Sometimes things happen that we will NEVER ever understand… People try to comfort you because that’s just human nature, when one hurts those we love hurt and they do and say things to try to make us feel better. But, there are certain circumstances that NO words will ever make better. You can comfort more with a touch, a hug or a look than any word spoken. You can comfort by just being there helping to cook, clean and such. Just being there to support that loved one that is facing a devastating, life shattering experience.
One of those such devastating experiences is the loss of a child. A lot of people don’t understand how you could love someone that you have lost in a miscarriage or a baby that is a few days or weeks old. As a mother or father awaiting that child’s arrival, preparing a room to bring that baby home to, shopping and just enjoying the excitement of the coming baby…you get attached, you fall in love with this little being that is growing inside you. The father watches his wife’s belly grow, he may talk to the baby while in the womb, he too has his own aspirations for this child that he has never met. He too is anxiously awaiting the arrival of this child, a child that will change his life forever.
Have you ever had to bury a baby? If not you have NO idea what a mother or father is feeling at that moment. The ONLY thing you can do to be of any comfort is to be there, no words….
Why do I write of such things you ask? Well I’ll tell you why…I write of these things because miscarriage and infant loss are one of the most devastating things that a mother or father can face. Many don’t understand, they will say get over it. How pray tell do you just “GET OVER IT” You don’t!!! Your life has just been shattered into a million pieces! You have lost a piece of your heart, a piece of your soul that you’ll never get back! Not in this lifetime anyway! You feel like a failure, blame yourself, wonder what you could have done different??? You question your faith in God, why would God bless us with a miracle only to take it away before you’ve had the chance to meet that baby, for those lost in miscarriage. Or, you’ve never had the chance to raise your baby, for those who have had the joy of holding their little one, even for a short while. You have no memories of that child’s first ANYTHING…. NOTHING!!!! You wonder about their first steps, first day of school and so on…. When you see others sharing the joy of their children, your heart aches for your child. You wonder what your child would be like, what they would look like….
When we buried our baby, I had cried so much at the hospital, then preparing for the funeral that I felt I had no tears left at the grave site. I knelt down by my baby’s tiny coffin feeling guilty because I had no tears left. My Daddy…. oh my Daddy, a strong man, a man that rarely shows emotion. He reached down picked me up and literally carried me to the car as I was screaming, NO, Daddy! NO, Daddy!!! I know that broke my Daddy’s heart. He looked at me with tear filled eyes and spoke not a word, he rubbed my head and walked away.
Later that year we were all at a family gathering for the holidays, lots of babies around, lots of laughter and holiday cheer. My heart was breaking, I could not take one more second, I was in complete agony! As I walked out the door someone asked if I was OK? I shrieked NO!! I left, not knowing where I was going or what to do. I just knew I had to get out of there, I could not breathe! I had so much pain bottled up inside, my heart ached, my arms ached, I felt such emptiness inside, I wanted to scream to the top of my lungs. That’s just what I did, I ended up at my brother’s house. When I walked in, my brother could see that I was in a bad way. I fell into my brother’s embrace screaming, bloodcurdling screams, to the top of my lungs! I WANT MY BABY! I WANT MY BABY! I JUST WANT TO HOLD MY BABY! By the time I stopped screaming my brother was crying, he hurt because I hurt. He comforted me by holding me, giving me a refuge to release the insurmountable grief I was holding onto. He spoke not a word, he just held me. I don’t think my brother realized until that very moment how horrific the grief actually was for me. He will never know just what he did for me that day….
How did I survive this loss? I’ll tell you, lots of love and support from my family. I suffered from PTSD (Post traumatic stress syndrome) which led to depression for many years before I finally faced it. Looking back I had moments of depression over the years, I just never realized how bad it was. 6 long years after losing my first baby, I got to the point where I would just lay there crying, wanting to end the pain. I even contemplated taking a bottle of nerve pills. The ONLY thing that stopped me was knowing that my husband would be the one to find me, I just could not bring myself to do that to him or the rest of my family. I knew how devastated they would be. Finally, I went to the doctor, I saw a brochure for PTSD, I was drawn to it. I answered yes to 6 out of 7 questions. When they called me to the back I was crying. The doctor asked why I was crying. I replied… this is what I do, I cry uncontrollably all day & all night…. I showed her the brochure and she agreed that it was PTSD, which can be triggered by any traumatic event and the loss of a child definitely fits into that category. I was prescribed an anti-depressant, which I only took a few months because I did not want to be dependent on pills. I can tell you first hand, there is no shame in talking to your doctor if you need help getting over a loss like this. I thank God I did….
The next time you know of someone who has lost a baby, remember this ….
You can comfort more with a touch, a hug or a look than any word spoken. You can comfort by just being there helping to cook, clean and such. Just being there to support that loved one that is facing a devastating, life shattering experience.