In the book Good Mourning by Judy Gordon Morrow & Nancy Gordon DeHamer, she writes,
“Even weeks after the event, I found myself really needing to talk about what had happened. I needed to relive the experience. I needed to share the details with other people as I tried to come to grips with it. Initially I was allowed to do that with my loved ones and friends. Then Mom returned to Oregon and busy schedules reclaimed the lives of those around me. Yet, more than ever, I needed to talk about it.”
When we lose a child, we are initially numb with shock. As the numbness wears off, there is an overwhelming need to talk about our baby’s death. Some people are never comfortable talking to you about this, but many of your family and friends are receptive to hearing your story. The dilemma occurs when other people move on with their lives leaving you behind to grieve by yourself. Grief is a long, difficult and painful process that we must walk through. Our healing depends on us feeling the pain of our loss AND finding a way to talk about it.
Initially, when we need to talk, we are surrounded by many willing listeners.
Eventually, the number of people willing to listen dwindles down to very few if any. Most people have gone back to their busy lives just about the time we really start the grieving process. The following chart gives you an idea of when others go back to their lives or become unwilling to listen:
Acquaintances - 1 day (after the service)
Mom/Dad go back home - 1-2 weeks
Friends get busy - 4 weeks
Best Friends get uncomfortable, put up walls & change the subject - 3 months
Husband wants you to move on (Men & women grieve differently) - 6 months
God (and your journal) - Always there
It is important to find someone who is willing to listen to you whenever you need to talk. You need someone who listens with:
no glossing over your pain
It is better if the person has been through a similar loss that allows them to ask the questions that will draw out your feelings. For this reason, support groups are one of the best places to find the kind of listeners you need to heal.
Without a listener or outlet, we bottle up our emotions. We don’t identify our needs or feelings. We feel like we are carrying a huge weight or burden all by ourselves. A listener who has been through a similar loss is there to give you hope to get through the difficult journey called grief, so seek out that special someone or someones. Talking about your loss is crucial. People are often waiting for your cues as to when and how to discuss your baby. Don’t let others minimize your loss by cutting you off or becoming silent. Find a friend, pastor or support group to help you heal by allowing you to talk about your grief. (And know that God is always there to listen.)
Make a list of who is there for you? Are they still there for you?
“Grief is not an enemy, it is a friend. It is a natural process of walking through the hurt and growing because of the walk. Stand up tall to yourself and to your friends and say, ‘Don’t take my grief away from me, I deserve it and I’m going to have it.’” (Doug Manning – Don’t Take My Grief Away)
©2016 BURFORD ALL RIGHTS RESERVED