One of the Reasons
When we lost our daughter in December of 2013, my wife and I knew that we wanted to do something to help others who were faced with the same difficult tragedy that we had just gone through. We wanted to be able to provide people with help and support. We wanted to be a place people could turn to when they felt that there was no one they could look to for help.
That is part of why we are doing it. The other part is the awareness piece. People do not realize that this sort of thing happens as often as it does. And when it does happen, they don’t know how to react. For some reason, they view the loss of a child as different then another type of loss. I am not sure why, but people seem to think that in the case of stillbirth, miscarriage, or fatal diagnosis, it is something different than any other loss or death people face in there lives.
Let me give an example. Imagine a close friend dies. You are at the funeral and of course it is an experience you wouldn’t wish on anyone. You feel lost. You feel hurt. You feel like the world has stopped turning. Then you see another friend or maybe a family member approaching you. They are here to comfort you and be there for you. They walk up to you and say, “Are you going to try having friends again? I hope you do. You can’t let this stop you from having friends. And at least you are able to make new friends.” How would that make you feel? Wouldn’t you be terribly offended? Of course you would. When you lose a baby, these are the things that people say to you. They mean well. They think that it’s the appropriate thing to say. But maybe I don’t want another child. Maybe I want my daughter back.
It is because of this mindset that we feel a need to raise awareness. It is because people don’t wish my wife a Happy Mother’s Day. It is because people don’t see the loss as the same. We are still parents. We are still grieving the loss of our daughter. Maybe we didn’t “know her” in the physical sense of having spent years with her. But we did know her. She is a part of us. She is a part of our family. It is no different than when you lose anyone else that is close to you.
Maybe it’s the idea that because the child was unborn, there was not that same connection. But most people who have children, whether they lost them or they are still alive, know that the connection is there. A mother who is pregnant knows and feels they baby. A father knows that child. And there is the anticipation as well. You wait for 9 months for this child to come in to the world. You start building a life around this child. You start setting up a room, start changing your lifestyle to accommodate for this new addition. Now you come home with empty arms. This is not something you just walk away from.
The reason we need to do this, the reason awareness needs raised is to help people to understand that this is a loss. We need to help people realize that this is hard and painful and that this child can never be replaced. If we raise awareness, we can help people to know how hard it is for a family to go through this. We can help people know that because this is real, there are things that should and should not be said. It is hard enough for these families to go through baby loss, having people who understand and can be a support will only help them. This is one of the reasons why we want to do this.