Dear Mom Who Recently Lost a Baby:
I’m so sorry. I never have words for when I read about the loss of a baby, and I wish I did have magical words to make it all better. Truth is, there are none.
With everything else in life, time heals all wounds. Grief isn’t something linear. I’m sorry to tell you, but you might have much harder days ahead of you.
I shouldn’t go too far without mentioning this, we’re all really different. Please don’t measure yourself up to how other grieving mothers feel. Please don’t read this letter and feel like you should feel and go through everything that I talk about.
There is no wrong way to grieve.
Along the way, people will start to tell you how to do so, but ignore their kind suggestions, unless they help you. Unfortunately, in our society we don’t deal well with grief.
Most likely, you’re going to lose some friends. You’re going to grieve the loss of those friendships. You’re going to most likely change. You’ll have to get used to the new you. No one can begin to understand what it’s like to lose a child unless they’ve been there. Along the way, people will say extremely stupid things to you. When this happens, find a grieving mom friend to talk to about it so you can vent. Something helps me is thinking that those people are blissfully clueless. I don’t want them to be able to really understand–because that means that their baby would have to die, too.
Your baby will always be remembered. You will never forget your baby. Everyone you tell about your baby carries your child with them. It’s okay to talk about your baby, even if it makes other people feel awkward. It’s okay if you can’t speak about your baby.
You are okay. You are wonderful.
As long as you don’t hurt yourself or someone else, you are okay. I’m not a doctor, please don’t take any of this as medical advice or otherwise prescriptive. But, from one grieving mom to another, I want you to know that at times you might feel like you’re doing this wrong, but you aren’t.
As ugly as this grief stuff can be, I’ve also found beauty in the tragedy. Your child is beautiful. Your baby’s legacy will last and from that springs so much beauty.
You know those changes I talked about above? They’re not all bad. I’m a much better person myself for having known my daughter.
You aren’t alone. It’s a lonely road. You’ll probably feel alone at different points, even when you’re talking to other baby loss moms, but you are loved.
It’s okay if you can’t go to the in-person support groups everyone is probably pushing you to go to. It’s quite alright if you do go.
If you need to find others with a similar story, look to Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope. You’ll find support there.
If you ever feel like you don’t have a friend, you’re wrong. I’m your friend. We’re bonded forever because we both lost our babies. You can write me anytime, firstname.lastname@example.org. I might not get back to you right away, but I read your note right away and then I think about your baby.
Go gently and know that you truly are loved.