving parent is someone who feels as if they have just lost their child yesterday no matter how much time has passed.

A grieving parent is someone who fears for their remaining family because they cannot bear to have any more loss.

A grieving parent is someone who sits by their child's grave and feels a knife stabbing their heart.

A grieving parent is someone who wants to help others who have lost a loved one because somehow others loss is theirs all over again.

#10 MagentaBaby

Posted 31 January 2009 - 01:25 PM

I very much hope this is ok to do... it is a post made by fallingstar in this thread here. If not, Mods, pls delete my post here (I just thought it would be very useful in this ongoing stickied topic, as fallingstar's suggestions are so pertinent).

QUOTE
Definitely acknowledge her baby by name. Everyone reacts so differently-i know though that i didn't want anyone to feel sorry for me, just sorry and sad with me. Just let her know you are thinking about her and her child. A photo album or journal are things that she may appreciate. A food basket or drop some meals/groceries around. This was one of the most helpful things anyone did for us, cooking or going to the shop was just not an option for quite some time....


The other thing that came to mind, reading the above quoted post was, don't ask.... please just do. Obviously, it's important not to be too overbearing with this, so a gentle manner would be wise - newly bereaved parents are especially raw in their grief and for a time, everything will probably be feeling like it is moving way too fast. Things feel louder, crowds seem much thicker. It may be very difficult to go out for some time.
If you are looking to support someone - whether they are a close friend or just a loose acquaintance but someone you feel compelled to reach out to - please remember to slow your pace, be gentle, don't push yourself on them. But do check in. Often. Little visits, very short calls. Be gentle but persistent, I cannot stress this enough.

If you are uncertain what to say, say nothing original.gif  Your task is really, though daunting to you, quite straightforward. Just be there. Offer some open questions if you feel safe enough to ask them. But remember, you are that parent's safe place to talk too. Don't apologise for your tears, that parent will know why they are falling and those tears will be appreciated. But do stop short of making their pain yours (if that makes sense!).

I hope this helps. Am rambling (oh, again!), so time to stop. I could go on, this list could get quite huge wub.gif Good luck to all who read this thread.

hheart.gif

Edited by MagentaBaby, 31 January 2009 - 01:50 PM.


#11 pizzarack

Posted 31 January 2009 - 03:46 PM

I think it has been mentioned elsewhere but my friend and I designed this sitehttp://whisperedsupport.blogspot.com/ and launched it honour of her son Christian on Australia Day. We hope it will be helpful to bereaved parents and family and friends.

#12 moops

Posted 19 August 2009 - 04:45 AM

The main thing is to behave as normally as you can.  I received several texts and cards along the lines of: "I'm so sorry for your loss - call me if there's anything I can do."  While that's an understandable reaction (and certainly better than no contact at all) it's also not much use because it's so formal.  To all those people I sent back cheerful texts saying that I appreciated the message and I was doing OK.  Of course I wasn't doing OK - I just didn't want to be a burden.  I made a judgment about that person's comfort level and I modified my response to protect them.  But if someone used my baby's name and asked me a specific question, well, I was off.. you couldn't stop me talking.  I wish more people had been brave enough to ask me all the usual things you might ask a new mother - eg, how long was your labour?  I'd been through all the same things as any other mother and all of them were new experiences for me, so naturally I wanted to talk about them.  But I think people were afraid I was too fragile to talk about that stuff.  My labour was actually quite lovely, even though I knew Max had already died.  The midwives were fantastic because they were so engaged with my situation.  They cuddled my baby and told me he was beautiful - all that stuff - but they also laughed along with my macabre jokes and just generally reacted very normally to every way that I acted out my grief.  So I desperately wanted everyone else to be like this.  I wanted close friends to see Max.  I didn't really want sympathy cards - I wanted to celebrate his birth.  Someone else on this forum said they came to dread getting flowers, but I liked them - because you get flowers when you have a baby.  I didn't want to stop my milk coming in - I wanted to fully experience childbirth.  I was now a mother and I wanted my son to be acknowledged as a baby, not so much a death.  

