A supportive community that understands is crucial after losing a child. For many of us, the comfort comes from others who have been through similar experiences. And unfortunately, the bereaved parents community is ever growing.
I woke with an emotional hangover.
My eyes still felt heavy. My brain felt foggy. I felt exhausted.
Emotional hangovers are a real thing. They are a part of grief, they come with the territory.
I reached over for my phone, groggy and tired. It took a minute to register that the facebook message notification was from a woman back home. Someone I’ve grown up with but only see every few years. Someone pregnant. I somehow knew what the message was before I even opened it.
She lost her baby and had to be induced to deliver her perfect baby boy. She said she is surrounded by love and support yet feels so alone.
Our community, unfortunately, has a new member.
I was in tears instantly, my emotions pouring over me and my own memories crashing down on me. I was instantly back in that moment, where my friend now lies.
I ended up on the phone with this heartbroken momma that night for an hour and a half. She had only just gotten home from the hospital the night before. She needed to talk to someone who understood.
Her words and her heartbreak, it was like being on the phone with myself, with the past. I can replay those couple days in the hospital like a movie I watched ten minutes ago. I can hear the nurses voice when she handed Adeline to us, with tears running down her face, and her voice shook as she said to us, “She’s perfect.” I can physically feel what I felt when I was wheeled out of the big doors of the hospital and put into the passenger seat of our car and having to drive away without our daughter. I’ve never had a memory remain so vivid and alive.
Above all, I remember feeling alone. So. Alone. My friend said, “there is so much love and support yet nothing that anyone says is comforting.” I’ve been here, and yet, I still didn’t know what to say. I think that’s because there really are no words that can be said to bring comfort. That’s how bad it is to experience this, so bad that words fail us. So, instead, I consciously made an effort to listen, to be present and to wait for her cues that she needed me to say something instead of her.
The truth is, two years later, I still feel isolated often. I have found this community on social media of other parents that have experienced the trauma of losing a child and for them I am grateful. I have leaned on this community so much, and found so much comfort in knowing that I am not the alone one feeling the things that I am feeling. Then all of a sudden, I am that person that someone thought of to lean on because she knew I would understand her heartache.
So, I guess, what I’m trying to say is… I’m sorry. And thank you.
Thank you, mama, for sharing your sweet boy with me, and for choosing me to turn to.
Thank you, mama, for saying the words, “tell me about your daughter” because you have an instant understanding of the longing for people to ask about your child.
Thank you, for allowing me into your story.
By leaning on me, I can lean back.
Because, us angel moms? We stick together.