1. We know that sometimes families talk less and less about pregnancy or infant loss as time goes on. What, if any, other losses in your family were revealed to you after your loss? What was it like to hear about those losses?
My parents spoke a little about the loss of their stillborn twin boys. My brothers. Brothers who were rarely mentioned or acknowledged over the last 29 years of my life. They would have been 29 years old. It is a sad reality that people tend to deal with loss so differently. My brothers don’t have names and from what I gather they were stillborn at 8 months which is the same age as Zia.
My sister told me the other day that the mother of a good friend of hers experienced a babyloss, her child too would have been 27 years old.
A friend and a colleague of mine also revealed that they too lost their babies after 6 months of pregnancy.
My cousin speaks little of the loss of her other son. She was pregnant with twin boys and only one survived. He is 5 years old.
2. Did anyone who had already experienced babyloss reach out to you in the months after your loss? What was it like to connect with others who had already been through babyloss?
I have been fortunate to connect with alot of mothers and fathers through http://glowinthewoods.com. I haven’t really had anyone in my family or even close friends reach out to me which is actually a terribly sad thing. People shouldn’t have to go through this in isolation. I find that my online friends have been a great comfort to me. Their stories, although painful have been a lifeline in that I know I am not alone, I know that the emotions I am experiencing are “normal”. I have been offered words of comfort and just acknowledgement that I am in a really dark place sometimes.
3. If any of those babylost parents were from a different generation, what did you find was different about your experience from theirs?
Well for one if I look at my mother and myself there is an evident contrast in that I want my daughters life to be remembered forever, I want her to be a part of our lives and that is the way she will continue living. Although she is out of sight, she is still very much a part of who we are as a family. We are no longer 3, we are 4. As I said in the first question, it wasn’t like that with my brothers. We moved on as a family of 4 when we should have 6. Until I lost Zia, I never quite understood the enormity of losing those boys.
4. Did you attend a local area support group after your loss? What was helpful–or not–about your support group?
No. I intended to but chose to watch a movie with my son instead. I feel that the only support group available does not cater for my “type” of loss.
5. What role has the internet played in connecting you to other babylost parents? How has that been different from connections you may have made in person?
Glow in the Woods has been a lifeline. As sad as our situations are, we are brought together and are able to support each other in a way that face to face can’t. I find that there is always someone available to give me a word of encouragement at odd hours. Starting this blog, having a space to write about Zia, about my loss, getting it out there, its a diary which I can be creative in, share or keep to myself, its a way to shout Zia to the world. I was thinking about it for a whle but never knew what to say until a mum on Glow sort of gave me a nudge to try.
6. Many of us have found, as time goes on, that we are suddenly in the supporting role, as “experienced” babylost parents. How has reaching out to others with newer losses helped you in your grief journey?
I am not there yet but I find myself drawn to each new post on Glow, making sure that new posts are commented on, if only by me. Just letting new babyloss mums or dads know they are not alone. I felt pretty alone until I found the forum. I was 3 weeks out with nowhere to turn.
7. How have you found yourself relating to other people’s grief in general? What about people around you–friends, coworkers, neighbors–who have experienced the loss of other family members, not babies?
I now understand. I can speak from experience. I can share in their grief and pain on a level I never could before.