It goes without saying that no one would ever choose to be a part of the ‘Loss Club.’
In fact, I’d venture to say that we would do just about anything to never, ever have to join.
That said, it’s very important to recognize the very special gift that Sisters (and Brothers)-in-Loss become in our lives. How much harder would this journey be without those special people to mourn with you and celebrate with you as you walk this path?
So, here are four things that make your Sisters-in-Loss AMAZING.
They Let You Keep It Real
Don’t feel like faking a smile today? Don’t. Feel bitter about the latest baby announcement on Facebook? Vent about it. Sisters-in-Loss won’t judge. They “get it.” They get you, even on those days when you can hardly understand yourself. They know that it is okay for you to be laughing one day, and hard grieving the next, and wherever you are in your journey, they walk with you, side-by-side, without judgement.
You Grow and Heal… Together
I am so blessed by my Sisters-in-Loss, some of whom have walked this path with me for the last seven years. We trudged through the early, angry stages of grief, together. We took those first few breaths that made it feel as though we might survive, together. We celebrated milestones together, embraced new beginnings together, and learned to celebrate life again, together. And as you grow and heal, together, there is this overwhelming sense of gratitude to your child who you know played a special part in making sure you had the right people by your side through this. Your child is an integral part of your relationship, and celebrated as such. Sisters-in-Loss never urge you to “get over it,” but hand in hand you find the power to survive… together.
Your Bond is Stronger than Friendship
I refer to us as Sisters-in-Loss, because sisterhood is the only way I can think to describe such a deep connection. Just as genetics may bond you to your biological family, the shared experience of loss, and the changes that loss causes in your mind, body and soul bonds you to other parents going through the same trials, tribulations and emotions. Through shared experiences you have an understanding of one another in a deep, connected way that even your closest life-long friends could never truly understand. When your Sister-in-Loss tells you she understands what you are going through, she truly does.
Your Child is Not Taboo
Go ahead, talk about the cute fist your child made in her ultrasound picture, or the way you imagined how it might feel to put them on the bus for first grade this year. Your Sisters-in-Loss will listen, and acknowledge your child. Hearing about your child won’t make them uncomfortable. They know that all of your children are loved, and important, and they want to celebrate and honor their life, no matter how brief, with you, just as you want to honor their children with them. Embrace this. Get together to celebrate this unique form of motherhood. Talk about the way your baby had your mother’s hands, or her father’s cheeks. Sisters-in-loss don’t get uncomfortable. They embrace, love and celebrate. They remember your child because they WANT to, not because they feel obligated to. They understand that a mother’s heart will always beat for all her children, and they can truly, truly empathize with your need to keep your child’s memory alive.