Thursday, October 21, 2010


On my Facebook page, I made a post that seems to go completely against what the baby lost community is all about. Before I go *there* let me share 2 cents about me and what gave me the nerve (lol) to crash that party. First, I'm the mother of 3 stolen angels - Christopher (part I and II, Kasimir, and Elyana. I've been a bereavement counselor for 4 years, facilitate a parents grief support group for an Army base also for 4 years, am a member of the bereavement support committee at an Army hospital, authored the book, Stolen Angels: 25 stories of Hope, am on the board of directors of the Aneysha Foundation for Fibroids and I'll graduate as a marital and family therapist in June. That was a mouthful!! I've talked to many, many, many parents and have discovered a few things. If you're willing - and this sounds crazy, but - close your heart and open your mind, I think you'll discover something exciting!

Hurting parents - moms in particular - just want someone to understand her story. We just want someone to really *get* our day-to-day experience without judging or trying to change us. We just want to be around others who can appreciate just how deep this loss feels. We feel lonely and misunderstood because oftentimes family and friends and -let's be real - society in general - acts like this is not a big deal. So, yes, we need each other. But in our search for validation and understanding, be careful of the voices you allow in. Words have power. The words you listen to and the words you speak guide your future. I can't stress that enough. Here's an example that I think (hope) makes my point more clear.

Let's say you are training for a marathon, so you recruit a few buddies to train for the big event with you. The purpose of such training groups are to motivate each other to go faster, further, and essentially stay in the race. The idea is that each others' attitudes are contagious. When one feels weak, the others say, "come on - we're going to make it!" They holler, "Just one more mile, keep moving your feet!"

Now what if your group of training partners spill words like, "this is too hard," "I can't make it," "I hurt too much to go on" ... or what if they spend your training time constantly talking about how rough this marathon training has been/will be. Will you finish strong surrounded by a group like this? Now, leave your heart at the end of this sentence. Don't try to "feel" your way through that question. Use your logic. Will you finish STRONG surrounded by a group like this?

Probably not.

Now, CAN you still finish ...? I'd say yes, but you certainly will face additional challenges along the way. I mean! This is the race of your life! We're talking miles and miles and miles - often low crawling - over hot coals and broken glass! Do we really need *additional challenges*!??

Okay. Let's get to it. Here's the bottom line, in-your-face-honest-to-goodness-truth: It is derniddally (yes a word I made up!) near impossible to find joy and healing if your support network is a group of sad people who also complain a lot. Do not interpret this to mean that the injustice of losing a baby isn't real, incredibly intense and life changing. Do not interpret this to mean that there is such thing as "getting over it" or that your complaints are not valid. They are.

In another post, I'll share further about things we should NOT say or dare listen to!

Until then,



daega99 said...

Fascinating post!


KAM said...

I agree with you 100%. I lost my daughter in April at 25 weeks. I spent a month in the hospital and was very sick myself. Grief is hard enough, but to continually allow yourself to stay there is just going to ruin your life. I still "visit" grief, after all it hasn't even been 7 months, but make it a point to "leave" when I see myself getting comfy. I've written a lot about this in my own blog, about how I purposely look for some joy/happiness in every single day. After all, it's the only life I've got.


Sharee said...

KAM - first, I'm sorry about your precious baby! I do love your attitude ... as you say, this is the only life we have!! The road is a rough one, but we can create a new normal ...even in the face of tragedy.


Sharee said...

Thanks Daega99!

Michelle said...

Sharee ... it sounds like we share some perspectives, and I'd love to connect with you more on this, as well as on your experience as a bereavement counselor.

Michelle (ICLW #15)

Sharee said...

Hi Michelle ... please,let's be in touch ... interestingly, I was a newspaper editor, as well!

My email is on this page or you can find me on fB ... dynasty.publishers