The support given has:
A. Shown us that she matters. There is nothing like knowing that your child is loved and accepted and thought of by others. Although she was only here for a brief period, she really matters. And when our child matters to you, you show us that you really care about us and our family.
B. Shown us that we aren't alone in this. Having people who surround you with love is absolutely amazing. Although many have not been in these shoes, they care enough to, I don't want to say carry this burden, but, in a way, they do. These people can help pick you up when you are falling apart and don't feel that you can get back up. They let you know that they love you and they do feel this grief with you. They will hold your hand and their heart breaks with yours.
Some of the things that have meant the most to me were just people saying "Hey, I'm thinking about you", the text messages from my sisters that just say "I love you", notes from friends saying they love us, my mom (also a loss parent) calling me just to see how I'm doing, friends saying they were thinking of my daughter, friends who support my loss group in Mary's memory, and people who do mention her or share her.
That brings me to what I want to talk about. It really is ok to mention our child. I know people are uncomfortable talking about our babies, and they shouldn't be.
Are you scared we will cry? You know, there is that chance that we will cry. So, if we do, comfort us. Even just an arm around our shoulders is awesome. Listening, that's also awesome. If we are huggers, give us a hug.
Are you scared it will bring up bad memories? It might, but I can promise every time we think about our baby, we have some bad memories, but we also have good memories of them. I hate remembering that day and circumstances, I truly HATE it. BUT I love thinking about my daughter. The memories of HER are priceless. I have the most beautiful and perfect baby (yep, mommy bias there
Are you unsure of what to say?? If so, try to think it through. I am understanding to a point, but there are some things that don't need said. Please don't compare grief. This means, don't say you know how we feel unless you have been through almost the same kind of loss. I once had a "friend" compare the loss of her CAT to the loss of my BABY. Yeah, not cool. Or others who lose a relative. Don't compare. I know some people like hearing that others will pray for them, but sometimes, you can only hear it so many times before you want to scream. When I've had that term said to me, depending upon my mindset, especially in the early days, I just wanted to say "Shove your prayers, just freaking LISTEN. Just listen". Sometimes, it feels like that term is used as a band-aid. Yes, wounds can heal with band-aids over them. However, more deeper wounds, they need special care in order to heal properly. The loss of a child is the deepest wound you can ever have, hands down.
Do you question our grieving or have certain opinions about it?? My simple answer to that one is -Don't. There really is no time line on grief and there really is no right or wrong (unless you are harming yourself/others via destructive behaviors like drugs/drinking or suicidal thoughts/feelings). I know there is a "grief cycle", but I think others tend to not realize that it's a cycle and we can go through many of the same motions repeatedly. Grief is very individual. If you think "I would be over this by suchandsuch a time", well, keep thinking that, because until you go through it, you don't know.
Are you uncomfortable with the whole death thing?? Well, we aren't all that crazy about it ourselves, but it is something that happened and it can't just be ignored. Death is a fact of life and there is no getting around it.
Does the death of a baby/child make you uncomfortable?? Well, we hate it ourselves. We don't enjoy going through it and embarking upon this lifelong journey. And let's get real, it causes you a momentary discomfort, but we live with it EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. We can't just hit a little red X on the computer screen or just not make a phone call. We can't ignore it. We know, this was not the original order of things. You expect to lose people you love when they are older, not younger. We are supposed to be buried by our children, not the other way around. It is hard to wrap our minds around something happening that is just not how it's suppose to be. Ignoring it, it really just hurts us. Why hurt us because of something that doesn't even really affect you??
It's time for those who know a loss parent to band together and HELP us through this. We cannot do it alone, nor should we be expected to. Say something to show you care. When someone close to you behaves like above, it hurts, more than you can imagine. Infant loss really feels like leprosy because of how we get treated. Do you want to be the one to cause additional hurt to us or do you want to be one of the ones who helps build us up??