Monday, November 26, 2012

When my child has died - please.......

Thank you to Paula B. from Beverly, England for sharing this - every mom whose on this journey, understands these statements all too well...

When My Child Has Died
~author is unknown but she knows she was a woman

When my child has died, please… 

  • Don’t ignore me because you are uncomfortable with the subject of death. It makes me wonder if what happened means nothing to you.
  • Acknowledge my pain, even if you think it shouldn’t be as great as it is… (because I’ve ‘only’ lost a baby or one of four!)
  • Losing a child is one of the most difficult experiences to face and the depth of my grief will shock even me as it returns in waves. A tremendous number of emotional and physical hurts will come my way – please don’t minimize them.
  • Please be aware that holidays and anniversaries will be particularly difficult times.
  • If you invite me for lunch or bring a meal around (and please do) in the midst of my grief, please expect to talk about my loss. It’s all I’m thinking about and I need to talk it out; small talk neither interests nor helps just now.
  • Please don’t change the subject if I start to cry. Tears and talking about it are the healthiest way for me to release my intense emotions.
  • Telling me that So-and-so’s situation must have been much worse won’t make mine easier. It only makes me feel you don’t understand or can’t acknowledge the extent of my pain.
  • Don’t expect that because my child is in heaven or ‘with God’ I shouldn’t be hurting. Even the most fervent believer in God would rather have their child with them. My arms ache to hold my child and I miss him or her so much. And God might not be finding favor with me right now.
  • Now is not the time to tell me about your own childbirth or child’s experiences… It reminds me in the most painful way of what I’m missing.
  • Don’t remind me that I’m so lucky to have other children. I am and I know it. But my pain is excruciating for this child; the others don’t take that pain away. Indeed, they can add to it because I’ve got to comfort them as well.
  • No matter how bad I look, please don’t say “You look terrible.” I feel like a total failure right now and I don’t need to hear that I look awful too.
  • Don’t devalue my experience or my child – the feelings of deprivation are so intense. A child who has never breathed is nonetheless missed so if I’ve ‘only’ miscarried or my child was stillborn, don’t forget he/she was a very special, unique person.
  • Please don’t suggest my child can be replaced by my having more. Would you say “Don’t worry, there are plenty more fish in the sea,” to someone who had just lost their husband?
  • When you ask my husband how I’m doing – please don’t forget to ask him how he’s doing too. He has also lost his child. If you ignore his hurt it suggests that his pain doesn’t exist or doesn’t matter.

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