Een lotgenote-mama deelde onderstaand artikel. Het komt van de website stillstandingmag.com, een online magazine door en voor ‘bereaved parents’ (er bestaat zelfs geen Nederlands woord voor). Ik vond het de moeite waard om hier te delen. Gek dat er zoveel misverstanden rond zijn, terwijl het voor ouders toch zo vanzelfsprekend is. ♡
“The trauma experienced by those who lose a baby is unimaginable to most. Most people won’t even allow their minds to ponder such a tragedy. When my daughter Aisley died during childbirth I recall an overwhelming amount of love and support being offered in the initial weeks as friends and family learned of her death. Unfortunately, as time passed, so did the support. A few people asked me when I would start focusing on moving on. People stopped mentioning her name. No one asked if I was okay anymore. I found that most people just didn’t understand grief and therefore didn’t know how to help.
In order to help bereaved parents, we need to open up the discussion around what it means to lose a baby. We can’t change the outcome, but we can change the way we react and support grieving parents. I’d like to share some common myths and misconceptions that many people have about bereaved parents.
Myth #1 – If you mention our baby’s name it will remind us they died and make us sad.
Let me assure you, no one forgets that their child has died. Not a day has gone by that I don’t think of my daughter and what she would be like today. Losing her shattered my entire world and I often found myself wondering how the rest of the world could go on. On the contrary, I love when people mention her or say her name. She already means the world to me but by mentioning her it shows she meant something to you.We don’t get to hear our baby’s names enough so whenever we do, it’s very special.
Myth #2 – We are dwelling on the loss of our babies and it is unhealthy to continue to talk about them.
When your mother/father/brother/sister/grandparent, etc. dies, do you erase them from your minds? Do you stop talking about them? Of course not! It is healthy and important for us to talk about our babies. We talk about them because they will always be a part of our family. Even death cannot remove a parent’s bond with their child. Remembrance is an important and continual part of grief. We don’t just accept their deaths and “move on,” we acknowledge and love them everyday as we continue living without them.
Myth #3 – We are looking for attention when we mention our loss or grief.
When a bereaved parent mentions their child they are not seeking attention for themselves, just as a parent that mentions their living child is not seeking attention. We are expressing love. Additionally, if someone is sharing that they are struggling with grief they are reaching out and seeking comfort. It’s not easy to ask for help so please offer this person love and support.
Myth #4 – We have no joy in our lives.
Indeed, there will be a pocket of sadness that I carry with me, a tear with every smile; however, I experience an abundance of joy in my life. Sorrow and joy coexist. In fact, losing my daughter has taught me more about appreciating life and being present than I ever could have known before.
Myth #5 – If we seem happy, we must be finished grieving.
The clearest way to explain grief is this: I will stop grieving my daughter’s death when I stop loving her, which is…never. Simply put, there are no clear stages to grief and no end to grief. It changes as the years pass but it never stops. Just because we seem happy doesn’t mean we are all better. Don’t forget to ask how we are doing every now and again.
The more we talk about grief the more we can understand it. It is my hope that with this understanding and compassion, we can all create a more supportive and empathetic environment for bereaved parents (and anyone grieving any type of loss).”
Van een mama die haar zoon verloor, nog voor hij zijn eerste adem ademde.
Hoe ze het omschrijft, zo is het echt…
Dit is zo inspirerend.
This is an excerpt from the first poem that I ever wrote that has been included in the book, To linger on hot coals. These are the first words that I ever said to my son after I gasped, “He’s beautiful” as I held him for the first time.
There are no words to accurately describe the experience of holding your stillborn child for the first time. You are suspended in time in between worlds of intense heartache, denial, tears and unconditional love. Life as you know it comes to an abrupt halt and nothing else matters. There is a deafening silence that fills the room only to be broken by the heart wrenching cries of the people whose lives have been torn apart.
There is no getting over this.
But at some point in your grief journey, you make a decision in your heart to search for the light again. You make a conscious effort to look up rather than down. You find pieces of beauty that you never knew existed and that is when healing takes a hold of you. It is not an easy choice to make, to begin to heal. It is hard. I remember the guilt I felt when I started to laugh again. How could I possibly laugh when he couldn’t? But then I heard him. “I don’t want to be the reason that your life ended too, Mama.” Those words have stayed with me and it was that day that I decided that I would live my life to the fullest, because I am not only living for me now…
I am living for him too.
Ik voel jou..