Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged, understood.

Many thanks to artist Stephanie Sicore for allowing us to feature her little bird in our banner.

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Once I had a fictional house that had many perfect rooms

Each perfect room required endless planning

A perfect chair, just so, lights there, great stairs, exquisite family heirlooms


A vague-faced perfect man gazing, loving, looking at me standing 

Perfect grown-up gorgeous glamorous

Silhouetted against the perfect glow from the perfect light on my perfect landing


Children with perfectly old-fashioned names like Neville or Agnes

Playing sweetly with their perfect toys

In perfect sun-kissed, nursery-coloured brightness


This was a time before the rabbithole joys

Of perfect Pinterest fictions

Click-easy dreams, inner lives turned inside out to silent noise


Before I built a comforting construction

A perfect place for my dead girl to live, a home

In data, pixels, type, strangers’ attention


That was removed from imperfect flesh and bone

Something and nothing, just like her, where I was not alone


What has the internet meant to you since the death of your baby or babies? What would you have done without it?

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Reader Comments (11)

The internet, forums, a special online friend that lives far away, and emails have been my lifelines since I lost my daughter. I shudder to think where I would be without them. If I had lived 20 years ago, and this had happened... then again, it may not have, because 20 years ago, it was a lot harder for an infertile couple to achieve pregnancy. I think I would be in trouble with drugs or alcohol if it wasn't for the internet. I know that my rage and sadness would be much more intense. So thank you all.
February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterChristine
The Internet has meant the world to me the last 18 months. Between inlaws struck silent and inept, friends distanced, my family far away and helpless, and a husband who turned off his feelings and started working too much, the online community I surrounded myself with became a lifeline. I would not have made it through whole (although admittedly still broken) without them (and counseling).
February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAmy
After losing Lauren, I felt so isolated, so not-understood. Without the internet, I never would have known how many other parents had walked this same road. It has been such a relief to be able to share stories, to speak of Lauren and to hear of other lost children. I think part of it is that if we're not alone, then Lauren isn't alone. But mostly it's knowing that it's okay to feel how we feel, knowing that there's support out there, that we're not alone.

And knowing that there's hope. I've read of so many rainbow babies born since we lost Lauren. It gives us hope as we start our journey for a healthy, living baby. That hope is also an important part of this internet community, and sometimes, it's what keeps me going.
February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSara
Glow and my blog have allowed me to fully experience my grief without feeling the need to defend myself to do it. It has allowed me to see that there are many ways to grieve and that I am not right or wrong on my path. It has been a lifeline for me. Without it I would be a sad, quiet woman wondering if I was doing it all wrong...
February 8, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEm
coral died in 2005. i had dial up then, and had only recently gotten a computer. the dial up took so long to load a single page of type... click the link, wait 3-4 minutes, then hopefully come back to something to read.

i distinctly remember searching 'stillborn baby'. it was the first time i had ever typed the word stillborn and probably didn't really know how to spell it. at that time, it was not easy to find support groups. i found some defunct blogs, some abandoned message boards, some difficult to access listsevr and aol groups, but no one ever answered me. it was very time consuming and very, very depressing. but finally after a month of trying, i found the mothering site and it was fairly active. to say it was a lifeline, a literal lifeline, is not an understatement.

i had a great grief therapist, and we found her very soon... i think just a week after coral died. i can remember being worried that i might bleed on her therapist couch from being so heavy into postpartum. she helped immensely, she gave us professional tools to deal with our grieving, and they worked. a warm human being who understood our pain and guided us thru the worst time in our life, there is no substitute for that. however,
there is nothing like the words and experience and companionship of another parent who has lost a baby. online or not. it just so happens that the hospital-sponsored support group was sparsely attended, and while we made a great connection with their therapist, it was ONLY online that i found true connection with other moms.

if i hadn't found the mothering site, i don't know what would have happened. i guess i would have muddled thru. there was a small group of women who branched off of that site into a private forum or about 20 women, and we are still in touch, 8 years later. they saved me. i lost another baby, my anton, long after they had all had their subsequent children, and i have never experienced the kind of love and support that they gave me when that happened, it literally kept me from doing myself in... these are women who i only knew online, and of the 20, only met one of them once.

maybe i am weird, i still come for support, and to try to give support. it has been a long time. almost 8 years for coral and 4 for anton, but i check in on the same old bookmarks every day.

jess, your poem is incredible. the last four lines move me deeply. thank you so much for sharing this.
February 8, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterss
Without the Internet and this online support from other baby loss parents...I think I would have felt very alone and almost like there was something very wrong with me. Not medically, but almost magically wrong with me, that I lost my baby.
All the online support helped me see how sadly common this is, how it is a hard, tragic part of natural life.

