We all handle loss differently. Some of us are open to talking about every aspect of it, and some of us don’t ever want to talk about it. The level of support that someone who has lost a pregnancy receives can vary as well. Maybe you are lucky and have a lot of friends and family members that are willing to listen and show support, like I had. Or, maybe you have ones that don’t want to talk about it and you feel completely alone. We all have a different experience and there is no right or wrong way to grieve.
I often got told I should go see a counselor and talk to someone after my loss. I didn’t want to. Not that I have anything against counseling, but I just didn’t feel the need to go at that time. I had my husband and we were able to grieve together, which was a huge help. I also had my family and my friends and had many people I could turn to at any time.
It actually wasn’t until I got pregnant with our rainbow that I felt a strong need to go to counseling.
The anxiety of thinking something was wrong with the baby or that I would lose her any moment could be overwhelming at times. It seemed harder to deal with than the actual grief of losing our angel daughter. Any of you that have gone or are currently going through a pregnancy after a loss can probably understand what I mean. I’m not saying dealing with grief is easy, but when you are pregnant after losing a baby, you carry not only that grief, but the anxiety about the pregnancy as well. Two really strong feelings that are hard to deal with.
That is why I decided to see a counselor. And, I think it was one of the best decisions I have made because it was nice to have a neutral party to talk to about everything. Someone who didn’t get emotional about any of it because they weren’t an involved party. Someone who I could tell about my anxiety about all the upcoming appointments and about all of the reminders of our angel daughter.
I started going last year a couple of months after finding out I was pregnant, and I continue to go now.
My appointments have become less frequent because I simply don’t need to go as often. But, the benefits have been tremendous. He even commented to me last week how excited and happy I seem. And, I realized he is right. I do truly feel happy and excited about everything. It took a while to get here after losing her, but it’s such a nice feeling.
I bring up counseling because I just want to encourage anyone who has gone through a loss and doesn’t have someone they feel they can talk to, or even if you do have someone you can talk to, to give it a try. You won’t be judged and you are allowed to say whatever you want to say. You can be sad and cry or you can be angry and yell. You can share the happy moments you feel or the fears that you have. And it is just so freeing to get everything out.
I think we all tend to just hold things in and hope that they go away.
We think that by not talking about it, we won’t think about it and won’t have to deal with it. But, the feelings don’t go away. Grief never really goes away, it just changes. And I wish that we, as humans, would not be so afraid of grief or being sad and expressing it to others. Some people can’t tolerate being around others going through something as hard as losing a child. Just remember, that’s not about you, that’s about them. One of my favorite things the counselor told me is that we can’t MAKE anyone feel anything. The things they feel are just a manifestation of how they feel in response to what we say. We don’t MAKE them uncomfortable, they just are already uncomfortable dealing with grief.
I say this because I don’t want anyone to ever think they can’t share about the child they lost. These are our children and they will always be our children. We have every right to talk about them just as we can about our living children. And, just maybe, if we learn to be more accepting of our own feelings, then we can teach others to not run away and to be accepting too.