When Hello Means Goodbye

One of the required readings for the Labor Doula certification is When Hello Means Goodbye – A Guide For Parents Whose Child Dies Before Birth, At Birth Or Shortly After Birth written by Pat Schwiebert, RN and Paul Kirk, MD.  I saved it to read until this month since July also happens to be Bereaved Parents Awareness Month.  This book is just a little 53-page guide that somebody would probably receive from a hospital or counselor to help them with the grieving process.

Although, this is not something that I have personally experienced, I have a couple of people that are extremely close to me that have.  Here are my highlights:

–  What has not changed during these years is our certainty of your need as a bereaved parent to be acknowledged for your loss, and to see your infant recognized and appreciated as a real person – a person whose death is to be mourned no less than that of any older child.

–  It cannot protect you from the emotional hurt that you may experience along the way because of the comments and behavior of well-meaning but insensitive and uninformed persons who have no idea what you are going through.

–  “In grief, one can endure the day, just the day.  But when one also tries to bear the grief ahead, one cannot compass it.  As for happiness, it can only be the ability to experience the moment.  It is not next year that life will be so flawless and if we keep trying to wait for next year’s happiness, the river of time will wind past and we shall not have lived at all.”

–  Guilt is an emotion that is usually felt more deeply by grieving parents than by others who are grieving over the death of a close friend or family member.  This guilt stems from the tendency for mothers and fathers to see themselves as “super-parents” – persons who are fully capable of fulfilling all the duties of provider, protector and nurturer of their children.

–  Guilt is the self-doubt in us rising to the surface.  It is a sense of anguish that comes from not achieving what we set out to achieve.  So our minds keep going over the past and trying to recreate it so the ending will come out right.

–  “I am told that time will heal the grief but now I know that it is taking the time to grieve that heals.”

This guide also has several poems and letters from actual parents going through the grieving process.  A fantastic read … I truly believe that reading it has helped me through the grieving process for my grandfather who passed a little over two years ago.  I never took the time to grieve for him and I really feel that reading this has helped me sift through the process a little bit.

~ by cmb0414 on July 4, 2010.

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