October is a magical time of year. Especially here in Geauga county with beautiful, bright colorful leaves. Pumpkins and apples abound at our local farms. Delicious food and drinks can found at all the great local restaurants and coffee shops. The air begins to chill, and bonfires or snuggling under the blankets to be cozy is standard. It’s so much fun!
October has a bit of a deeper meaning to me. Did you know it is also SIDS, Infant and Pregnancy Loss Awareness month? One in four women has experienced a loss. That’s a staggering number. It’s likely you, or someone near you, has been affected.
I am the mother of three beautiful kids and step-mom to two absolutely lovely teenaged daughters. I am also the mother to two angel babies. I had two incredibly different grieving experiences with my two losses; one just devastated me and the other a sad, but relatively insignificant experience. Both are perfectly normal and healthy ways to grieve.
So how do you support someone who has found out they have lost their child? Especially if you’re not sure how they are managing their grieving process.
- Let them talk if they want to talk. You don’t have to have the right words or know the perfect answer. You probably won’t have them anyway. Just listening is good enough. If they don’t want to talk, that’s okay. Sometimes they just need a hand to hold or a shoulder to cry on.
- Acts of charity Bring them dinner. Mow their grass. Wash the dishes. Make life easier. Take away some of the mundane chores that can be stressful.
- Be mindful of what they’re asking. If they ask for no visitors, don’t stop over. A text can communicate that you’re thinking of them while still respecting their boundaries.
- Give a gift This can be anything from flowers or their favorite beer to a lovely memorabilia item like a necklace or memory box.
- Remember and acknowledge the baby by name. Wish the parents a happy mothers and fathers day. Plant a remembrance tree or send a first birthday card. By honoring the child’s life, you will help the parents recovery journey.
- Give them our number. Freya Birthing Services offers free support to parents experiencing a loss.