My Child Died – A Conversation Stopper

Hope :-)

Many people are lost for words when they hear me say that my child has passed away. Losing one’s own child is one of those experiences that we don’t know how to deal with – an untimely death.

I want to encourage people to dare to speak to me about my child, to mention her name and to ask me how I feel about it now. It does not have to be the only topic we talk about but it definitely shouldn’t be the one topic to avoid.

It might bring up emotions in me and it will definitely bring up emotions in you. What you are doing with them – allow and welcome or hide and suppress them – is the question.  You are meeting your own grief. You might be afraid of what you think it must feel like for me.  The chance is that I’ve already gone through and experienced the sadness, despair,  hopelessness, anger… This however is no absolution from feeling it again and again whether you mention it or not. Sooner or later I will go through the emotions and so are you. There is no way of hiding from this experience in life.

So the question really becomes: Can you bear standing in the face of any emotions, mine or your own? Are you ready to be authentic and share your tears with me? Or are you more comfortable hiding them?

There is no right or wrong way and no judgement of mine. It’s whatever you are comfortable with in yourself.


And remember – there is no set time frame for grief.

It will NEVER be over, so don’t expect me to ‘be over it’.

I don’t want time to heal this wound.

Yes, it will (and already has) get easier.

25 Responses to “My Child Died – A Conversation Stopper”

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  1. Lara Nettle says:

    There are so many people I wish would read this.

  2. Eliza says:

    So well said!
    I wish I could express this to my family & friends who definitely avoid the subject with us.
    We lost our daughter 15months ago now & have been blessed with another beautiful daughter 4 months ago.
    I feel like people think, oh they are ok now, they have another daughter!
    I hope what you have written will help you and people like us to get the message through to people who find it to hard to approach!

    • indeed, Elza,
      having one of my twins dying and still having one child to mother does not mend the broken heart of losing one…
      One child never patched that ache and even though people around you might like to see you ‘better’ and without pain or sadness it’s their own emotional vulnerability they find hard to deal with…
      All Love, Nathalie

  3. Tanya says:

    I sympathize with you. My mother lost a baby, my older sister, to a drunk driver when she was only 10 days old. She nearly lost her own life too & to be honest, over the years, she’s now 56 & my sister would’ve been 36, I think there have been times when she wishes she died too. But I am now the eldest of 4, and MY 2nd youngest daughter looked just like my older sister did when she was born, red hair & all. My mother takes comfort in watching my daughter, who is now 3.5, grow & imagining what my sister would’ve looked like. Take hope, the pain never leaves, but it does get easier. And you never know where you may see your baby’s looks again. Much love & prayers to you.

    • Dear Tanya,
      Thank you for your comment. I’m sorry to hear about your mum’s loss. As you said, I guess the pain of the loss of one’s own child never leaves…
      Not sure if you’re aware of the synchronicities in my life and in your words:
      ~ You said ‘take hope’ – my daughter who died was named Hope in utero 🙂
      ~ My other daughter Ananda Mae Passion is an idential twin with my daughter who died (Amya Mirica Hope) so I see ‘them both’ every day 🙂
      All Love, Nathalie

  4. Raelene says:

    I was directed here through the heartfelt website, I haven’t lost a child, but I know a family who has. I’m humbled by the work heartfelt photographers do and have immense respect and admiration for the gift they give to families in what must be a challenging time for them. I enjoyed reading your comments, celebrating the life of a loved one passed (no matter the age of the person) gives them life in return. A baby/childs life brings such joy to those who love them that of course we should speak of them, recall beautiful memories, indulge in conversation about them, get lost in what ever emotion that may bring up, after all we are human. I hope many people speak to you about your child, that is how they live, through us, and then our children can never truelly be apart from us. We are blessed to have people pass through our lives no matter how brief that may or may not be. Continue to celebrate your child/children’s life. You are an inspiration and at the same time I’m sure you are just an ordinary person, I think most of our heros are.

  5. Gaby says:

    A work colleague, who is a good mate, lost his baby when his wife was only 26 weeks pregnant. I felt for them both & cried for them. Life is precious, especially tiny life’s. We have talked many times over the past 14 months about how they are going. Especially since they were pregnant again a few months later.
    I feel honoured that my mate has trusted me to have these conversations. People shouldn’t shy away from talking about death. Yes it’s scary but it should be talked about

  6. Amanda says:

    Wow what a story, i just wish people who haven’t lost a child think before they speak. A lot of people will never understand unless they have lived it! Even though my child isn’t here, it will never stop me talking about her and doing things as if she was, but just in a different way. RIP Trinity Rose 2009, 35 week stillborn!

    • I’m sorry to hear that you lost beautiful Trinity Rose at 35 weeks.
      My twins were born at 34 weeks and, as you’ve read, one of them passed away just 2 days into her life… and yet, having one does not mend the loss of the other. Like you, mothers ‘expect’ and if the expected baby or babies does not come home with the mother, it is a enormous loss.
      All the best,

  7. Tegan Small says:

    Thank you, I hope this helps friends and family in bringing up the topic of baby and child loss with the parents.

  8. Jamie says:

    We lost our Rylin Faith Daniels to pertussis (whooping cough) When she was just shy of 3 months old. We speak of her often and keep her pictures around. She is still a part of our family. We love to talk about her…but you are right, many immediately quiet and look down when they hear of the loss. Yes, the loss was/is heartbreaking; however, Rylin is a wonderful memory! I love to smile and cry for her often. I love her. God blessed us tremendously by making us her parents. I think your message is wonderful and needs to be shared with all. Thanks!

    • Thank you for your comment Jamie/Rebecca,
      So sad to lose a child – whatever age. When did it happen?
      They have been so adament with us re whooping cough injection and I do understand as I have friends who have/had whooping cough, even as adults.
      All the best,

  9. i have two angels in heaven AMEILIA ROSE passed away 28th december 1998 and PIXIE DAYA passed away 30th october 2001 so i thank you for bringing this story to this page hope people will learn to understand how we feel and age doesnt matter as it hurt just as much losing a baby to losing a adult so thankyou i have tears rolling down my face

  10. it doesnt get easy this sunday mark 10 years and i still cry i cry everyday for my girl as it kill to know i will never watch then grow are hold them again its pain full to lose anyone thankyou again

  11. Dearest Nathalie,
    So sorry for your loss. You have articulated so well your own pain and the discomfort of others who mean well but don’t feel empowered to speak with you about the death of your baby. I am Executive Director of Angel Babies Foundation May I have your permission to share your words? I found your blog through Heartfelt. Have a gentle day xox

    • Dear Maree,
      Thank you for your comment.
      I would be more than thrilled for you to share my words. I have a strong sense and my hope / prayer that the way I’ve been processing my experience and the words that have come out of it will be of support to people in similar situations.
      You might like to read some of my notes on Facebook:
      If you find something useful for others, let me know and I’ll post it to my blog. I’d love you to let me know where you post it, ok? Or you’re welcome to link to my blog. Anyway these words get spread is part of my prayer, part of HOPE’s payer. (Hope is the name my baby who dies chose while still in utero…).
      We have found Angel Babies Foundation to be of great support to us during our journey with our baby and just yesterday have made a donation in the name of Amya Mirica Hope Young.
      All the best,

  12. Emily says:

    Great article. So well said. my first born son when Was stillborn 30weeks pregnant. I want to keep his memory alive, and when someone asks me about my children I tell them about Lachlan. The reactions are amazing. Xx

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