I still remember when Judy and I were anticipating our first child. We went to garage sales to furnish the nursery. We looked at clothes and oooed and awed about how they would look on our newborn. We bought the crib and stroller, diapers and anything else we could think of to be prepared for our boys arrival. It's just such an exciting time filled with smiles and dreams and …
But the image above reflects the deep loss when the anticipated child is lost due to a miscarriage or stillbirth. A nursery newly painted isn't filled with the cries and laughter of a child. Instead it's deathly silent. Clothing neatly placed in a dresser will never feel the warmth of the child they were waiting for. The diapers on the changing table stand as a stark reminder they will not be needed.
Shattered dreams! Grief and tears replace laughter and joy. You see, when a child dies before birth, or at birth, the family enters into what we call a hidden grief here at Smile Again.
Miscarriages are seldom even seen as the loss of a real child. It's a loss, yes. But in our culture, not necessarily a real child. But to the mom and dad that IS a real child. Not a mass of tissue. Not a "fetus." A Child!
Unfortunately, the same is often true of a stillbirth. Although there is a "child." It's sometimes not viewed as worthy of the grief that someone who's lost a 5-year-old, or a 13-year-old, or a 22-year-old has.
Judy and I want to tell our friends and the readers of this blog, that the child that's lost IS real. The grief IS intense. The loneliness and shattered dreams are real too.
If you know of someone who has suffered a miscarriage or a stillbirth we'd ask you to reach out with all the support you'd give anyone else who has lost a child. Bring the hugs. Share the tears. Let them know that their child is real to you too. Thanks for caring. We love you, Pat & Judy