I want to write this post for those people who are dealing with raw grief. I am not sure how many people will read it but I am hoping to be able to help someone with their grief. When something awful happens, and someone in your family dies, you fall down a roller-coaster of endless sorrow. I have experienced it quite a few times, but the last time around it was particularly difficult, and here is my story.
Two and a half years ago I had a stillbirth. I went to give birth to the hospital. They started preparing me there for the birth, tried to find the baby’s heartbeat, and couldn’t. Then they brought in an ultrasound, and just confirmed that the baby was diseased. At that point I was at the bottom with my emotions. It was a long road of recovery.
I suppose at this point I can say I am at peace with what happened. It took me about a year and a half to get back to being somewhat normal, and now I have a new baby who is almost 11 months old, so I don’t really have time to grieve now.
I think everyone has their own way to deal with grieving. For me, I tried to find the reasons why it happened to me, we did an autopsy on the baby, but nothing came out of it. I haven’t found the reason, I kept going over and over the event in my mind, and couldn’t find solace.
Eventually, I started reading books about grieving, went one time to a church service, and one time to an annual service set by a group of parents who have lost their children. All that seemed to help.
I have read a few books about grieving.
I find this book truly made me feel like I was not alone in my sorrow. Poor author Deborah Davis lost her baby in stillbirth, and like me didn’t get to hear her baby’s voice, or enjoy her at all. She was really moved by the fact that she couldn’t hold the baby in her arms, and that’s why she entitled her book this way – “Empty Cradle, Broken Heart”. I felt very similar to Mrs. Davis. I had this nagging feeling of needing to hold the baby, breastfeed the baby, and my emotions were very raw whenever I’d hear another baby cry. My milk would let down at the beginning, and I just felt like tears would choke me up every time. This book truly mirrors all the feelings one goes through in this dire situation, and it makes you feel like someone else in the world understands you. I hope nobody has to go through what we had to endure, but this is something that we couldn’t prepare ourselves, and we had to go through the difficult times by ourselves. I recommend this book to anyone who feels frustrated or overwhelmed with grief, and doesn’t know how to react, or what to do. This book sort of helped to harness my emotions, and make sense of the situation.
Pregnancy after a loss was another book that I read. After the stillbirth I was hoping to still have another child, and I think this book gave me that hope. It is written in a more matter-of-fact style, explaining some of the issues scientifically, others just through advice, but this book seems less emotional to me, and that’s how it also helped me to gain that necessary calmness that comes with understanding and accepting, and, moreover, moving forward. I hope that whoever faces this similar situation can get some help looking ahead through this book. It gives you some guidance in how to turn that page, and how to live with the grief.
One thing I have learned through experience, and that I like to repeat is that grief never goes away, you just learn to live with it. You will never stop thinking about what is imaginary, and the pain will not completely go away, but you learn to look at life through that experience, and cherish the good moments that you have, and try to build your memories on those moments.
One other organization helped me in that journey. NILMDTS is a non-profit that sends professional photographers to take pictures of those children who passed away. It is a hard thing to do, and I applaud those photographers who do this. I value what this organization has done for us. We met a wonderful photographer Rachele from a local Bothell, WA studio who patiently spent a few hours with us in the hospital, and took pictures of our baby.
Grief is a very personal journey… If you have any stories or comments – please, share them
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