This is Baby Loss Awareness week and if what I have experienced and seen over the past thirty years is any indication, I think it is a very necessary week for a lot of us.
When I went through my miscarriages in the 1980’s, I was expected to leave the hospital and not think about my loss; not think about the little ones that I had already grown to love and known inside of me; not think about the plans that would never be fulfilled. No one wanted to discuss it. Not friends. Not family. Not my husband who told me to “forget about it.” I was just supposed to go on. And I did. I didn’t get to cry. I didn’t get to mourn. I didn’t get to have any kind of service or acknowledgment of the lives I lost; the lives I would not ever forget.
Now, all of these years later, I see Baby Loss Awareness week and all the hundreds in my own little circle of acquaintances, real and virtual, that have been touched/scarred by baby loss and I see that I wasn’t the only one that was pushed into forgetting about my losses. I see that there are so many others out there trying to mourn what they’ve lost. Why is this important? Because we need to mourn so we can move on. We need it for us and for our families; we need it for the other women going through this.
This year I see a huge movement toward awareness and it warms my heart. Through awareness we help not only ourselves but all the others who have gone through this and who will go through this great and unforgettable loss.
It is only now that I am beginning to get the idea that it is okay for me to be sad; okay for me to feel this loss; okay for me to share it and talk about it. Of course, I won’t ever forget it, but I can learn to live with it much better than I have for the past twenty plus years.
We have a long way to go. We need to make it so it’s okay to talk about our pain. We need to make it so that, although people may not understand, they will realize that it is indeed a loss. We need to have awareness of the pain so that we aren’t told “it’s okay, you can have another one.” We need to be aware so we can provide the support women need when they lose a baby. We need to be aware so we can help one another accept our losses.
Join me and all the others who have lost one or more children.