A neonatal loss story: On the kindness and comfort of friends

Pregnancy Infant Loss Awareness month is drawing to a close this week. The awareness for the wider community may lessen – unless they are directly affected by the loss of an infant or pregnancy – but it won’t stop these deaths from happening. It was never about that.

Everyone knows, though for some it is so wretchedly new that it’s too difficult to accept, that death is a natural part of life. But when it happens at the beginning of a life, or before one has barely begun, the need for solid support is absolutely vital to safe healing of the parents. Without it,  the journey to the ‘New Normal’ can take much longer. And sometimes, never really ends.

I’m deeply honoured to introduce Nicky, a new blogger and a mum who is riding the incessant waves of grief and shock since her baby boy died just three months ago. It is easy to hear the natural optimism Nicky exudes when you read her blog, One Of Seventeen, which is shaping up to be a really engaging new space. Even the most optimistic of us can feel flat to the floor by the relentless pounding that comes with losing a child. That is where good friends – the real salt-of-the-earth good eggs! – come in blessedly handy.

In today’s post, Nicky highlights the huge importance of consistent normalcy mixed with lashings of gentle care. And chocolate. Please give her a warm and hearty welcome to Sunny Side Up and join me in a huge thank you to her for this uplifting take on loss.

Thank you, Nicky, for sharing this and all the very best to you  x

 

In just over 5 hours it will be 3 months exactly since my baby boy passed away in my arms.

To say the last 3 months has been a rollercoaster of emotion would be the understatement of the century!

But rather than focus on sadness today, I’ve been thinking of all the friends who have helped me since that horrible day when we came home from the hospital with empty arms.

Friends like Debbs, who has sent me a text every single day since he died. Often they just say “thinking of you” or “I love you”. Sometimes she describes her day and tells me of the funny things happening in her world. Sometimes, I’m lying in bed thinking I don’t want to carry on with my life as the pain is simply too much to carry. Sometimes, I wish I’d died with him in that operating theatre.

It would be easier.

Then “PING”. It’s a Debbs text. I read it, I get out of bed, I hug my boys and I start living my day.

Friends like Helen, who built me a Jenga tower out of biscuits, just to make me smile.

Friends like my Vixy, who has opened her arms & her house to me regardless of time of day or any other plans she has.

She’ll text “what you doing Nixy?” ”Bad, bad night” I reply. “Come” she says. “But its 8.30! You don’t want woe is me now” I protest. “Just come”, she says. I do. We are both in our PJs in her busy kitchen. I’m a mess. She makes me coffee while giving her beautiful kiddies breakfast. We just look at each other and I know she gets it. “I wish it could be different for you my love” she says. “Me too” I say.

Friends like my sweetheart Rekha, who has debated fate, life, what it all means with me over hot chocolate in her kitchen, way beyond bedtime, even though she has to get up early for work the next morning.

I could go on. There are many more examples but I can’t list them all. I’m so lucky, because lots of wonderful friends have gone above & beyond for me during what has been the most heartbreaking time of my life. I’ve really needed them & for the most part, they have come up trumps. Super trumps!

How do I ever thank them? I don’t know. I probably haven’t said it enough, consumed as I am by grief. So here I am, now, today, saying THANK YOU to all my friends who have comforted me and supported me. I love them all and one day this WILL be easier and we WILL go dancing.

 

 

Do you have a story to share? Submit yours here.  

The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have an appreciation, a sensitivity and an understanding of life that fills them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.

– Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

 

 

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