Grief – A Very Personal Experience

November 5, 2011 at 2:30 pm | Posted in grief/loss | 2 Comments
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Today marks 2 months since Amya Mirica passed away.

Yesterday Chris and I went out for the first time in the evening and left Ananda Mae with my sister. We went to the classical concert of the Brandenburg Orchestra of which we have season’s tickets. The previous concert was exactly 2 months ago, the evening of Amya Mirica’s passing and the music gently reminded me of the presence of angels in the room as the beautiful angelic voice of the soloist soprano filled the concert hall serendipitously called ‘Angel’s place’. I was once again reminded that grief is a very personal experience and will be experienced in any unexpected moment and location.

This week we also went back to the hospital, where I gave birth, where we said good-bye to Amya Mirica and from where we took Ananda Mae home with us. The hospital will always hold an interesting energy and importance for me – both joy and bliss as overriding emotions associated with the birth and sadness and despair of losing my child. This time we went back to join a Bereavement Group.

It was a deep and intense morning as we shared with couples who also lost their babies. Each and every one of us is grieving. When I listened to their stories I felt connected in sharing a similar experience. In my career as a counsellor working with clients experiencing grief I was, according to their feedback, really able to support them in their process. Now however, I doubt that I was ever able to REALLY be there for them without fully understanding the depth of their experience. I think now that this is only really possible now that I gained access to this experience on a very personal level.

A few weeks ago I met my banker, who I have been talking to frequently before the birth of the twins. When I told her my story she said: I’m so sorry, I know what you’re going through. My first reaction inside was ‘I doubt you know what I’m going through’. She then however shared with me that she lost her second child through cot death at 3 months. This statement total y changed the meaning of her empathy. I have to say that I couldn’t imagine what she must have gone through in her personal experience and even though we share the part of losing one’s own child at a very young age, it’s still a very personal story and experience. She then said: ‘It will get easier’ and, in comparison to other people who could have said the same, coming from her it was founded in her personal experience and therefore I took it on board.

I also learnt this week that there are two fundamentally different ways people feel and deal with grief: the instrumental griever and the intuitive griever. The instrumental griever, historically the man, feels better by doing things as they feel unable to fix this. The intuitive griever, usually the woman, grieve through experiencing all the emotions and crying frequently. This can cause discordance in a relationship between an intuitive and an instrumental griever as they are rarely in the same place. Grieving has given our relationship a totally different level of understanding of each other, as well as ability to be with the other’s way of dealing with it.

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Grieving the Loss of My Child

September 28, 2011 at 9:19 pm | Posted in grief/loss | 8 Comments
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Having given birth to my twin girls just 4 weeks ago and having had to say good-bye to one of them just two days afterwards, I am experiencing all the facets of grief. This gives me a totally new perspective and a truly personal relationship with what is probably one of the deepest emotions to experience: grieiving one’s child.

I’ve put the following together to help friends and family understand on how to deal with us and our grief:

Wishes of An Angel’s Mum and Dad

  • I wish you would not be afraid to mention my baby Amya Mirica Hope. Just because you never saw her doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve your recognition.
  • I wish that if we did talk about my baby and I cried you didn’t think it was because you have hurt me by mentioning her. I need to cry and talk about my baby with you, it helps me heal.
  • I wish you could tell me you are sorry my baby has died and that you are thinking of me, it tells me you care.
  • I wish you wouldn’t think what has happened is one big bad memory for me. The memory of my baby, the love I feel for my baby and the dreams I had for her are all loving memories. Yes there are bad memories too, but please understand that it’s not all like that.
  • I wish you wouldn’t judge me because I’m not acting the way you think I should be. Grief is a very personal thing and we’re all different people who deal with things differently.
  • I wish you wouldn’t think if I have a good day I’m ok or if I have a bad day I’m being unreasonable. There is no “normal” way for me to act.
  • I wish you wouldn’t expect me to “feel better” in a few weeks, months, or years for that matter. It may get easier with time but I will never be “over” this.
  • I wish you could tell me you are thinking of me on my baby’s birthday, Mothers Day, celebration times and the day my baby died. These are all important and sad days for me.
  • I wish you understood that losing my baby has changed me. I’m not the same person I was before and I’ll never be that person again. If you keep waiting for me to get back to “normal” you’ll stay frustrated. I am a new person with new thoughts, dreams, beliefs, and values. Please try to get to know the ‘new’ me, you might even still like me.

Avoid Clichés & Unhelpful Comments

Remember that we loved and wanted THIS baby, Amya Mirica Hope even though we have Ananda Mae Passion with us

  • “Everything happens for a reason”
  • “You will have another baby”
  • “I know what you’re going through (unless you have experienced a similar loss)
  • “I guess it’s God’s way of taking care of those with problems”
  • “You would rather have lost your baby then look after a child with a disability”
  • “Sometimes these things happen for the best”
  • “It wasn’t meant to be”
  • “You’re young, you’ll get over it”
  • “At least you weren’t farther along.”
  • “This was probably a blessing in disguise.”
  • “Now you have an angel in heaven.”
  • “It was God’s will”
  • “At least you have other children”
  • “At least you can get pregnant”
  • “The baby would have been deformed anyway”
  • “Everything will be fine next time”
  • “You can try again”

Also, don’t fill in conversations with unnecessary outside news, including the announcement of a pregnancy or the birth of another baby.

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