5 Ways The Death Of A Baby Is Different From Other Losses
The death of a baby is earth shattering. It doesn’t matter if you lose a baby before or after birth. It hurts so deeply and is very different than any other loss. As a society, we tend to avoid talking or thinking about babies who have died. And who can blame us? It’s uncomfortable. But the reality is, people experience the death of a baby more often then we realize.
With the uncomfortableness of talking or thinking about babies dying, comes an inability to understand and support those who are suffering from the death of a baby. When we don’t understand the pain and suffering, we can wind up saying or doing things, which cause more pain without even realizing it.
Those in the baby loss community, or as I say the crappy baby loss club, cannot escape thinking about it. And since nobody else likes to think or talk about it, they often are misunderstood, resulting in feelings of isolation. Leaving them to suffer in silence.
What people often don’t realize is the death of a baby is like no other loss. Unless you are unfortunate enough to have suffered the death of a baby, you might not understand why. Here are 5 ways the death of a baby is different than other losses.
1. When your baby dies, so does your hopes, dreams, plans, and future
From the moment the little line on the pregnancy test confirms you are pregnant, you start planning your new life. You think of how life will be different. You start planning. Daydreaming about what your little boy or girl will be like. The entire world shifts with the knowledge of being pregnant. It doesn’t matter if the baby dies and is miscarried the next day. Those dreams have already begun to form. And with the loss of the baby goes the loss of the future with them.
2. There are little to no memories of them you can share with others
One way we typically grieve is to share memories about the person with other people who knew them. It is healing to remember and to share that with people in our life. When a baby dies, depending on when they died, there are little to no memories to share with other people. The baby may have been miscarried or stillborn. In this situation, the memories might include feeling them kick, finding out the gender, pregnancy cravings, etc. These memories are hard to share with others. And frankly, some people might question why they keep wanting to talk about their baby who died. Well, it is still their baby and they miss them! This leads to people not sharing these things, which can hinder the grieving process.
3. Every milestone they would’ve met is a constant reminder of what is missing
Sure we continue to miss all people that are important to us. But when a baby dies, the losses keep coming year after year. You miss out on every milestone they never lived to meet for the rest of your life.
4. You always wonder who they would have been
When a baby dies you lose the chance to see who they will become. You constantly wonder what would they look like? What would they have liked? Who would they have become?
5. People don’t acknowledge it
It’s uncomfortable to talk about dead babies. So people don’t. This leaves the parents to suffer in silence and live in fear that the world has forgotten their child.
If you have a friend or family that is suffering from the death of a baby, don’t be afraid to mention it, they are already thinking about it. Ask them what they need. Just listen. Hold space for the pain and let them be not okay. Do not put a timeline on their sadness and grief.