In the two years since my daughter's death I have found a lot of support- but I still do run across the occasional person who asks me how many kids I have and regrets asking once I explain where #2 of the three Bower children is.
I hope in my lifetime to see a major decrease in the loss of these precious children. I also hope to see the doors of communication opening up & acceptance of the fact that it is OK to talk about baby loss. We live in a society where it is acceptable to drop the "f bomb" and other choice words on national television in front of children, and it's acceptable to say anything you want on twitter- so why is not okay to express your pain, grief, and sadness over the loss of a precious child whom you loved dearly?
Let's break these unwritten rules and support people the way we'd want to be supported if we were in their shoes. Let's lend an honest ear that really does want to listen and not just frown and say, oh I'm sorry I brought it up.
I took a walk today through the cemetery where we laid our precious Lila Grace to rest, and I saw at least twenty gravestones dating from the 1800s through 2008 for infants and children. Can you IMAGINE what it was like for these mothers back then? Back when health care really was awful, when they got their siblings sick and these mothers had to face not one, but two or more child deaths in one year? There weren't support groups, Internet forums, or twitter friends to help them through the dark stages of parental grief. I can only hope that their faith in God was strong enough to carry them forward and help them face life.
We can't even begin to know what it was like to walk in their shoes... But I know for sure, seeing these stones today made me realize that support and the ability to support others is a gift that we should not waste.
Let's forge ahead together and make it acceptable to talk about infant/child loss.
Who's with me?
Images from the cemetery where our Lila's spot is.
They really made my heart ache for these women who suffered the losses.