When Joseph died, A and I were overwhelmed by the number of babylost parents who came forward with stories of their own loss in order to offer sympathy. These were people we knew, yet we had never known about their babies who had died, who were stillborn, who were miscarried.
I shouldn't have been surprised. When my sister had a miscarriage a few years ago, suddenly everyone she knew had had a miscarriage, too. It seemed everyone wanted to surround my sister with their support after her loss.
At first, hearing of other's losses was too hard for me. It suddenly seemed a dreadful certainty that every baby died, and I couldn't handle a world like that. Then slowly, I began to be able to listen. I began to be comforted. I began to rely on those connections with others who had lost not just their babies, but the potential of their child's life, their hope, their vision for the future. And I began to see that survival is possible, and hope seeped back into their lives--my life--little by little.
Recently a few of the regular contributors at Glow have been talking about those other babylost parents we encountered in the weeks after our losses. Family members, strangers at a yard sale, coworkers, babylost parents at support groups and online.
We invite you to join the conversation at the Kitchen Table. Our conversation is here. Want to join in? Post the questions and your answers on your own blog, link to us here at Glow in the Woods meme-style, and share the link to your post in the comments. If you don't have your own online space, simply post your answers directly in the comments on the kitchen table page.
1. We know that sometimes families talk less and less about pregnancy or infant loss as time goes on. What, if any, other losses in your family were revealed to you after your loss? What was it like to hear about those losses?
2. Did anyone who had already experienced babyloss reach out to you in the months after your loss? What was it like to connect with others who had already been through babyloss?
3. If any of those babylost parents were from a different generation, what did you find was different about your experience from theirs?
4. Did you attend a local area support group after your loss? What was helpful--or not--about your support group?
5. What role has the internet played in connecting you to other babylost parents? How has that been different from connections you may have made in person?
6. Many of us have found, as time goes on, that we are suddenly in the supporting role, as "experienced" babylost parents. How has reaching out to others with newer losses helped you in your grief journey?
7. How have you found yourself relating to other people's grief in general? What about people around you--friends, coworkers, neighbors--who have experienced the loss of other family members, not babies?