Archive for Relationships

There is no perfect partner in grief

Pretty much every single day a mom comes into my private group and tells me her husband is making her feel worse.

She is sad. He is not.

She misses her baby. He acts like it wasn’t anything important.

She wants love and crying and support. He wants to forget about it.

I am here to tell you that this is normal. There is this law in relationships — only one person can fall apart at any given time. When one is sad, the other wants to fix it, minimalize it, or even bully it away. It’s a rare, rare situation where a couple, and most especially a couple with living children or other types of stresses in their lives, can grieve at the same time.

Your partner may not even realize this law is at play. He or she may be bewildered at his or her own behavior, shocked at the things that were said.

Sometimes they are sad too and just can’t show it. They don’t know how.

My advice is: love and forgive. Recognize that someone has to keep the ship afloat, and their being strong means you don’t have to be.

And just muddle through. Grief is a solitary thing. All you can do is the best you can.

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Deanna is the author of Baby Dust, a novel about women going through miscarriage. If you need help right away, remember she has a secret Facebook group you can join.

Letters to Readers: Miscarriage and Desertion

I never share private emails sent to me, but I occasionally post my responses with any identifying information taken out, in hopes that keywords will lead you to some answers.

This letter was to a young woman whose boyfriend left her after the miscarriage, and she lost her apartment and had to move back in with her parents until she got back on her feet.

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This is so much to endure! I am so sorry you have to deal with this alone.

There is no way to put any sort of positive spin or silver lining on this. It’s just a horrible part of your life that can only test your endurance and your hope. Another sweet baby–gone. No one to hold on to you as you go through it.

At least you do have your parents’ home to go to, and perhaps you can surround yourself with little things that remind you of a simpler time, when you were a child, and did not have to go through all these hard times. A favorite dish maybe. A stuffed animal from when you were little. Try to remember what it was like to be innocent of all this, and then steadily work your way into looking forward to a better day ahead.

It sounds like a fresh start awaits you, with a new love, a new relationship, one that can only be better. And that baby that will hopefully be out there, when you are ready, and you and a doctor can sit down and go over everything happening in your body so you can get some answers.

Life has handed you a difficult period. It’s up to you to pull together every ounce of strength you have and get through it. I’ll send you everything I can spare–all the calming thoughts, love, and hugs.

Just do the best you can. It’s all anyone can ask of you.

Deanna

 

Building a relationship that survives miscarriage

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about this topic since I started writing Stella & Dane. This couple has pretty tough beginnings, small town, disapproval, and both of them have a lot of growing up to do.

I know that in this story, they will weather more than the average couple. Two miscarriages. Multiple rounds of failed IVF. Eventually, they will give up on having children. And due to Dane’s terrible past, they won’t ever be able to adopt. I’m sure Stella often wishes a baby would drop from the sky.

By the time we meet them in my book Baby Dust, they are a well established couple, one to be envied in their devotion to each other after all this history. But how did they get this way? What built a relationship like that? It’s been on my mind as I form their love story.

I’m not sure I have the answer. The father of my angel babies and I divorced, and that shared history was lost. He and I were the only people who were really close to those babies and those hopes. It’s a hard thing. We clearly didn’t have what Dane & Stella had. We fell apart.

Recently two of my baby loss mom friends got divorced. In both cases, the men just walked out of the relationship. How does this happen? What causes it?

And more importantly, what creates a relationship that weathers this?

Disappointment in how the father handles the loss is one of the most common sources of upset in the emails and messages that I get. The fathers aren’t sad. They don’t get it. They want the moms to “get over it.” Is this part of what creates the rift? How do we get past that and back into a loving relationship?

I’d love to hear from moms with wonderful supportive partners after a loss.

And if you’d like to see how Stella & Dane develop, I have a mailing list where I share their story as it goes along. Currently they are still young and immature. Stella’s grandmother, the only person she’s ever felt loved her, has just died. And she’s ready to blow out of town, with or without her new man, Dane. But life is about to deal a severe blow, a course of events that their lives will never recover from. If you’d like to follow it, you can sign up and get updates as long as you want, unsubscribe if it doesn’t interest you.  Stella & Dane’s list.

I’m about to get remarried. I can hope I’m doing better this time around, and we’ll have to adopt as I’m too high risk for babies anymore. I’m looking for answers too.

 

Want to get through to your friends about baby loss? THIS is your chance.

I know many of you are hurting over family, friends, or coworkers who downplay the loss of your baby. They are not intending to hurt you, but they somehow think that if they don’t mention it, you will forget faster. Or that if they tell you that “time heals” or “you can have another baby,” you will snap out of it, and suddenly be the easy-going person you were before.

Tomorrow is your chance to tell them otherwise.

See, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day isn’t something you made up. It’s real, it’s international, and it’s an opportunity to bring our babies back into our lives, and to share our experiences, and to remind people that we will never and should never forget.

Live by example, and use the events surrounding you as your chance to educate them about the Baby Loss community.

So post to your Facebook page, or Google +, or Tweet. Let them know you still think of your baby, and that you still miss that little person that should have been with you.

Social networks give us an opportunity like none other to advocate, to enlighten, and to spread good work.

So take a second to post a picture of something that has to do with your baby–a pregnancy test, or flowers you got, or just a poem or image. I’ll make it easy for you–here are several to choose from if you have nothing of your own:

Have a peaceful and healing remembrance day.

 

Grandparents and Grief after a Miscarriage or Stillbirth

Yesterday at a support group meeting by the fabulous Face2Face Austin, one of the local groups started by Faces of Loss, Faces of Hope, we talked about how our parents handled the loss of their grandbabies. Especially sensitive is the discussion of “first” grandbabies and of other family members having babies during this difficult time.

Certainly among us, the grandparents handled things differently, running the gamut from overwhelming grief that impacted their lives significantly, to trying to pass off the loss as unimportant, sometimes with those horrid phrases we hate to hear, “It was God’s Will” or “It will happen when it’s meant to be.”

We wondered what resources were out there for grandparents. I did a fairly exhaustive search this morning, trying to come up with things.

Probably the most direct was at Mothers in Sympathy and Support, a long-standing organization dedicated to helping families recover after a loss. They have a page and a forum dedicated to grandparents:

http://missfoundation.org/family/grandparents.html

Sands has a pamphlet they will send out: http://www.sandsqld.com/booklets.html 

There were several articles:

http://www.grandparents.com/gp/content/expert-advice/family-matters/article/mending-a-broken-heart.html

http://www.bellaonline.com/articles/art54923.asp

And a couple independent books:

Forgotten Tears: A Grandmother’s Journey Through Grief

For Bereaved Grandparents

I’ll take some time to consider what I might could add to the resources available. It does seem rather thin. If you have ideas, let me know–send your parents over here to give me ideas, and we’ll make them happen.


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