A girl who I hadn't been particularly close to, turned out to be wonderful.  She rang my mobile regularly and just chatted away into my voicemail with no expectation that I should call her back.  After a while I was overwhelmed by all the people who wanted to do the 'right' thing and talk to me.. but just these non-communicative 'so sorry for your loss' conversations.. so I stopped answering the phone.  But I loved listening to this girl's caring little 'check-ins'. happy.gif  That's all you need to do - be genuine.

As an aside, in the early days (while I was numb), I was genuinely puzzled when people cried, or talked about how affected they were.  I thought they must be crying about something else bad that had happened.  I'm not saying they shouldn't have done this - they were being genuine, after all - but as someone else pointed out, it's a fine line between sharing my grief with me, and making it all about you.  



#13 Lisa McGann

Posted 24 August 2009 - 02:18 PM

QUOTE (moops @ 19/08/2009, 04:45 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The main thing is to behave as normally as you can. I received several texts and cards along the lines of: "I'm so sorry for your loss - call me if there's anything I can do." While that's an understandable reaction (and certainly better than no contact at all) it's also not much use because it's so formal. To all those people I sent back cheerful texts saying that I appreciated the message and I was doing OK. Of course I wasn't doing OK - I just didn't want to be a burden. I made a judgment about that person's comfort level and I modified my response to protect them. But if someone used my baby's name and asked me a specific question, well, I was off.. you couldn't stop me talking. I wish more people had been brave enough to ask me all the usual things you might ask a new mother - eg, how long was your labour? I'd been through all the same things as any other mother and all of them were new experiences for me, so naturally I wanted to talk about them. But I think people were afraid I was too fragile to talk about that stuff. My labour was actually quite lovely, even though I knew Max had already died. The midwives were fantastic because they were so engaged with my situation. They cuddled my baby and told me he was beautiful - all that stuff - but they also laughed along with my macabre jokes and just generally reacted very normally to every way that I acted out my grief. So I desperately wanted everyone else to be like this. I wanted close friends to see Max. I didn't really want sympathy cards - I wanted to celebrate his birth. Someone else on this forum said they came to dread getting flowers, but I liked them - because you get flowers when you have a baby. I didn't want to stop my milk coming in - I wanted to fully experience childbirth. I was now a mother and I wanted my son to be acknowledged as a baby, not so much a death.

A girl who I hadn't been particularly close to, turned out to be wonderful. She rang my mobile regularly and just chatted away into my voicemail with no expectation that I should call her back. After a while I was overwhelmed by all the people who wanted to do the 'right' thing and talk to me.. but just these non-communicative 'so sorry for your loss' conversations.. so I stopped answering the phone. But I loved listening to this girl's caring little 'check-ins'. happy.gif That's all you need to do - be genuine.

As an aside, in the early days (while I was numb), I was genuinely puzzled when people cried, or talked about how affected they were. I thought they must be crying about something else bad that had happened. I'm not saying they shouldn't have done this - they were being genuine, after all - but as someone else pointed out, it's a fine line between sharing my grief with me, and making it all about you.


I have just entered this website as I thought that it would be nice to chat with someone who had been through a similar experience, I have just read your post and I can relate to many of the comments that you have made.

We delivered a silent baby on the 12th August with our due date being 23/08/09 we were so close and I am fidning it tough going as I am sure you will understand, I don't want answer the phone and pretend that I am doing OK some days I just don't want to get our of bed.

It has been a weeks since the funeral today and it seems like a bad dream as we have empty arms, I feel like it never happened and then it smacks me right in the face when I see or hear a baby cry.

I am also feeling a little ripped off as we had a perfect pregnancy but it turned out like hell.

I have had people say to me "It wasn't meant to be" I find this offensive as she was meant to be but it was out of our control, my Maggie Sian was born at 6.6lbs and was 50 cm long we knew that we were delivering a silent baby but part of us had hoped that they were wrong and that she would pull through but alas she didn't.

I don't know of many people that have been thorugh such an experience but it is nice to see that there are people who are willign to share their thoughts & experiences like yours.