I'm so grateful to everyone who has been brave and generous and helped me this first month xxx
February 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNomi
ss - if you're weird, I'm standing right there next to you. But I think I know what you mean - at first, the internet made me feel normal now it makes me feel weird. I'm still here, most days, even though it has been nearly four and a half years since my daughter died. I always think your comments are full of kindness and insight. I'm so sorry for the loss of Coral and her little brother, Anton.

I feel that I don't really belong here but I simply don't have anywhere else to go, I haven't found anywhere else to replace it. Nowhere else to sit and cry. Or laugh that strange, clear laughter that the real world would find too dark, too strange. Perhaps it is simply a habit and I just pop through here on my way to Ebay? Sometimes the internet feels like a sifting mechanism that sorts us into ever smaller piles, swirling communities that embrace you and then disperse once more.

But I wouldn't be without it, not for worlds. The chances of finding anybody whose experiences of first time motherhood even vaguely resembled mine would have been vanishingly slight without it. And it is such a blessed relief not to have to pretend, that everything is fixed and I'm fine, which becomes so exhausting.

This place, the fine filaments of emails stretching out across the world from people I've never met and probably never will, where I can chuck things out of my brain that would otherwise fester in there, ungainly and ill thought out as they may be, can be stuck out here. Very fortunate to live in these times and to be able to read the words of all of you here.
February 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCatherine W
Incredible Jess. Wow.

For a year the Internet was everything for me in my loss.
Now it's practically nothing, but for a few friends that I was able to carve out of the ashes.

For such a time.

February 9, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJosh
I will echo many of you in saying that the internet has been a lifeline for me since I lost Charlotte 7 1/2 months ago. Being able to connect with other parents who understand the depth and breadth of this grief, who understand the darkness of it all that no one in my real life is equipped to deal with...it has no doubt saved my life. For the first few months, I thought regularly about how I wished that I had died with her in that hospital. I thought about taking every pill that I have in the house and calling it a day. Without the internet and specifically this place to come and unload my pain where it is understood, I am certain that I would have done just that. I honestly do not know how parents who experienced the deaths of their children at a different time in history survived the isolation of it. The aloneness of the grief, the guilt, the rage must have been an unbelievable burden to bear. If for nothing else, I am so grateful that the internet helps me to not feel so alone with this. Most of all, I'm grateful for the one special friend to whom I was led by Glow, and who has been my daily companion on this long, hard road.
February 10, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNikki
Striking Poem Jess. I so enjoy your posts and still envy the love of your father when his words were posted. The only good thing about the death of Mom before she met any of her 8 grandchildren and my Dad just meeting the first is that they didn't have to live through one of them dieing-our sweet baby Taz. I found Glow in the most desperate-the 4 to 6 month post babylost time. The angel talk and hugs and balloons were literally killing me-then I found Glow on the day Kate posted the Avalanche piece I new I was home. Now 6 years later I still check in regularly and follow a few glow emeritus blogs. Thank you is beyond lacking to demonstrate my appreciation for those who created and continue this space!
February 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLara
This is beautiful. You have such a great voice.

Honestly, I kind of dropped out of the online world for the first year or so, mostly because I had no knowledge that places like this existed. It was all angels and spirits and whatever else that I'd seen. It wasn't until, about a year and a half after Roxy died, that my friend Faith informed me that an old high school friend of hers had just had just lost a daughter, and her friend was writing about it in a way she thought I might relate to. That turned out to be Angie. Angie's writing, with all it's bare-knuckle honesty and heart, brought me back into this internet world, and made me feel brave enough to talk about my own loss, which I hadn't really been doing.
February 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKenny

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