If tears could build a stairway
And memories were a lane
I would walk right up to heaven
And bring you back again
No farewell words were spoken
Anonymous

 These words resonate closely with those of us who have experienced the loss of a baby. There are actually no words to express our goodbyes yet if we did get an opportunity to say the last words before the physical departure of our loved one what would those be? It is an interesting reflection and we all have our own ways to deal with this. Seeing an empty crib, clothes of our loved one not being worn for whom they were intended for and uncelebrated birthdates are just some of the aspects we need to deal with it. There are a lot of things that we have no control over so this is an invitation to take some time out and explore three common emotions that we navigate through after baby loss. We all go through guilt, anger and fear at different levels of intensities. Instead of pretending they do not exist let us take time to explore them, give them a voice so we can take steps to remove their strong grip upon us.
Do not stand at my grave and weep, 
I am not there, I do not sleep. 
I am in a thousand winds that blow, 
I am the softly falling snow. 
I am the gentle showers of rain, 
I am the fields of ripening grain. 
I am in the morning hush, 
I am in the graceful rush 
Of beautiful birds in circling flight, 
I am the starshine of the night.
I am in the morning hush, 
I am in the graceful rush 
Of beautiful birds in circling flight,
I am the starshine of the night. 
I am in the flowers that bloom, 
I am in a quiet room. 
I am in the birds that sing, 
I am in each lovely thing. 
Do not stand at my grave bereft 
I am not there. I have not left. 
Mary Elizabeth Frye

Guilt

Guilt is one of the common human emotions that we all go through when we experience the loss of a loved one. Specially if it is our own child, as mother, as a caregiver our role is to protect, to shield and nourish. When this is not possible and we loose our loved one, we experience feelings of inadequacies, lack of self worth and slip into a the perpetual cycle of self pity. Guilt is the precursor of all these feelings. We tend to suppress the feeling because we do not bring it to the forefront. A simple exercise is to write to your baby, expressing all your feelings and emotions and allow yourself if allow yourself to write from your baby’s prospective back to you. This will help validate your guilt and also find some solace by letting yourself go.  The above poem by Mary Frye helps us realise that our bay is always there with us so we can slowly start letting go of the guilt. 

 

Everything passes and vanishes; 
Everything leaves its trace; 
And often you see in a footstep 
What you could not see in a face. 
William Allingham

Anger

Once we start processing our grief, letting go of our guilt, anger is just waiting to creep up. We always feel ‘why me’? Again this is a natural feeling in grief’s process. It is key to let go of this feeling because anger hurts us the most. So let us find some truth in the poem by William Alingham. that everything passes and so will this angst that feel so strongly in our core. This metaphor of seeing the footstep is very meaningful. The bitter sweet memory of baby loss is the excruciating void that it leaves in the past, present and future. It is not only the time we spend being pregnant and having some moments with our baby that we are are grieving the long future that we could have had with our baby. Footsteps is a concept that we can interpret to feel the effect, the influence of our baby in our lives eternally. These footsteps are not physical rather they are metaphorical of the expansive impact our baby had in our lives for the limited time he/she was with us. 

I am not gone, while you cry with me 
I am not gone, while you smile with me 
I am not gone, while you remember with me 
I will come, when you call my name 
I will come, when I feel your pain 
I will come, on your final day 
It could never be, that we, would never be 
We shall always, be together, forever I AM NOT GONE 
Michael Ashby

Fear

Fear is the absence of love and it is our innate emotion that we often do not label as fear. However it is the basis of our life. So the key is to reduce the fear so we can start allowing love to enter our lives. Sometimes this fear is of having another baby and losing him/or, the fear can be of not being happy ever again, not being whole again. So whilst labelling the fear,  it is key to slowing letting it float as leaves on a running stream. Sometimes when we acknowledge what we feel is sufficient to allow the sting to listen and we can slowly start moving towards restoration. The above poem by Michale Ashby portrays a dynamic relationship with our loved one and it is all todo with our perspective. This forever feeling is there as long as we can tune into it to dissipate our fear and return back to our core which is love. 

When I am dead,
Cry for me a little,
Think of me sometimes
But not too much
Think of me now and again 
As I was in life at some moment 
That is pleasant to recall –
But not too long. 
Leave me in peace
And I shall leave you in peace. 
And whilst you live
Let your thoughts be with the living. 
Indian Prayer

I completely agree that this is not an easy journey. I compare it to a wave where sometimes we are at the bottom of the wave and sometimes we are right at the top. We may be forgetting how we felt when our baby was in our womb or the last time we held our baby in our arms. It is okay to feel this sadness, which will never disappear completely however it will change in intensity, expression and cognition. Let us end with the wise words of the above Indian prayer which points towards equipoise and balance. The key is not to suppress and gently validate our emotions to let them be.

Feel free to email me on hello@artyamarisa.com if you would like to work with one to one to help you navigate through the journey of Baby Loss.

If you have experienced the loss of a baby or are supporting someone who has lost a baby, click here to join me on a webinar on Cultivating love and kindnes for those who have experienced baby loss. It will take place on Monday 12th October at 7pm via zoom. This is during Baby Loss Awareness week to break the taboo of baby loss, miscarriage and still births so we can share our truths and walk towards restoration and rebalance.

 

If you are trying for a rainbow baby listen to this webinar below where I talk with an IVF Consultant about “Addressing recurrent miscarriages on medical and emotional grounds” .

 

Subscribe to 'Birth Yourself Brave Podcast'

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This