A dear friend of mine gave birth to a stillborn baby at 40 weeks, due to a cord accident. Being present at her birth has changed my life forever. It has taught me to appreciate the miracle of life so much more, and has helped me to be a better mother, friend, and person.
I look at my daughter with different eyes, eyes that have been opened to the unspeakable sadness of losing a child and then also to the joyful moments that should be appreciated daily and not overlooked. As hectic and chaotic as life can be with a child under two… I have found more gratitude and appreciation for the messes, the arguing over how many books to read at bedtime, and the tantrums that come from a little person dealing with a big world.
I have also come to understand how import it is to share and grieve, and love and connect. It has made me appreciate that no matter how many weeks or months or years we get with our children, they are precious. We have many words for people who experience loss, a widower or an orphan, but there is no word to for a woman who has lost a child. Miscarriage and infant death has become a taboo subject in our culture creating a burden women have to carry alone. I think that it is important for women to share these loses with family and friends – no matter what!
My hope is that by sharing this experience it will help others to know that they can and should share theirs. They say it takes a village to raise a child… and I believe it takes the same village to grieve and remember that child too!