Her beautiful baby died.
My friends were so thoughtful and called me when they found out about our friend so I could hear this awful news from someone’s voice that I knew – rather than email or text.
This beautiful gesture made me feel loved. But this wasn’t about me.
This morning I was at a beautiful cafe waiting with my husband and three children for our meals to arrive when my phone rang.
I knew what happened as soon as my friends name was mentioned.
At that moment I stood up and moved to a quiet corner of the cafe. If I was anywhere else I would’ve howled in pain for her.
Instead I waited patiently for my children and husband to eat their meals as I slowly tried to stomach mine.
I patiently did the grocery shopping and chatted to Miss Five who helped me make decisions because my head was fuzzy.
I patiently got dressed and ready and attended a beautiful baby shower for another friend.
I patiently kissed my three precious blessings goodnight and waited for their eyes to grow heavy with sleep.
I patiently talked to my Mum on the phone and told her of the tragic news. She knows the pain just as well as I do.
I finally made my way to a quiet place in our home and I cried for my friend. For her beautiful baby girl that should still be growing inside her.
All day I remembered when this happened to us. To me, to my husband, to my children, to my parents, to his parents, to our family and friends when our daughter was taken.
Those memories turned into wet slides down my cheeks.
Those memories made the broken part of my heart hurt stronger. For I know all to well the pain and devastation my friend is going through.
It isn’t fair.
It isn’t right.
All day I have tried to think of things that made me feel better – so if this awful loss happens to someone you know how you can help them.
Just remember we all grieve differently. Grief has no time limits. It can be a moment, days, weeks, years. When you lose a child you NEVER get over it. You just learn to live differently.
– don’t ignore your grieving friends because you don’t know what to say. Sometimes a hug and a cup of tea is exactly what they need.
– don’t forget the Dad. He had lost his baby too. He is still devastated even though he is pretending to be strong for the mother of his child.
– meals are helpful but try and be original. Pumpkin soup and lasagne are lovely but not every night.
– say their babies name. She/he existed and has a name. It makes us smile when you say their name because we know that they are not forgotten.
– offer to look after their older children when they’re ready. This enables the grieving parents to spend time together on their own. They may just want to cry, together, in their home, without being interrupted by their beautiful children.
– beautiful words in a card or letter help your friend to know you care.
– organisations like Bears Of Hope, Miracle Babies and HeartFelt are amazing and have useful information on their websites for grieving family’s and friends.
– please don’t ever say ‘you can try again’ or ‘I’m sure you’ll have another baby’. Nothing can ever replace the baby or child they have lost.
The most important thing you can do is be there. Let them know you’re here to hold their hand whenever they need it.
Three years ago when I joined the club you don’t want to be part of, without realising I was transformed into a very different person.
When I walked into hospital my babies were safe in my belly.
When I left hospital I left with empty arms, a heavy heart and tears to fill the ocean.
These are my memories today.
Today I send my dear friend love, strength and prayers.
To all the Mummies and Daddies reading this post, please hug your precious children close to you. Enjoy every moment with them and spare a thought to those parents whose hearts have been ripped in half and have empty arms.
With love always
“A wife who loses a husband is called a widow. A husband who loses a wife is called a widower. A child who loses his/her parents is called an orphan. But there is no word for a parent who loses a child, that’s how awful the loss is!” (Neugeboren)