Bereaved Parents, neo-natal/infant death

Small Gestures with Great Love: Supporting the Bereaved Throughout the Year

by Dianna Vagianos Armentrout

It is December and I am approaching my third Christmas without my baby girl. People tell me that I have to “move on” and “get over” the tragedy of my newborn’s death. These people have never held a still baby. They have never been pregnant with a baby that would die, but they have lots of opinions. The bereaved do not need opinions. We need truth.

My truth is that I am forever changed by my daughter, Mary Rose. Her brief life has broken my heart open – shattered it so that I am no longer the woman who naively thought that her second pregnancy would guarantee a second healthy child. The pain that I have experienced – walking through grief thick as molasses – has allowed me to help others going through an unspeakable loss. I started a blog and wrote a book about my pregnancy to comfort others. Mary Rose lived for one hour, and in that one hour transformed me and my beliefs about motherhood. Even without my living baby girl, I am her mother still. Continue reading “Small Gestures with Great Love: Supporting the Bereaved Throughout the Year”

Advertisements
Bereaved Parents, Poems and Reflections

Growing Together

by Cathi Lammert, RN

• Your relationship as a couple is the most important relationship. Let it take precedence over all others.

• When a baby dies, the grief affects both of you at the same time. Other stresses in a relationship usually do not impact both individuals simultaneously. Therefore, your closest support is not always able to respond to you because he/she is trying to cope with his/her own grief.

• Each person in the relationship will grieve in individual ways. Learning to understand your partner’s ways may take some time and may be difficult.

Continue reading “Growing Together”

Bereaved Parents, grieving dads, Illness, no surviving children

A Stepfather’s Journey (no surviving children)

by Glen Nielsen

I am going to describe my journey as a stepfather over almost two decades, from August 1980 to the present. I am a step-parent who has experienced the death of a child. My story may be different from many of yours in that the death was a long-term illness, which, while it had some very difficult aspects, also offered some unique opportunities for really developing a very close relationship and for closure. Continue reading “A Stepfather’s Journey (no surviving children)”

Bereaved Parents, grieving dads

Positive Ways to Support a Grieving Dad

by Kelly Farley
Grieving Dads Project

I often hear from grieving dads that tell me they feel alone in their grief after the death of their child. It amazes me that after going through something as profound as the death of a child, that these men feel so alone and isolated. As much as it amazes me, I can relate because I too felt alone after the death of my two children.

I felt so alone that I would go online and search for other grieving dads that were out there. However, I didn’t find what I was looking for or needed at that point in my grief. I didn’t find it because most men do not feel like they have permission to tell their story or to share how they are feeling out of fear of being looked at as less than a man or weak. We all know that society is not comfortable with an openly grieving person, but they are even more uncomfortable with a man showing his emotions. Continue reading “Positive Ways to Support a Grieving Dad”

Bereaved Parents, Child/Teen Sibling Loss, Grieving Children, neo-natal/infant death

Those We Often Forget (young sibling grief)

by Jennifer Radosevich

Shining in bright yellow lights, it read, “The Bereaved Parent Club.” Every night, my dream of the club was always so vivid. Upon each morning awakening, I knew it was not a dream, but the reality my life had become. Continue reading “Those We Often Forget (young sibling grief)”

Bereaved Parents, suicide

Not A Matter of Choice (adult child suicide)

by Carol Loehr

Keith and Carol_1Our son Keith was 29 years old when he decided to end his life. Keith’s death was a suicide. Suicide is a frightening word and it is not only ignorance but fear and stigma that keep people from understanding why someone would take their life. In a way it is easier to think that a person made a “choice”, freeing us from knowing the truth.

The word, “choice”, continues to perpetuate the stigma of suicide. The definition of “choice” is “the freedom in choosing, both in the way one chooses and in the number of possibilities from which to choose.” In a presuicidal state an individual is overwhelmed in a given situation. They suffer extreme mental anguish and a painful sense of hopelessness. Their sense of judgment is distorted, and they do not have the ability to make “choices” or options. They literally want to kill the pain and not themselves. Continue reading “Not A Matter of Choice (adult child suicide)”