Thursday, July 21, 2011

They Have Value

This summer I am taking a Psychology of Grief class for my funeral service major. This has been such an interesting class and I am really learning alot about grief and coping. The last chapter I read was about coping as an adult. One section was about the death of a child. After I read the chapter I just felt heavy hearted again. In adults, the most significant impact is the death of a child; however, society does not understand this and often claim fetal death experiences have minimal impact on the parents and do not generate a significant grief reaction. Why? We are offered false consolation. "Now you have a little angel in Heaven" or "You can always have another baby". It's such an easy dismissal of my losses and I guess it's just ignorance and discomfort from the outsiders. It is often foolishly claimed that there could not be much grief when there had not been real bonding with the infant.

I just want the world to know that I DID bond with Grace and Olivia. During pregnancy I completely and actively reshaped my life to accomodate the anticipation of my triplets. I felt all three girls move. I saw them on ultrasounds dance and wiggle all over. I named them. I developed dreams for them. They were ALIVE. I bonded with them. I talked to them and sang to them. Grief has nothing to do with the length of my baby's life, but the nature of the attachment I had to them.

I am so thankful for the programs which have emerged to help us parents with our baby's after their loss. I cannot express how grateful I am to the photographers at Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep who came and took the most amazing pictures of my girls. I would have never thought to do all they did in my time of grief and I think they are amazing. They helped us validate their life and their loss.

Grace and Olivia have value. They existed and they were MINE. I had only the time she was alive in my womb with Grace and I had only 37 days with Olivia. That doesn't mean their death's were any less painful than if I had lost them at 10 years old. They are my babies.

The world may never notice
If a Snowdrop doesn't bloom,
Or even pause to wonder
If the petals fall too soon.
But every life that ever forms,
Or ever comes to be,
Touches the world in some small way
For all eternity.
The little one we long for
Was swiftly here and gone.
But the love that was then planted
Is a light that still shines on.
And though our arms are empty,
Our hearts know what to do.
Every beating of our hearts
Says of our love for you


Cathi Long said...

Well Said...It's how I feel everyday....

Ashley and Jason Faucett said...

So true; and so strange to have read this when you wrote it and to go back and totally understand every word now. :( I do hope more people can understand it is a major loss to parents.