Why do we need to talk about child loss, when it is so hard…
When are we met with silence?
When people just don’t get it, unless they have experienced it themselves?
When all we need is to be understood and taken care of because grieving sucks all our energy?
It seems pointless but it’s not, in fact, it’s so important if we want to create change.
Let me tell you why we need to talk about child loss.
The hard conversation about child loss
Many bereaved parents speak to me about the fact that ‘people just don’t get it’. They find it hard to explain the reality of grief after child loss. Child loss is hard to talk about.
‘My child is dead’ is a conversation stopper. The reality of a child dying before their parents make people feel lost for words. The potential of facing strong emotions is avoided at all cost. Grief is one of those cauldrons of strong emotions that many are afraid of.
Society largely lacks the proper understanding of grief. They still believe in antiquated beliefs or stories based on the past. Grief IS a normal reaction to a significant loss. In order to achieve a wider understanding of this, we need to open up about it.
Change happens after realization and acceptance of something being outdated. In order for this to be realized, we need to share our individually experienced reality. This is how we bring awareness to what’s not working and what helps.
People avoid mentioning our child because they don’t know whether it is ok for us given the circumstances. They fail to give us the adequate support because they don’t have clarity on what this is. They fear to do or say the wrong thing and often end up doing nothing at all. They have no idea what to say but truly intend to make things better for us. Yet, the only thing that would make it better – to have our child back – isn’t possible.
Grieving is the very action required to digest the loss. It is so subjective that each individual story counts towards this wider understanding and acceptance. Grieving becomes harder when we don’t feel accepted in our way of grieving or that we have the right to (still) grieve.
Let’s make a change
Collectively, we can change that by sharing our stories.
We can change the story about grief and grieving.
Nathalie Himmelrich the author of a number of resource books for bereaved parents. As a relationship coach, grief recovery expert and bereaved mother herself she believes that relationships (intimate and to other support people) are the foundation for a healthy grieving experience. She is also the founder of the Grieving Parents Support (GPS) Network and the May We All Heal peer support group.