Some may roll their eyes when they see this come up of their feeds, and that is okay with me. While there are the few very close to me, the best of my friends, that will listen to me talk about my lost child until the end (you know who you are)… there are many out there who will judge, scoff and sigh knowing that 9 months later, I still am not “over my grief”.
There seems to be a stigma on grieving parents of babies lost to stillbirth, neonatal death and SIDS. There is a lot of judgment. In grievance support groups, and even from people speaking to me directly, I have heard things such as “losing a baby is not as difficult as losing an older child”… or, “at least she was just a baby and you did not have years to grow attached”.
So… after reading another comment today directed at a grieving parent of a lost baby, from believe it or not, a parent also grieving over the loss of their teenager, I want to make something very clear…and I believe I am speaking for ALL PARENTS who have lost a baby.
When a baby dies, we do not simply just “lose a baby”. Try to really think about that for a moment. “JUST.A.BABY.”. Is that really all that was lost? No. Not only the parents, but that child, lost more than anyone who has not lost a child, would even consider. We lost the first steps…we lost hundreds of thousands of kisses goodnight. We lost every ‘I love you’ that would have ever been whispered. We lost Christmas mornings… and easter egg hunts. We lost all of those pancake breakfasts. We lost the first day of school. The first broken bone. The first broken heart…..graduation. Possibly GRANDCHILDREN that now…will never exist, because that child was lost…. because that baby…did not have the chance to live.
That child will never know what it is to fall in love. They will not have passions or dreams or hobbies. They will never have the chance to hold a baby of their own and grow old.
It’s an entire person who could have been, just not being. Not here. Gone. Forever. I do not even know what my daughter Tallis would look like at this time.
When you think “it is not the same…it was just a baby”..think about this. Not many people got to know your child yet when they passed…there are not many memories. We as parents cannot ask our friends and family to talk about all of the amazing memories with them…because they were few still. If any at all…for some of us. I am grateful I had those 7 weeks.
That baby that was “just a baby”, we wish we could talk about them all day every day. It hurts…to try to act like nothing happened. It hurts, to try to be “normal”.
To anyone out there doubting the power of the grief of a parent who lost a young child…remember this the next time you go to judge them for wanting to talk about their baby. We saw a piece of our own self… lifeless in front of our eyes. We live every day, terrified, that our child will be forgotten forever. We live with a massive hole in our heart.
A light that burned very briefly in our lives…yet stronger than any other we had ever known….died…without any warning or explanation. On that day, our lives forever changed…and we will forever feel like we are missing a huge part of EVERYTHING that we do.
If you are talking to me…chances are, I am thinking about my baby. If you see me walking down the street, I am thinking about my baby. If you see me smiling and laughing, yes, I am still thinking about my baby.
The next time you find yourself thinking, “it was just a baby”…I hope that you remember reading this status. I hope that this might shed some light on the stigma and give voices to those parents that have lost “their baby”.
Remember that those babies…could have lived.
Ask yourself…when would you prefer to lose a child?