Remember when I said there were a few big awareness campaigns? One was Breast Cancer Awareness. The other is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness. This one hits just a little bit closer to home for me. CTOD is actually going to be hosting a Panel this month similar to the one we held last month for Alzheimer’s Caregivers. I’m very excited to share those details with you.
I hope you can only imagine the pain of losing a child to miscarriage, stillbirth or as an infant. It’s something I would never wish on anyone. But the reality is 1 in 4 women will experience the loss of a pregnancy. Often times there isn’t even a reason. A loss like this is devastating. Not just to the mother, but to the father, any children in the family, grandparents, excited friends, and extended family.
It’s so much more than just the death of a child. It’s the death of hopes and dreams. It’s realizing that the safest place in the world for your child isn’t so safe. Whether it be your child’s crib or your womb. It’s realizing there won’t be any first day of school pictures. No crying with Santa. No need for the baby shower. It means going home to an empty crib. It means no more babies crying. It’s telling your children that baby isn’t coming home. Many baby loss moms simply say their baby is now an angel. Hence the term, angel babies.
Beyond the things you would notice in daily life there are many emotional things that happen when you lose a child. Some of this you can probably relate to if anyone you’ve known has ever died. Denial. You can’t believe it’s true. Anger, how could this happen? How dare God take your child from you? Bargaining, if you give me my baby back, I’ll go to church more. I’ll pray more, I’ll do this or that. Depression, feeling utterly alone and sad. And finally, acceptance, yes, this did happen. It’s horrible and sad and your life is forever changed but it’s real.
All these things are too much to go through alone and yet we feel like no one can understand. God does. True, Jesus was a man. But His heart breaks when ours does. He knows that in losing a child we lose a part of ourselves. Other understand too. 1 in 4 remember? It’s imperative to reach out enough to know you’re not alone. Friends if your friend has lost a child, she is not ok. She might be managing, and some are more ok than others. But reach out. Check in. See how she’s doing. Take her to lunch. Bring her a coffee. Sit with her. There is no perfect thing to say. Just let her know she isn’t alone. Join a support group online. Facebook is full of them. CTOD has them too. There are local support groups for grief sometimes there are specialized groups just for parents who’ve lost an infant or pregnancy.
“Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19:14 Jesus loves the little children…just like that Sunday School song. “Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world. Red, brown, yellow, black, and white, they are precious in His sight. Jesus loves the little children of the world.” Written by Clare Herbert Woolston.
As much as our hearts break for such a loss so does God’s. And He not only cares for the blessed child who went to heaven too soon for our liking, He also cares for us who are left behind and feeling heart broken. Be gentle with yourself. Reach out for your support and let them lift you up. Your journey through grief may just be beginning but you are not alone. You will find your new normal and life will be good again. Keep communication open with those who love you and talk to your pastor. If you feel so inclined join a support group here at CTOD. You can find strength when you realize you are not alone.