Monday, September 8, 2014

It Will Happen To You

When I lost my first baby, my good friend was there for me when I needed her. She seemed to know what to do because she'd lost her first babies- twins. A couple months later I asked if it was hard for her to come help me. She said it was, but she knew I needed her. Also, she said that someday I would have a friend who lost a baby, and they would need me.

A little over a year ago, a girl I used to babysit lost her first baby. I hadn't been in touch with her for a long time, but my sister got us reconnected, and I tried to help, but there's only so much you can do online. I thought, okay, here's the person I know that lost a baby, I did what I could.

Then very recently, a friend I've known for years, a really good friend, lost a baby. I thought, this is really what my other friend meant. When it's someone you know really well it is even harder. I cried for her and her loss, but some of the tears were for me and my loss as well, almost four years later.

The feelings of loss and sadness, the anxiety, the loss of hope come back. But it's multiplied because of her loss too. I knew what she was probably feeling, and it hurts to know that someone you love is hurting so much. There's not much I can do for her except to show my love and support by letting her know I'm here for her. I can give her advice, and I have let her know some things that helped me, but the best I can do for her is to give her a hug.

Oddly, even if you've been through something before, it doesn't mean you know what to say to the next person. Every situation is different and every person is different.

There are some things I'd like her to know:

Time will help heal your heart. There will still always be a huge wound, and it probably will never truly close, but it does heal a little, though it will always hurt. It's not that you forget your baby or stop loving them, it's that you've adjusted to the wound, you've found a new normal where you can deal with everyday life without breaking down all the time, just sometimes.

You will be happier again. The sadness and grief won't always overwhelm your life, but it's good that it is now. Grieving is a good thing. People will probably expect you to 'get over it'. They will expect you to move on and be 'normal' sooner that you are ready. Ignore them and do what is best for you. People will give you lots of advice on how to get better, but the only way you'll get better is time and doing what's best for you and your family. Advice from a trusted therapist is helpful, advice from the cranky lady at the grocery store or the busy body uncle is not.

It's okay to be mad at God and at your pregnant neighbor. The world doesn't seem fair, and honestly I don't think it is fair. Somehow it's all supposed to balance out in the end, but it's not the end yet. My good friend told me that being mad at God is like being mad at your parents growing up. You still loved them, but you could be really mad at them too. God understands and can take anything you throw at him and turn it into love. As far as your friends and neighbors, you'll probably be happy for some people and their children but really dislike other people and their children. That's normal.

People will say stupid things, sometimes intentionally, but usually unintentionally. Find someone who will let you vent and then try to let it go, though you probably will always remember.

You'll always feel the presence of you child around, during the happy times and the sad times. There's a shadow in the corner of your eye of a happy, laughing child running around. You'll know how old they would be if they were alive, what they would probably look like, what they would be doing. Your child will always be around, if not in your arms, in your heart. It hurts, but it helps to know you won't ever forget.

Mostly I want you to know that if I can help you, I will. I love you and I'm here for you. I've been there before and sometimes just knowing someone is thinking of you is the best thing they can do.

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