Monday, October 14, 2013
I've long felt that it is important to turn to others who have been in your shoes when it comes to miscarriage, stillbirth, or really any death; that can be a support group, online message board, counselor, or even just a friend or family member who understands and can support you. Many times people look to their spouse for support, it seems logical because you love each other and are facing the same tragedy, unfortunately your spouse is rarely a strong source of support as they, too, are grieving. When you are both grieving, when you are both falling apart, it is nearly impossible for you to carry each other through your grief, though you may look to each other for support, you may not find what you want or need. With that in mind, it isn't surprising that so many relationships and marriages fall apart following the death of a child, the inability to support and comfort each other in grief becomes a major source of contention and drives a wedge in the relationship, which puts far too many relationships on the rocks or, unfortunately, ends them. While it is incredibly important for couples to keep the lines of communication open following the death of a child, it is also important that they don't place unrealistic expectations on each other, expectations that are far too high to place on a person who is grieving and feeling as if they can barely hold their own life together. It is important that couples give each other compassion and understanding, that they give each other grace and time, that they realize they will grieve differently, and will experience different emotions at different times. There will be good days and there will be bad days, and unfortunately you and your partner may not experience those days on the same day, which is why it is crucial to establish a support system to turn to when those days don't line up, when you and your partner can't seem to hold your own selves together, let alone hold each other up. Fortunately, or rather unfortunately, there are many resources for grieving parents, like Facebook groups, online message boards, support groups, grief counselors, clergymen, even friends or family who have been in your shoes, and on the days that you feel lost and alone, when you feel like you couldn't possibly muster the energy to move forward while carrying your partner, you will have the comfort of knowing that there is SOMEONE out there who can help carry you through.