Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Will the Pain Last Always??

How not to help.

The average person considers infant/pregnancy loss issues topics not fit for open discussion. It's a life event that goes against nature and is sooo very sad - people just don't want to deal with it. Family wants the parent to "get over it" so that they (the family member) will feel better sooner. Sometimes family members will even get ugly because when the bereaved doesn't "move on" fast enough, they (the family member) either think the bereaved is overreacting or simply grow tired of the frequent tragic reminders at family gatherings. Friends usually consider it an awkward situation because they don't know what to say or do, so they find themselves avoiding rather than risk hurting their friend more. So on top of everything else, the hurting parent ends up feeling alone and misunderstood.

It hurts beyond words when the life of someone you love to the point of dying yourself is not validated by others. The parent wonders how people could pretend baby didn't exist when the agony of baby's absence has stolen the oxygen from air, the flavor from food, and the zest from life!

The pain.

After an infant loss, stillbirth, or miscarriage, most parents only have memories from the pregnancy, some ultrasound photos, maybe pictures from the day when baby passed away, a memory box, and not much else. What is she left with?

The pain.

That pain becomes her constant companion and over time, I think the love for baby and the pain become so closely intertwined that she makes them one and the same. The intense pain becomes a reflection of her love. So when you talk about letting go of the pain, she - probably on a subconscious level - associates that with letting go of her baby. And NO, she would never do that! Why should she have to?

I'm here to argue that the pain of grief and the love for baby are not one and the same. God designed our bodies to endure and heal from even the most absurd pain ... the most twisted injury. We were not built to grieve for the rest of our lives. Hurting mothers can heal, but it requires her to painstakingly peel back the barbed tendrils of pain so that her heart is free to forgive and make a difference in her life and the lives of others.

I want to talk about this more in a future posting. Share your questions and comments.


Jamie Hart said...

I was just recently told by an ex, who wasn't present for my loss.. only 4 years after, that I dwell in the past-- because I mention my son's name, have a decal on my car, and sometimes get emotional around certain times of year (however do deal with it well). I have chosen to be proactive and have many "adopted" nieces and nephews as well as nanny quite frequently and adore all children. Along with "dwelling", I was told I am "obsessed" with children. I chalk it up to someone not knowing my loss or how I choose to deal with it. But it is extremely painful to hear someone tell me those things. So I have chosen to unfriend such people that say things like that. Whatever path I chose to take in my grief process, whichever makes me happy-- I WILL FOLLOW.

Sharee said...

Hi Jamie, some people (and I really think it is most folks) just can't get it ... there are so many reasons why ... they think we're "this" they accuse us of "that" ... some seriously need to be shown the door ... others do well with a bit of education. It's up to us to spread the word about why infant/pregnancy loss/infertility issues matter and impact us the way it does. I know you, so can say with confidence, you're doing your part. Keep on keepin' on, lady!