You don’t know me and I don’t know you but somehow we smiled at each other with the smile of understanding.
You were stood in the playground and I overheard you say to another parent that you had lost your baby. I don’t know whether this happened recently or whether like me, it happened a couple of years ago or even longer than that. The truth is, it doesn’t matter because as I glanced over to you and you caught my eye I saw the same look in your eyes as I have seen in the mirror many times before. You had been in that dark place too, the place where nobody seemed to understand the pain you were going through.
You had had to say the words I lost my baby time and time again to people still not knowing how they would react. Would they change the subject, would they ask unwanted questions or would they simply avoid you the next time they saw you?
That look in your eye told so many stories of a broken heart, silent tears and a longing for what will never be. But there is something you should know; telling people is brave. You are helping more than you know because you are breaking down those walls which still exist even though I’m unsure why. Baby loss happens; it happened to you and it happened to me and it might have happened to someone else standing in that playground too yet we are so often too scared to talk about it.
I lost my daughter, she was a twin and her twin sister was in her pushchair with me the day I saw you. My girls were very premature and people often ask me why my little girl was so early. I look at them wondering if they have a clue what is coming next, that I am about to tell them that she had to be delivered because her twin sister had passed away at 29 weeks. It’s hard isn’t it? It’s hard to say it out loud but we do because baby loss parents are brave and we do it so that other baby loss parents in the future don’t have to face the unknown looks or pretend they didn’t see someone quickly avoid eye contact.
We say it because our babies have a right to be talked about as part of our families.
We say their name because it deserves to be said.
So to you two standing in the playground painting on your smiles the dark days will pass. People will tell you to move on or to count your blessings. Correct them. You won’t move on unless you want to and you do count your blessings every day but there is never a day that goes by when you won’t think about your precious star in the sky. I know how you are feeling and I will keep smiling at you in the playground because I think you know that I know too.