Having given birth to my twin girls just 4 weeks ago and having had to say good-bye to one of them just two days afterwards, I am experiencing all the facets of grief. This gives me a totally new perspective and a truly personal relationship with what is probably one of the deepest emotions to experience: grieiving one’s child.
I’ve put the following together to help friends and family understand on how to deal with us and our grief:
Wishes of An Angel’s Mum and Dad
- I wish you would not be afraid to mention my baby Amya Mirica Hope. Just because you never saw her doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve your recognition.
- I wish that if we did talk about my baby and I cried you didn’t think it was because you have hurt me by mentioning her. I need to cry and talk about my baby with you, it helps me heal.
- I wish you could tell me you are sorry my baby has died and that you are thinking of me, it tells me you care.
- I wish you wouldn’t think what has happened is one big bad memory for me. The memory of my baby, the love I feel for my baby and the dreams I had for her are all loving memories. Yes there are bad memories too, but please understand that it’s not all like that.
- I wish you wouldn’t judge me because I’m not acting the way you think I should be. Grief is a very personal thing and we’re all different people who deal with things differently.
- I wish you wouldn’t think if I have a good day I’m ok or if I have a bad day I’m being unreasonable. There is no “normal” way for me to act.
- I wish you wouldn’t expect me to “feel better” in a few weeks, months, or years for that matter. It may get easier with time but I will never be “over” this.
- I wish you could tell me you are thinking of me on my baby’s birthday, Mothers Day, celebration times and the day my baby died. These are all important and sad days for me.
- I wish you understood that losing my baby has changed me. I’m not the same person I was before and I’ll never be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to get back to “normal” you’ll stay frustrated. I am a new person with new thoughts, dreams, beliefs, and values. Please try to get to know the ‘new’ me, you might even still like me.
Avoid Clichés & Unhelpful Comments
Remember that we loved and wanted THIS baby, Amya Mirica Hope even though we have Ananda Mae Passion with us
- “Everything happens for a reason”
- “You will have another baby”
- “I know what you’re going through (unless you have experienced a similar loss)
- “I guess it’s God’s way of taking care of those with problems”
- “You would rather have lost your baby then look after a child with a disability”
- “Sometimes these things happen for the best”
- “It wasn’t meant to be”
- “You’re young, you’ll get over it”
- “At least you weren’t farther along.”
- “This was probably a blessing in disguise.”
- “Now you have an angel in heaven.”
- “It was God’s will”
- “At least you have other children”
- “At least you can get pregnant”
- “The baby would have been deformed anyway”
- “Everything will be fine next time”
- “You can try again”
Also, don’t fill in conversations with unnecessary outside news, including the announcement of a pregnancy or the birth of another baby.
When I received your first email on the news of Ananda and Amya my heart went out to you. I wanted to send you a message to let you know you were in my thoughts but I didn’t. Now I know that I shouldn’t be scared of another’s grief and that it’s ok to acnkowledge the loss.
Thank you for sharing your most personal thoughts and wishes on such a difficult subject. Much love to you all x
Thank you for your words Alex,
Yes, it’s something that has been unknown to me as well before my personal experience. I guess I wasn’t REALLY fully understanding grief before this…
I hope you’re well.
Take care, Nathalie
I’m so sorry you lost Amya Mirica Hope – I can’t imagine your journey right now, but I’m thinking of you often and sending my love. You’ve always been a guide for me, and I’m sure you have many other people on this list, thank you for a clear guide as to how you would like to be supported this time xx
Thank you so much for your words. Yes, this has been an experience for me far beyond anything I’ve experienced ever before and has given me such a depth of understanding about grief.
I guess I’ll be a guide using my experience somehow in future for others experiencing this.
All the best,
Thank you for the update. I sent an email a couple of weeks ago- I doubt that you’ve had a chance to read it being a new mum & all.
Sandy & I are terribly saddened by the news of Amya’s passing- we are heartened by your understanding of the significance of her life- helping deliver her sister into this world. We know that her beautiful light will shine in your lives forever.
May the joy of Motherhood with Ananda bring you some comfort in these most difficult times.
Our thoughts & prayers are with you all.
Brett & Sandy Slade
Thank you Brett for your comment. I truly appreciate you taking the time to write something.
Yes, time has been a bit of a blur… I don’t really know where I was in the last 4 weeks since I’ve given birth…
All the best to you and Sandy.
Dear Nathalie, I have just read a couple of your posts and I want to say how Sorry I am on the loss of your daughter Amya. My husband died a year and a half ago, and I think your blogging about how people can deal with grief is awesome. You are so INSPIRING to many people I am sure. SO many people just do not know how to talk about it and I known first hand as you do, that it certainly means a lot to hear from your friends and family – just to know they care and can be brave enough to walk with you on your grief journey. Unfortunately some people can’t deal with their own grief and distance themselves, this I find really sad as some of my friends I now don’t see – and I thought they would be the most supportive. But I guess that is their journey and sometimes we have to let go of these friends and new friends come into our lives. Thank you for your inspiring blogs. Sending you love and hugs on your journey xx
Thank you Kym,
Yes, indeed, it’s got to do with people’s own level of comfort with their own and your emotions. I just wrote about it in my latest post: http://reachforthesky.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/my-child-died-a-conversation-stopper/
I’m sorry about the loss of your husband. How are you doing with your loss?
I also notice that there is a shyness in asking questions around death, it’s a big taboo and we (I even notice it in myself) walk around it like on egg shell.
Have we somehow been told as children that it’s not ok to talk about it, I wonder… Food for some more pondering…
All the best,