#14 tarquinsaffron

Posted 24 August 2009 - 11:06 PM



I am so sorry to hear about Maggie, she was your precious baby and will always be loved and remembered, people don't know what to say and they say the most inappropriate things, of course it wasn't meant to be, that is a wrong thing to say..be gentle on yourself, those early days of grief are crucible, so be very kind to yourself, it's the love that you have for her..I see grief as hard work, exhausting, but the days do get better..she will always be in your heart, very supportive women on EB, also SIDs and Kids were really helpful to us, they look after people whom have suffered stillborns aswell (many people aren't aware of this)

Take care

#15 moops

Posted 04 September 2009 - 02:01 AM

Oh Lisa, hello.. I hope you come back and read this.  I haven't been back until now.  I never thought I'd be reaching out to people in a forum with this name - no doubt you didn't, either.  Your little Maggie was born just three weeks after Max.  You did get close - closer than me (Max was due today).  Was she your first?

I can identify with your comments, too.  Some days I feel like I made up the whole pregnancy, because there was all this flurry of activity around the birth and the funeral, and now there's nothing.  And, like you, I get those nasty wake-up smacks - I've never seen so many babies at the supermarket, or TV commercials for pregnancy products.  I'm sure they weren't on TV a month ago.  It must be the universe playing a sick joke.  I'm going back to work in a week because I don't have my baby to look after.  It feels like Groundhog Day, or a game of Snakes and Ladders - the better part of a year gone with nothing to show for it, so here I go back to the beginning.  It's weird reading my first post - I talk about it like it was such a long time ago and I've come out the other side.

Do you know yet what happened to Maggie?  My pregnancy was perfect, too.  Just a day or two before he died, my boss had been worrying about giving me chicken pox, and I was scoffing that nothing was going to happen.  (It wasn't chicken pox that killed him - that was just a bad coincidence - I just remember how happy and calm I was, right before everything fell apart.)

I don't know why people say, "It wasn't meant to be."  It must just be the first thing that comes out of their mouths.  But it feels like an attempt to end the conversation - as though they are saying, "Don't harp on it - move on - let's talk about something more interesting."

I hadn't realised how common stillbirths are - it's not nice to think how many of us are out there.  I live in a small city and there's been two in the newspaper since Max died.  After the last one I even made a special trip to the cemetery to see if Max had a neighbour yet (he's buried in a special baby section).  He doesn't.

Anyway, I guess this thread isn't really the place to do it, but I'd love to hear more about Maggie and your pregnancy and what you're going through now.  Let me know if you're still around and we'll find a good place to chat. original.gif



#16 kstephen

Posted 09 September 2009 - 03:42 PM

I feel so grateful and priveliged to have read and shared to a very small extent what is a life changing experience.

A very close girlfriend of mine lost her little girl yesterday and is at the very beginning of a painful journey. She's in hospital and is yet to give birth to her little girl. I'm devastated and feel guilty for feeling so sad. I'm so pleased to hear that she may in time want to talk about her little girl, what she looks/smells like, how small her feet/hands are... all the questions we love to ask when a new person is welcomed into the world

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and suggestions of how to support her and her family from here on. xx

#17 eataust

Posted 13 December 2009 - 11:12 AM

Thank you for this thread.  Like the poster above, a dear friend lost her baby just over a week ago, when her waters broke and both she and he got an infection.

We are close friends but don't live physically close enough for me to "drop in" unannounced.  Her husband did call last weekend to say they were hiding away for a few weeks, and they'd let us know when to visit, so I'm keeping my distance except with random text messages saying "this is a random hug".  

I've now got a good idea on how to behave when I do visit, but is the correct thing right now just to keep waiting until they make the right move?  Or should I risk looking pushy and call before they do?

A tricky part of grieving etiquette, this.

It's not been a good few months; my partner lost his father in September.  I know it's NOT about me but one thing to also consider is that the carers of grieved people need some care themselves, otherwise they can become overwhelmed and just fall in a heap.

Someone says above to "don't forget the husband".  I heartily agree and would add that: "don't forget the close carers".  If you're part of a group of friends and/or family of the bereaved, don't be scared to speak among yourselves about your friends (either the mother or the father); to make plans to help support them without overwhelming your own resources; and to talk to the rellies if you're able.  The relatives have just lost a member of their family as well, and are also grieving.

This is one of the reasons I suspect people really NEED to live in communities.  People share the load of support around, and help eachother just as they help the grieving people; that's what the community is about.

So now, having written that with new eyes, I'm going to contact all our friends and openly speak about the death of the newest member of our community, and see how we can share the responsibility of care around.

Thank you.




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