**Trigger Warning – Baby Loss**
The day my baby girl was born sleeping was the day I changed and the world changed around me. Nothing felt the same, nothing looked the same, people didn’t seem the same. It was a whole new journey that we were about to embark on and we had no idea how it was going to go. I think this is often the case for people who have lost a loved one at any age. It is one of the hardest times to go through in life. It can be lonely, heartbreaking and downright difficult. After experiencing this for myself first hand I want to share 5 things that I have learnt after experiencing the death of a loved one.
Grief is an unknown – I have talked about grief a lot; it surprises me everyday with how it manifests itself. Grief is an unknown because we are all different people. I certainly didn’t grieve how I thought I would and I certainly didn’t expect the shock element of it. I think I was in shock for a good year before the real feelings really came out. Walking back into work after my maternity leave was the time when my shock wore off and the reality hit me. I wasn’t walking back in with my two babies at home. When I had left I had been full of hope and when I returned I was broken.
Some people won’t know what to say – Death and the feelings that surround it have always been a bit of a taboo subject but I think baby loss is even more so. It’s a really hard thing to accept when you are deep in the throws of your grief but one thing that is so important is that sometimes people just don’t know what to say to you. That might make them behave in unexpected ways; avoiding eye contact with you, glossing over the subject, getting flustered around you. It can all seem so very hurtful whereas in truth those people don’t want to be the one to upset you.
There are lots of practical things to do – The amount of paperwork and funeral arrangements that we had to make after losing Heidi was huge unexpected. We knew, of course that there are lots of things to do when someone dies but we hadn’t ever had to do it before so it was a whole new world for us. Registering our daughters birth and death at the same time was surreal and planning words for her funeral was heartbreaking but it all needed to be done. It’s such a difficult thing to think about and if you aren’t sure what to do then SunLife has some great information for anyone experiencing the death of a loved one at any age.
Life still goes on – The world keeps spinning even though you feel like yours has stopped. Some days I wanted to stand in a crowded supermarket and shout to everyone about what had happened to me. Didn’t they know my world had fallen apart? Didn’t they know I was sad? But actually what I learnt that life going on around me was a good thing, it gave me a sense of normality. After all, I still had to get up every morning and face the day.
You won’t forget them – I know so many people (me included) have one main worry and that is forgetting their loved one. I can 100% promise you that you won’t. They may have been part of your life for a long time or in our case a short time but they can’t ever be forgotten because they will be part of your heart for forever.
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