A day in the life of a newly bereaved parent:
-Waking up each morning ready to go get your baby out of the crib, and remembering your baby is gone.
-Scrolling through Facebook having to “unfollow” friends with babies (or children) the age yours was. Then Hiding 90% of Facebook’s suggested ads because they’re “no longer relevant” to you but you’re still using social media because it is a distraction.
-Dodging any possibility of entering the general public anytime soon because… babies (or children).
-The stares from people who know about it through so and so or read it somewhere and recognize you when on rare occasion you do venture out of your house.
-The actual, very real physical ache in your arms from longing to hold your baby.
-Finding things like the old baby gate or the moby wrap and saying to a friend “you can have them, I don’t have a baby anymore”
-Among the hundreds of incredibly supportive and loving messages from people, there will always be 5 more messages offering indoctrination in their church to suggest you find or lean to Jesus while you grieve. While they mean well, these people have no idea whether you are religious or not. The bereaved parent will never tell you if they’re ok with this, because if they aren’t they don’t want to make YOU feel uncomfortable. But keep in mind It is a lot easier to just offer condolences or thoughts than offer or bring up religion and make the bereaved parent uncomfortable.
-Wincing when you hear “Maybe you can have more someday.”
-Other people wincing when you talk about your child’s life before death. “My child used to do that” “my child loved that”
-You become hyper aware of babies on tv, in movies, in your neighborhood, and you find yourself wanting to scream.
-You see others complain about a bad day with their kids, complain about things their kids didn’t do, complain about things their kids did wrong. And you want to shout “AT LEAST YOUR CHILD IS BREATHING!”
You realize you took for granted the life you had before, the world you walked thru before. This new one is covered in glass and eggshells, and each time you place your foot where you think its safe, you find tiny slivers. Grief is different ever day, no two are the same. You’ll say strange things, you’ll laugh at the wrong times, cry at the wrong times, some days you’ll talk about it without crying at all and THAT will seem odd to people. You’ll go about your daily life and people will wonder how you got out of bed. You’ll stay in bed all day and people will think you should get fresh air. Losing a child is losing an ACTUAL part of you, and you have to hope people can try to understand it will take a while before you can learn to live with that part of you gone.
Have patience with bereaved parents, we are only just learning to swim this ocean.