Having a great support system during pregnancy or baby loss seems to be quite rare. In addition to the excruciating grief, we ‘must’ educate persons on how to offer support to us. Since pregnancy and baby loss are so taboo in our society, some seem to not know what to say or do to comfort us.
But what do you do when you advise people how to navigate this new normal yet not much is done?
There are many parents struggling to cope because of this. Loved ones still treat pregnancy or baby loss as something morbid that shouldn’t be spoken about. Somehow to them, if they don’t speak about it, the feelings go away (furthest from the truth!). Or it’s just something they expect you should move on from after the first couple of months to a year. Your family and friends still don’t acknowledge your baby or stand with you to honour them on special dates.
You may find that your support system looks nothing like what you imagined. Everyone has their own lives carrying on and some may expect you to do the same.
My support looks nothing like I thought it would. And I’m beginning to accept that as okay. Instead, I’m finding and clinging to the support I can get. There are just some persons who’ll never get it. And that’s okay. It’s not your job to teach them.
If they want to honour your babies, they will find ways to. They don’t need a personal reminder or a special invitation. They won’t put the pressure on you by telling you to let them know if you need anything (because which grieving parent is going to outrightly tell you they’re struggling with chores, eating, sleeping, living?). They just do it because they understand the magnitude of your love and your grief for your child. They’ll just show up.
I know you will get angry. Try not to hold on to that anger. I believe most of that anger is just covered by your deepest disappointments and it hurts. Just hope (and pray) that one day they’ll understand. And if not, then so be it.
To our supporters, we thank you. We are grateful for you. You have kept us going, even when we felt like giving up.
To the ones who may not be as supportive as you could be, try to analyse what’s preventing you from doing so. There are online resources available on how to provide support to your friend or family member. Don’t feel like you’re being pressured into offering support, it’s the thought, the effort, the little things that count. We should always try to remember to treat others how we’d like to be treated.
I pray we can all find support, when and where we need it.
Because having someone to lean on is one of the best gifts life has to offer.