Maybe it’s been a few weeks. Maybe it’s been a month… maybe it’s been 10 years. No matter the amount of time that has passed, many angel parents come to this point where it kind of feels like nobody cares anymore about your loss. Maybe the phone calls decrease, maybe people have stopped asking how you are, maybe when you tell them you’re having a rough day, they assume it’s because of work or some other annoying thing. I’m going to give you 7 things to do when you start feeling like that in hopes that I save someone from the wrath of an angel parent.
- Do some kind of memorial for your little one
- In addition to doing this, invite some friends or family to participate with you. It’s a great way to honor your baby while also modeling healthy ways of coping with grief and loss.
- Go to a support group
- Under the right circumstances, support groups can be super helpful. Using that space to process these kinds of feelings and also be reminded that even if the members of the group don’t know you that well, they care to hear how you’re feeling and about your loss. Even further, they understand your loss in a way that folx who have not lost children never will.
- Talk to someone about your child and experience
- Spend some time with a family member, friends or some combination and just talk. Be clear with people in your life that you are going to talk about your baby(ies) AND be willing to fall back if they tell you they can’t handle that. People who really know you, really love you and really want to support you will be willing to listen. In some cases, they may want to talk to you about your loss too but don’t want to trigger you. Open the door and allow the conversation to happen. #BreaktheSilence
- Remind yourself that just because the loss isn’t at the forefront of everyone’s mind doesn’t mean people don’t care
- Reality checks are important. It’s easy to get distorted thinking when we’re stressed and automatic thoughts tend to rear their ugly heads like the monsters they are at those times. It’s imperative that you remind yourself of people’s love languages and how they in particular show you love. You can’t expect the same responses from everyone, you can’t make assumptions because we all know what happens then, and there’s more than one way for people to show you that they care.
- Stop being dramatic & egocentric
- Ok so I know that sounds harsh but I’m saying it with love. Our grief can have us at our highest state of dramatics. Everything feels like the end of the world or the worst thing ever to happen to anyone…ever. Asking yourself, “am I overreacting?” or “am I jumping to conclusions?” is a good place to start. Remembering you’re not the center of the universe and that everyone isn’t always going to be catering to you and your grief is super humbling… and NECESSARY. It’s also not healthy to stay in that space. It’s negative energy and will quickly be the cause of many people you want to be in your life, leaving your life.
- Spend some time with your little one
- Go to their grave site, take their urn with you someplace quiet, or just spend some time in your house with their photos and things. Ultimately, you’re that baby’s parent. They need to know that YOU care and that YOU love them. Talk to them, draw pictures, smell the blankets, cry, light candles, whatever, just BE with you baby(ies).
- Find a place/space/event to tell your story
- Do you like public speaking? Go to a local or national event about perinatal loss and share your story with other angel parents. Talk to others about your loss and listen to theirs. You’d be surprised at who you might connect with and truly feel love and support from (and towards).
Let’s face it, time continues to roll on even when we want it to stand still so we can attempt to process this horrible thing. It can and does feel super insulting and hurtful when we are reminded of this by our friends and family who have moved on (to a degree) and would love for us to also. Remember, an object in motion, stays in motion whereas when you stop moving, you die too. Nobody has to forget about the loss or the grief for that matter, but it is important that you keep moving through it towards your healing. Staying stuck only does a disservice to yourself, your little lost one, and those living loved ones.