National Early Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month
When are we allowed to grieve? Is grief the same for everyone? Is there a right or wrong in grieving?
If you look up the word grief in the dictionary, it says: ‘intense sorrow, especially caused by someone’s death.’
Grief therefore is all about a love we feel we cannot express any more.
I remember a time where I was lying in a cold room. I remember putting my head under the thin blanket trying to hide my tears. I didn’t know if I was allowed to cry or even allowed to be sad. I felt in between spaces, confused and lost.
Yesterday I been a mum and today I wasn’t. I lost my unborn baby. I didn’t know that there would be such a thing as miscarriage, I didn’t know the love you can have for an unborn child. I didn’t know that grief for an unborn child is such a painful, lonely journey.
And most of all I didn’t know that one in four women have miscarriages. I never spoke about it again. I cried in silence not knowing if I was allowed to share my pain. My grief and the love for my unborn child was in silence, for many years!
It was and it is still a conversation not many have. I’m not sure why it’s such a taboo.
In my previous job as a manager, I had a young woman working with me. She burst into tears one morning saying; ‘I lost my baby. I know I should not be sad because she wasn’t even born’.
‘And there it was – I couldn’t stand the thought that she was blaming herself for feeling grief for her baby. I opened up and I shared my story with her. We cried together.’
From that day on, I spoke openly about my loss as I want women to feel that they can openly acknowledge their feelings and their loss. It is nothing someone has to hide, or has to “move on” from.
Grief I learned comes for each person differently. I’ve learned that talking about it and acknowledging can help.
I have worked with many women in the last few months who have shared their sadness and pain with me in losing a young child. While I cannot ease the pain, though I’d love to, I do listen and this seems to help a little in understanding their pain. You don’t have to hide the pain you are feeling. You are more than entitled to grieve, to cry and to mourn any loss at all.
I’ve found that in the process of talking with women who have experienced this, they really want to honour the loved one.
‘My son died of SIDS at 6 weeks of age and Anja was able to create a piece of jewellery incorporating his hair, part of his cord stump and breastmilk. I now can wear this connection to me son always. I love it so much it has such a sentimental meaning and is absolutely beautiful also. Anja thank you -you have no idea how much this means to this grieving mother.’
In creating keepsakes with women, I find that I am helping heal myself in the process too.
Immeryours would like to acknowledge the Early Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month.
All my love,