Links A SELECTION OF SITES FULL OF SOUND ADVICE, SUGGESTIONS & COMFORT
You're not alone
So many people seek help or information about how to help a loved friend or family member through coping with miscarriage, the loss of a baby or child - I believe these poems, and countless others like them, speak directly to that need in many respects, but also only just scratch the surface. And that is why I have put them here. I found the following poems, in particular, really spoke to me the moment I read them. In essence, they are very telling in their honest and forthright advice.
If you are browsing for information on how to help someone through a miscarriage or neonatal loss, perhaps read these poems and gain some understanding of the raw pain and vast depths of despair this particular experience brings with it. Above all, remember there is no easy 'fix' or magical cure-all sentence or gesture you can offer. But searching for knowledge is a very generous start.
Don't be afraid to share your tears with me, at the loss you have also suffered with the death of my child. Don't judge me or be impatient with me as I process my grief, it's here to stay now and has been woven into who I am. If you find I am different, look again - it is the same old me, wiser and stronger now.
And forever changed by a baby who passed through so fleetingly but who made her mark on me for a lifetime.
I have found great comfort from these poems (and other writings from other Links you may also find useful), knowing that I am not strange or different in my grief for wanting this acknowledgement of my child. You may also wish to read how to help a loved one and the page on information for friends
What is it, I wonder,
that we set our hope upon?
There must come a point in this grieving
process when the choice is in my own hands.
In dark moments, I played with the idea of death,
listened to it, enjoyed it as one might enjoy
the sweetness of forbidden fruit.
Then I made a decision:
As impossible as it seems,
I must learn to live without my child,
for I really have no other choice.
It may take many years,
much longer than others might expect,
but a time must come
when I have to accept her death
in order to accept her life,
and accept my own as well.
Just as surely as my child walked towards eternal life,
I too must walk toward my own light;
finding a way through this tunnel of darkness
to the brightness of a new day.
And in my own time learn to live again
with laughter, love and joy.
for my child,
for those still in need.
And so, just for this moment, just for this day,
I set my hope upon Tomorrow.
In the beginning
I rejected the idea of "going on"
Until I discovered my child
Can "go on" with me . . .
By Dana Gensler,
In loving memory of her daughter, Lindsay Nicole Gensler
Loving you is easy,
We do it every day,
Missing you is a heartache,
That never goes away.
When links of life are broken
And a child has to part
There is nothing that will ever heal
A parents broken heart....
Loved with a love beyond telling,
Missed with a grief beyond all tears.
A child that loses a parent is an orphan.
A man who loses his wife is a widower.
A woman who loses her husband is a widow.
There is no name for a parent that loses a child, for there is no word to describe this pain.
A Life may last for just a moment....
but memory can make that moment last forever...
Don't tell me that you understand,
Don't tell me that you know...
Don't tell me that I will surely survive,
How I will surely grow...
Don't tell me this is just a test,
That I am truly blessed...
That I am chosen for the task,
Apart from all the rest...
Don't come at me with answers,
That can only come from me...
Don't tell me how my grief will pass,
That I will soon be free...
Don't stand in pious judgment,
Of the bonds that I must untie...
Don't tell me how to suffer,
And don't tell me how to cry...
My life is filled with selfishness,
My pain is all I see...
But I need you, I need your love,
Accept me in my up's and down's,
I need someone to share...
Just hold my hand and let me cry,
And say, "My friend, I care"...
If you say to me " How are you going?" with such sympathy and meaning in your voice.
I reply "I'm fine" and brush you off,
because to talk about my loss
with you today is just too painful.
If you see me and don't mention the loss that is consuming my thoughts,
think you don't care enough, or are too scared to mention it
for fear that
you might upset me.
You can't win with me.
If you say "I'm sorry your baby died," it is hard for me to reply to that.
What do you expect me to say?
I want to say "I'm sorry too!" or "It's awful"
I want to scream "its not fair"
But I won't because I don't want to upset myself today, not in front
So I reply "Thank-you".
That thanks means so much more than that.
It means thanks for caring,
thanks for trying to help,
thanks for realising that I'm still in pain.
If you don't know what to say to me that's okay because I don't know
what to say to you either.
If you see me smile or laugh don't assume I must have
baby for the moment,
I haven't, I can't, I never will.
Tell me that I look good today.
I will know what you mean
I'm getting good at picking up unspoken cues from you.
If you see me and think I look upset or sad, you are probably right.
Today might be an anniversary day for me,
or some event might have
a wave of grief in me.
If you don't say anything I'll think you don't care about me,
you do say something, it might make me feel worse.
You could try asking if I want to talk, but don't be surprised if I
You can't win with me.
Don't give up on me, please don't give up.
I need your attempts however feeble, however trite you might feel they are
I need your thoughts.
I need your prayers.
I need your love.
I need your persistence.
I need all that but most of all I need to be treated normally,
used to be before all this happened.
But I know its impossible.
That carefree, naive person is gone forever,
and I am mourning that
So you can't win with me.
PLEASE - don't ask me if I'm over it yet. I'll never be "over it."
