Stillbirth is a loss.
We go through a real loss, even if society doesn’t always acknowledge our loss, as society never saw our baby.
But we felt our babies grow and move inside us, totally present in our lives.
Loss is known to everyone. I don’t know one person who hasn’t gone through a significant loss in hers or his life. When I saw “significant loss,” I mean significant to that specific person.
The kind of loss that creates intense feelings of mourning, sadness, a forced goodbye from a loved one. A profound difficulty performing daily activities, and much confusion.
The kind of loss that sends us through the rollercoaster of emotions of mourning. All the feelings I mentioned above are present at the same time, when we feel the need to laugh, smile, go out and have a drink to feel free from this emotional weight in our hearts. Oh, we know the weight won’t go away, it will wait for us, no doubt. But just for a few moments, we try to free ourselves from it.
Stillbirth is death.
Death of a baby. End of hopes, expectations, of a whole life.
It’s loss forced upon us.
Once we start addressing stillbirth as such, we will be able to understand all that we go through after stillbirth.
Once society addresses stillbirth as such, society will understand:
The need to mourn, the need to cry. We will realize that we are not “dwelling on this,” we are saying goodbye again and again. Each time will be a little different because we will be a little different.
We will understand the need for commemoration comes because we don’t want to forget what was erased from everyone’s memories.
We want to give meaning to this difficult and sad experience that we went through.
We will know this rollercoaster of emotions after a stillbirth is the rollercoaster of emotions one feels after losing someone significant to us.
But I think the most crucial part is for *us* to understand all this.
I think that in the end, it doesn’t matter if society understands us or not. I guess we’d rather have the seal of approval from people around us. I’m sure it’s easier than giving it to ourselves.
But we should be able to give it to ourselves, the permission to “dwell with it,” to mourn, to feel the loss, to “always talk about it, again and again,” because it is a part of the grieving process we need to go through before we enter the next phase.
Once we allow ourselves to feel everything, the need for assurances from people around us won’t be needed anymore.
The first weeks are difficult. As the Buddha said, thus it is.
Slowly the process we go through changes. Sometimes we’re up, and sometimes we’re down.
It’s all part of the healing journey.