Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A message to the newest baby loss mama's

I copied this off of  This blog entry is raw, powerful, and a resource I wish I had when we lost Trey.  I can identify with EVERY aspect of it.  It's long but detailed so please read and share with others you think need the resource or might benefit.  Please be sure to reference the above link to those you share it with.  May these days be ever gentle to you all.  :) Sharon

A message to the newest baby loss mama’s.
There are 7 steps to grief. They are:
1 - Shock & Denial
2 - Pain & Guilt –
3 - Anger & Bargaining – Emotional outburst
4 - Depression & Loneliness
5 - Upward turn – adjusting to the loss
6 - Reconstruction of life without the loved one
7 - Acceptance & Hope (Not happiness but reminiscing without intense pain)

Ignore that. All of that, doesn't mean a damn thing to you right now. Because right now your heart is broken and you are lost and confused and hurting so much that it feels as though with every breath you take you are going to shatter into tiny little pieces. If you've ever shattered a glass, and tried to reassemble it you’ll know it’s impossible. Shards can’t be replaced, often, they can’t even be found. Yes, this is your heart. Yes, I know it well.

When you wake up every morning and for just that one second you have that blissful unawareness, you will come to treasure it. Because shortly after you’ll remember. My baby died. And then the crushing reality will fall in on you. You will probably find yourself crying before you even get out of bed. You will cry in the shower. The car. The line at the grocery store. The bank, the post office, the school drop off line. Everywhere you go, there will be tears.

There will be pregnant people. Tiny newborns. Just seeing them will break you. You will be angry at them, so so angry. You will be irrational, and you will say things you would never mean, but it’s ok. You are entitled, and anyone who is someone worth having in your life will let you be you at this time. Don’t bottle up. Don’t be silent. Don’t hold back. Spew your venom to your friends – that’s what they are there for, and while you will not feel better, the release of negativity will help. It’s a step, you have to go through it.
We know you don’t wish this pain on anyone. We know that intellectually you don’t want someone else’s baby to be dead, just as you don’t want yours to be. Intellectually, you know that. Emotionally it hurts so bad that it needs to be anyone else, just so you can stop aching, every single second.

They say empty arms hurt more than an empty heart. Your arms will ache for your baby. You will wake up cradling your pillow, where your babe should be. Your breasts will hurt. You will bleed and feel as though your life force has been pulled from you. Just breathing will be a chore. I know. I know.
When people talk of the beauty of the world, of the sunrise, of the rain, you will cry. Because when a baby dies there is no beauty. For now at least, the world is black and white. In the white, the babies who live. In the black. Us. Those who have lost. Those who yearn and cry and beg and scream and kick and fight with all of our being for something we cannot have back, but are not willing to let go of.

Treasure the moments of your grief. You are screaming for your baby. Your baby is honoured through your tears, through your agony. You are allowed to be this. In this moment. In these days, these weeks you can be what you need to be. Do not feel pulled into any direction. Walk each day as it is, and how you must walk it. If you need to take  a stick, and scream at the ocean while beating a tree then do it. For holding back the grief will see you drown.

Gradually and eventually, and in your own time, you will begin to feel a calm. Do not be fooled into thinking you are beyond the agony. Be aware that you will find triggers. There will be things that never in a million years would cause you to cry – before. But now, that smell, that view, that picture, that song will have you howling in pain, as you struggle to come to grips with the enormity of a life with only memories.  It will make you angry. Yes, you will go back to anger. You will go back to desperation, loneliness. You may bounce forward to acceptance, and then right back to bargaining in a single day. Nobody walks the 7 steps, and walks them straight. I wish someone had told me that. It always stunned me that I would wake up like an emotional psychopath for almost no reason after being a pretty reasonable member of society for a few days. There have been days where I have been accepting and happy, and in an instant bounced back to being so angry that I don’t know if I want to get drunk, have angry sex, or kick a puppy.

I hovered between steps 1 and 3 for weeks, but totally skipped step 2. By the time Ariana was in the NICU I was past the anger and bargaining but firmly entrenched in the pain & guilt and depression and loneliness. Once we lost her I went right back to steps 2 & 3. Gradually we worked through, and I hit step 5 but then some days I wake up right back at step 1. The grief journey doesn’t go 1 – 7. Mine in particular was more 1, 3, 1 , 3, 1, 3, 2, 3, 4, 1 ,3, 2 ,4 ,3 ,4, 5, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 5, 6, 6, 1, 5, 4, 1 ,2,5 ,6, 7,1… and so on. Some days I still wake up so angry that we lost our baby. So angry that she died. Other days I can wake up and not even remember for a few minutes that we live in that world.

You can never leave that world. But I beg of you – live through it. Because if you try and hide this, if you try and be nice, and polite and sweet and generous and accepting all the time, when your soul is screaming and your heart is black with anger you will be pained for longer, and hurt more than you already do. You know your pain now, don’t minimise it. Grab your hurt, live in it and gradually you will start to feel it lift. Slowly. Time does not heal. But people do. You will. There will be a day, I promise, that it gets easier. I will never forget your children, as I will never forget my own. And in these moments, let us carry you – for the burden is too heavy to carry alone. We the people of the black know.

We know. I know.

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