Blog post

It’s OK To Just Listen

May 26, 2018

Sometimes in life, all we need is for someone to listen to us. No solutions, no opinions, no judgement. Yet often what we get is quite the opposite. In people’s rush to try and make our pain go away they can inadvertently steamroll over our thoughts and feelings. We are on a journey, a sometimes excruciatingly painful one. We need support and patience. It’s OK to just listen.

Everything about baby loss is so alien, so unnatural. When it happened to me the idea of normal was thrown out the window. Everyone started to act differently around me, those closest to me struggling to know what to say. People searched for those special words that would make it all ok again. But there were none. They offered solutions and opinions. They talked and talked and talked. And amongst it all there was judgment.

Related: The Judgement In Grief

In my head, I just wanted to shout at them. I wanted to tell them to stop telling me what to do, how to feel, how to grieve. I’ve just lost my son, are they really telling me that I’m not grieving right?

A lot of the time I don’t need or even want a solution. A lot of the time I don’t actually care what you think. I just need you to listen to me. I need to be able to express how I actually feel without the fear of judgement.

This place that I find myself in, this new normal, a lot of the time is super weird. Normal things upset me. Pangs of jealousy pierce my heart as I watch others with their babies. Yet I don’t even want their babies, I just want my own. It doesn’t make any sense and as a result, it feels weird, I feel weird and it is a very isolating place to be. When I have someone who will just listen to me and nod along it makes me feel normal. It makes me feel less alone. But when I confide in you and you judge me it pushes me further into that isolation. It makes me feel more alone when all I want so desperately is to be normal again.

Related: When Normal Ceased to Exist

You see the thing about losing a child is that there is no one fix that can be applied to everyone, no silver bullet. Everybody’s experience is different. What makes it even more difficult is that when someone is in the depths of despair one of the hardest things to do is tell other people what you need.

So the next time you talk to your loved one who has lost their child I ask you to just stop. Stop for one moment and remember that it’s ok to just listen.

Photo by Roberto Nickson (@g) on Unsplash



  • Catherine Travers

    Catherine blogs at Benjamin's Light about her experiences of stillbirth and life after loss following the death of her son, Benjamin, who was born sleeping at 35 weeks in April 2017. You can also follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram.

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