SHARE Atlanta Pregnancy and Newborn Loss Grief Support

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We never imagined...
by Marcia McGinnis

For Justin
When I listened to your heartbeat.
When I saw you on the ultrasound.
When I felt you move inside me.
I never imagined...
How quickly life can change.
How suddenly dreams can shatter...
We wanted the best for you.
Who would have predicted that it
was letting go...

Elaine Y.
SHARE Atlanta

Loss and Being Alone

When my husband and I lost our first baby at eight weeks to a miscarriage, we were scared, confused and felt abandoned to "figure out" what to do and how to react. Doctors reacted medically and friends were unsure. We intensified their lack of support by feeling as though we should be able to handle this entire experience without too much need. Yes, we were sad, but we sincerely felt that since there was no visible person's death that our loss should be more medical than emotional.

A year later, with our second miscarriage at twelve weeks, there were emotional reactions and feelings that left us worn out, confused and full of grief, but, outside of friends trying to reassure us that we would "be okay," we had no support for all of our grief feelings. Of course, many of our feelings and reactions we didn't even realize were "grief related." We struggled, once again, to survive this trauma without acting too needy. We suffered for lack of support...

Our third loss, a full term son, sent us over the edge! There were feelings of anger, confusion and helplessness, that needed to be dealt with.

The loss of our baby is the loss of our dreams, our future and we need support to begin to heal!

We found a small support group and started to heal. What I know now is that grief can build and collect in us. Grief must have an outlet! There are things we can do to help us move down a path so that we slowly release our pain, frustration and confusion so that we don't become totally ruled by our experience and grief.

Remembering previous "losses" lets us know we can survive...

All of us, have experienced loss and grief already in our life. Usually, in much smaller events. Positive coping skills were sometimes used to heal - often with us not being aware of what we were doing in order to heal and survive. Some of these past experiences will help us through what is happening now, but new ways to help are often needed - even from the first.

Each persons' loss and pain is unique to him/her..

... but there are stepping stones that have helped others survive and, when shared, these options can greatly ease the parents' confusion and pain as they struggle to survive their own loss. These options can and should be shared from the very first knowledge of a parents' loss.

We always need to remember that...

Grief is a normal, healthy Process
that begins at the beginning of a loss...
AND there are choices to help us cope.
Marcia McGinnis, 1997

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