Written by Sarah Pridham, mum of Jasper, for Still Aware.
Continuing from my previous blog about the life lessons that I have learnt since the loss of our son, here is Life Lesson #2.
When you lose a child, you become an exclusive member of a different society/different group of people in the world. There is one bond that is formed through the loss of a baby and that is the bond between bereaved parents – an unspeakable bond that I am continually struck by. People that you have never previously met or known become your strength within a heartbeat of time.
I think this bond is just a pure and true understanding of the heart and one that connects us in many ways, even if we have never met before. You share in the same tragedy that they share in, you can relate to them when you feel like you are no longer part of the ‘normal’ world.
There is no greater bond than those formed between parents who understand the agony of enduring the death of a child and they understand the true depth of the loss, not just for the moment in time but for what you have lost from the future as well.
The loss of a baby is unfortunately a pain that we suffer and carry with us for a lifetime, and those who have walked a similar path are the only ones in the world that understand the depth of pain and love that we carry.
At the darkest of times, when you feel like no one can relate to you and when you feel like you are walking in a world that is upside down, these people have a way of making you feel like you are still present in the ‘normal world’ and will make you feel like you are not a stranger in a world full of people. They can help to validate your thoughts and feelings when no one else truly can, they will not be judgemental, and they will not make you feel any shame for speaking about your journey as each journey is so very raw and individual when you experience the loss of a child.
My advice to anyone out there around this life lesson is to find someone out there that has been through baby loss to share your story with and to have in your life – if you do not know someone there are so many great resources out there these days through Facebook groups or support meetings where you can meet other bereaved parents.
If you do not feel up to this, try reading other parents’ stories through blogs or the many books out there. I know that in my darkest of days, when I felt overwhelmed with grief and wondered how I would be able to make it through I read books and blogs where other parents shared their losses – this somehow made me feel like I was a little less alone in the world and made me feel like if all these other bereaved parents made it through then somehow (even though I didn’t know how at the time) I would somehow pull through as well.
These bereaved parents become life long friends at the darkest of times, when you feel like you can no longer go on, when you feel like no one can relate to you – you are always able to turn to these people and talk through your feelings and know that no matter what these people truly understand your lifelong pain, grief and despair.