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Overcoming Adversity: How to Help Someone Through the Worst of Times

Today, a mother in our community buried her child. Our hearts ache for her.

We often believe that we come to motherhood quite unprepared. We talk about owner's manuals and needing a books to navigate the path. We turn to others for advice and information. We start forming our village. From pregnancy through labour, we don't know what the path has in store for us. Will it be an easy pregnancy and birth or will there be unforeseen challenges. How will we handle the rough spots and how will we know what to do? We read, we talk, we take classes and we learn. The truth is, though, we have everything we need to make decisions and handle the physical and emotional aspects during our pregnancies and labours. In our hearts, we already know what we need. Sometimes we have problems putting it all together but we really are not as unprepared as we think we are, when it comes right down to it.

Once we have our precious child in our arms, our hearts burst with love and we are overwhelmed with simultaneous joy and worry. Some of us doubt our parenting skills, some of us worry about keeping our child safe and others find themselves always questioning their decisions and abilities as parents. Again, the truth is, while we stumble and make mistakes raising our children, we have what we need to raise them.

Over time, we become mama bears. We are fierce fighters, protectors and advocates for our children. When they succeed, we are proud. When they hurt, we hurt. We try to teach them how to handle the problems we know will certainly come as they hit their teenage years. We aim to equip them with all they need to navigate their own paths into adulthood. Life has prepared us to prepare them and we grow into our parenting roles.

And while we are far more prepared for this role than we ever believed going into it, we are completely ill-equipped to handle the death of a child. It doesn't seem to be the natural order of our lives and yet, inexplicably, time and time again, it is. As a community, we need to find the words, the tools and the strength to carry on through the worst of times, to support and hold space for the lost child. Sharing stories, talking, linking resources are all so very needed but often the most basic and most powerful way to connect is by giving someone our attention. Being heard is not a catch phrase, it's a necessity of life and a way forward. Just being there is not enough. The most powerful connections come from being heard. We don't need to understand or to have lived experiences. We need to listen, connect and empathize with our whole hearts. It is our moral and ethical duty to help each other overcome this adversity and move through the grief of our losses. We are changed but also bound together and that's what really matters.

grief loss stillbirth miscarriage
EDITOR'S NOTE: This post was written some time ago but not posted until time had passed due to the sensitive nature of the topic.


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