PLEASE - don't tell me he/she's in a better place. He/she isn't here.
PLEASE - Don't say "at least he/she isn't suffering". I haven't come to terms
with why he/she had to suffer at all.
PLEASE - don't say "well, you're lucky...he/she would have been born
lot of problems."
Would you love your own child any less if they had been
born with problems?
PLEASE - don't tell me you know how I feel unless you have lost a
PLEASE - Don't tell me to get on with my life. I'm still here, you'll
PLEASE - don't ask me if I feel better. Bereavement isn't a condition
that "clears up."
PLEASE - don't tell me that "God never makes a mistake" or it was "God's
You mean he did this on purpose?
PLEASE - Don't tell me "at least you had him/her for _____yrs/days/months.
Or "at least you have/or can have other children/babies.
least you know you can get pregnant."
What year would you choose for your
son/daughter/pregnancy to die/end?
PLEASE - don't tell me God never gives you more than you can bear.
decides how much another person can bear?
PLEASE - just say you are sorry.
PLEASE - Just say you remember him/her or my pregnancy/our excitement if
PLEASE - Just let me talk if I want to.
PLEASE - Just let me say his/her name without turning away or changing the
To those who look away
when I grow teary-eyed in the baby department,
look a little deeper.
Surely you have some compassion in your heart.
To those who change the subject
when I speak my sons' names,
change your way of thinking.
It just might change your whole life.
To those who roll their eyes
and say that we barely had them at all,
how could we miss them so much,
in our hearts we have seen them live a thousand times.
We have seen their first steps, first day of school,
their weddings, and their children.
We have had them forever in our minds.
To those who say we can have another,
we did. I thank God for her everyday,
but even if I have twenty more babies,
I will forever have two in the grave,
and that is two too many.
To those who say to get on with my life,
I have. It is a different life,
The life of a grieving mother.
One with a tremendous amount to be thankful for,
but also one with a lot to mourn the loss of!
Do not judge the bereaved mother. She comes in many forms.
She is breathing, but she is dying.
She may look young, but inside she has become ancient.
She smiles, but her heart sobs.
She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS,
but she IS NOT, all at once.
She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity.
Do not dismiss us:
we have shaped more than just the future generation.
We have released all the tiny angels who are watching over you.
There's an elephant in the room.
It is large and squatting, so it is hard to get around it.
Yet, we squeeze by with, "How are you?" and "I'm fine"...
And a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.
We talk about the weather.
We talk about work.
We talk about everything else...
Except the elephant in the room.
We all know it is there.
We are thinking are thinking about the elephant as we talk.
It is constantly on our minds,
For you see, it is a very big elephant.
But we do not talk about the elephant in the room.
Oh, please, say her name.
Oh, please, say "Barbara" again.
Oh, please, let's talk about the elephant in the room.
For if we talk about her death,
Perhaps we can talk about her life.
Can I say "Barbara" and not have you look away?
For if I cannot, you are leaving me
"You don't know how I feel.
Please don't tell me that you do.
There's just one way to know -- have you lost a child too?
"You'll have another child" - must I hear this each day?
Can I get another mother too, if mine should pass away?
Don't say it was "God's will"
That's not the God I know.
Would God on purpose break my heart,
Then watch as my tears flow?
"You have an angel in heaven,
A precious child above."
But tell me to whom,
Here on earth, shall I give this love?
"Aren't you feeling better yet?"
Is that what I heard you say?
No! A part of my heart aches
I'll feel some pain each day.
Do you think silence is kind?
It hurts me even more.
I want to talk about my child
Who has gone through death's door.
Don't say these things to me,
Although you do mean well.
They do not take my pain away;
I must go through this hell.
I will get better slow but sure
It helps to have you near;
But a simple "I'm sorry you lost your child"
Is all I need to hear.
by Gail Fasolo
In memory of Christina, bornstill February 5th, 1991
I heard quite often "men don't cry"
though no one ever told me why.
So when I fell and skinned a knee,
no one came by to comfort me.
And when some bully-boy at school
would pull a prank so mean and cruel,
I'd quickly learn to turn and quip,
"It doesn't hurt," and bite my lip.
So as I grew to reasoned years,
I learned to stifle any tears.
Though "Be a big boy" it began,
quite soon I learned to "Be a man."
And I could play that stoic role
while storm and tempest wracked my soul.
No pain or setback, could there be
could wrest one single tear from me.
Then one long night, I stood nearby
and helplessly watched my son die.
And quickly found, to my surprise,
that all that tearless talk was lies.
And still I cry, and have no shame.
I cannot play that "big boy" game.
And openly, without remorse,
I let my sorrow take its course.
So those of you who can't abide
a man you've seen, who's often cried,
reach out to him with all your heart
as one whose life's been torn apart.
For men DO cry when they can see
their loss of immortality.
And tears will come in endless streams
when mindless fate destroys their dreams.
by Ken Falk
The Mention of His Name
The mention of my child's name
May bring tears to my eyes,
But it never fails to bring
Music to my ears.
If you are really my friend,
Let me hear the beautiful music of his name.
It soothes my broken heart
And sings to my soul.
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