Babyloss

Friends of bereaved parents:

It’s not about you.

This is the most important piece of advice I could possibly give anyone who wants to be there for their friends during moments of grief. There is so much more I could tell you, but you could easily find a hundred other blog posts out there if you want a list. But to me, personally, the most important advice for you to have is that it’s just not about you.

I’m not being selfish when I say this. And you’d be surprised at the amount of people who just don’t understand. But if you want to be there for you friend, you have to remember that this is about them. This is something that is happening to them. You are there in a supporting role, you are not the star. Your friend does not have the strength to care about you at the moment. That may sound harsh, but they’re not being selfish – they are just grieving.

You honestly should not burden your friend at this time with having to worry about you as well. They’re trying to figure out how to go on living, they really don’t need anything else on their shoulders.

You should keep an open line of communication, but remember, that is on you. You can’t chuck a hissy-fit because your friend isn’t being as receptive as you’d like them to be. You can’t get personally offended that they might take days to reply. You can’t get jealous if they would rather speak to someone else. This is not about you. This is about your friend. And if you truly want to be supportive, you won’t burden them with your hurt feelings – you will at least try to understand, and you will continue to try and support them.

And if you decide that trying to maintain contact is too hard, that is also on you. Your friend will notice. They will remember that you stopped trying, or didn’t try at all; that you thought the relationship was not worth the trouble. And I have no sympathy for you. You have just lost a relationship that you probably didn’t deserve. If you don’t have the patience to deal with your friend’s grief you do not deserve to be there when they finally emerge from their dark hole and feel almost up to living again. You do not get to re-enter their life when the hard part is over. You don’t deserve to.

You need to understand that, during this time, you have to put your friend first. I can’t stress this enough. They may hurt your feelings. And supporting your friend can be exhausting. You also might feel like they don’t appreciate you, but believe me, they do, they just don’t have the energy to show it. In the months to come you will get your appreciation.  

You may have your own grief about their loss, but you need to find your own support for that – it is not up to your friend to support you. I’m not saying you don’t have a right to grieve. You are allowed to be sad as well. But it is ultimately your friend who has lost a child, not you.

This is not about you. You can’t make it about you. You have no right to demand support or care from your friend during this time – that’s what they need you for.

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Babyloss

Stupid things that people say.

I know there are a million and one posts on the internet about what not to say to a bereaved parent. And I don’t have much more to offer, but I thought I would share my personal experiences. In no particular order:

How are you?
While the question itself really isn’t that bad – sometimes it’s actually quite nice when people ask such a simple question – nobody ever wanted to hear the answer, and this is why I couldn’t stand people asking. If I said I was anything worse than good, most people would just go silent and change the topic. Even just ‘okay’ was not an acceptable answer. Sometimes people would try to convince me that I was, in fact, good. Nobody wanted to actually talk about how I was feeling unless I was feeling great, which clearly I wasn’t. I ended up telling everyone not to ask unless they were prepared to hear that I wasn’t as great as they wanted me to be. I have been asked precisely twice since then.

You are so strong!
I’m really not. I have to go through this pain and survive somehow. Crumbling to pieces and refusing to function aren’t very appealing options, although I don’t feel like I’m doing much better than that anyway. Don’t marvel at how “strong” I am – I’m just trying to cope in any way I can.

You can still have more kids or Are you going to try again?
Yes, another baby would be a blessing – but it is not some sort of consolation prize for losing the ones I already had and so desperately wanted. Another baby will not replace my sons, and having another child will not make me suddenly forget my sons or feel better about losing them. Nothing will ever take away the pain of not being able to watch my sons grow up.

Everything happens for a reason.
No. Shut up. There is no acceptable reason for my sons to have had their lives taken from them. End of story.

They’re in a better place.
Personally, I believe the best place for my sons is probably here with me. I do like to believe they’re somewhere lovely, looking down on us and smiling. But I can’t believe that that place is better than getting to experience life and the love I have for them.

(Insert name here) just had their baby safely.
For some reason, everyone felt the need to inform me that their friends or relatives had just had a healthy baby. Why, thank you! Thank you for letting me know that someone I don’t know or care about now gets to experience everything I don’t. Thank you to my mother-in-law, for informing me that some cousin of yours that my partner and I had never met had just become a grandmother and her grandchild was born safely. Thanks dad, for letting me know that somebody in town had just had their seventh child, and then going on about how amazing it was that she had seven children; while I sat there with my own empty arms. I don’t even know these people, and I don’t really care to hear their good news when mine is nothing but sad.

 

 

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Babyloss

Dear God,

Every night for the past two weeks I’ve spent crying, begging for you to give me my sons back. Or at least tell me why you took them from me.

Every night, my house is empty. Silent. And I get no response from you.

I know my sons are with you. And I know you’ll keep them safe. But what am I supposed to do now? I was meant to be looking after my babies. Raising my beautiful sons. Instead their cots are empty.

How am I supposed to go on, when my heart is broken like this? My hopes and dreams died with my sons. I would do anything for them to be able to live.

I wrote this on the 17th of February, a little over two weeks after my sons were born.
Now, I’ve had almost 7 months to “come to terms” with losing my sons, but I’m still struggling to make my peace with God. And over the past few months, the more I think about God, the less I trust him.
I used to be a religious person. I used to pray. Every now and again I still do. But now it feels like my prayers aren’t being listened to.
I don’t know I feel about you anymore, but please God, help me heal.

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Babyloss

Why I started this blog…

I started this blog what feels like a lifetime ago now. I started it to write about life with my identical twin sons, among other things, with whom I was pregnant at the time.
You’ll notice my URL is “multiply blessed”, which is exactly how I felt back then. Everything seemed perfect. My partner & I were so happy, and it felt like everything was about to get even better. We were just counting down the days until our sons were here.
There’s no easy way to tell you that we did not get to take our sons home. They were born January 30th of this year, but their hearts had stopped beating sometime the day before. I felt like mine had too. We were 5 days away from our inducement date, and the pregnancy had always been perfect – how could it all suddenly go wrong? My sons had always been so healthy. There had been zero complications. But apparently my body had failed them.
My first post here was supposed to be a post from an exhausted new mum. Probably a quick birth story, and some rambling about what treasures my sons are and how I love them more and more each day. I do, but they are not here to share that love. And maybe one day I will post their birth story, but now is certainly not the time. Now, this blog will probably be used to document my life and how I cope without my precious boys.
So far, it has been a mess, but you’re welcome to read about it.

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