5 years later and it still hurts.
I don’t think the hurt will ever go away. The intensity I used to feel on a daily basis is what has subsided, but the pain is still there.
I remember someone saying that loss is something you never get over, you simply learn to live with it.
This resonates with me.
While I get frustrated that I still get upset, not because I shouldn’t feel this way, but I don’t want to be stuck in the sadness and pain.
While my grief journey can still bring me to my knees in pain, it has also brought me to a point where I can actually smile when I think of my little girl. There’s not a day that goes by where I don’t think of her. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Anyone who has experienced the loss of a child can attest to having difficulty in moving on. I think there’s also a fear that you won’t remember them or honour their memory. I didn’t need to worry about that 😉She’s always in my thoughts. Sometimes I wonder if that’s a problem.
Navigating grief and loss is such a complex journey and one that doesn’t come with a road map. No doubt, how we process our emotions and deal with moving forward will be unique to each of us, but what I have found to be helpful is to ride the wave instead of resisting how I feel. It’s tempting to quash feelings that keep coming up. Shouldn’t I be passed this by now? It’s been 5 years, surely these waves of grief will stop taking me by surprise and allow me some peace.
I don’t have all the answers and I don’t know what the future holds for me, but what I can say is that time helps. Time heals. Time allows space to process your emotions.
I try and remind myself that there’s no right or wrong way in how you process your emotions, so long as you are processing your emotions.
COMMUNITY & WHERE TO FIND HELP
Did you know 1 in 4 pregnancies will result in miscarriage or stillbirth? Staggering, right? Even with all our advancements in medical technology, the chances that a family has to face the loss of a child are quite high. I knew miscarriages and silent births happen, but I didn’t realize just how frequently they occur.
When MJ was born silent, I didn’t have anywhere to turn to. The hospitals didn’t give me any information. My fertility doctor didn’t give me any information. Even my gynecologist didn’t give me any information. I felt very much on my own and isolated. Friends and family, bless them, didn’t know what to say or how to deal with the situation. The truth is people are uncomfortable talking about death. I get it, it’s not a fun or easy topic. But it’s one we all have to deal with in life. There’s not much that is guaranteed in this life, but loss is one of them. It’s a hard truth.
As I get further along in my journey of grief, I’ve started to feel a little stronger about sharing more about my experience and reaching out to others who are facing the same tragic loss. So, a few months ago, I sat down to do some research on how I could help. I was so surprised to find lots of organizations that have already been established to help families going through this trauma.
If you (or someone you love) find yourself in need of help to navigate the loss of a child, here are some possible communities to turn to:
- The Compassionate Friends of Canada
- Baby’s Breath Canada
- International Stillbirth Alliance
- Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Centre (Calgary, Canada)
- This is a link to a PDF that I found on Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Centre that lists out organizations with resources and information for pregnancy loss that’s broken down by region: Ontario-based, Canada-based and international organizations.
- American Pregnancy Association
It may sound weird, but one Instagram account that I found immensely helpful and therapeutic was @ihadamiscarriage. Tiff (my quilty BFF) was sweet enough to share Jessica’s account with me. Seeing and hearing other women’s stories made me feel less alone, less like a failure, and less at fault. Having experienced several miscarriages, I know that no matter when they happen, they’re brutal. There’s nothing ‘missed’ about them. They’re very real and very physical.
If you’ve been through something similar and have insight to share and/ or additional resources for support, please share them in the comments below.
Stay strong and stay caring.