The Cure for Grief

Whether you’ve lost a baby to miscarriage, stillbirth or post natal death it’s such a tragedy for parents. This grief is so intense that the bereaved parent often wonders if they are ever going to get through it. But we do.


Today is the anniversary of when I lost two babies, exactly 3 years apart. And very sadly, two more died in between. So every year, this date (in particular) has been a painful reminder.


This year, in the days leading up to today, I thought about today. I thought about our babies. But I did not feel depressed. There were no tears at all.


And in the days leading up to today, I wondered what today would be like – I had noticed that, year by year, it seemed to get easier. Grief is a funny thing though – it seems to go away, but then can return in ‘waves’. But today there was no emptiness or depression.


This is my message of hope.


It’s certainly ‘case by case’. I mean, I’ve met some parents who lost their babies 25 years earlier, who could still be triggered into sobbing grief. And I’ve met parents who shifted through the grief more quickly than I did. Whether or not we have living children does not seem to make any difference. One father I've met has 5 surviving children yet he still cries (now and then) for the baby he lost, 25 years ago.


So…no, I don’t think time is the deciding factor, when it comes to grief. Nor whether or not you have other children. Nor whether you’re a man or woman.


So what does help then?


Psychologist GH Lewes said: “The only cure for grief is action.” Time and again, this is what I’ve seen that has helped bereaved parents. In my life, and in that of others, what has helped is taking action that helps us process the grief - rather than deny it is there, distract ourselves, etc. [Been there, done that -- it doesn’t work!!]


What does help is to: acknowledge our loss, allow ourselves to feel the emotions, reach out for help (or self help), do some special activities (read more)…and then, when we feel strong enough, to help other parents.


As survivors, we’re able to really help others who’ve lost a baby. We understand, and they know we understand. It’s not that we can take their pain away. And it’s not that we have to become a grief counselor. Most people just want someone to listen – not to fix their problems.


I’ve certainly found that whenever I help someone who has lost a baby, in any small way, it helps them and it certainly helps me. What we give, we get back tenfold. And this, I firmly believe, is the key to finally pushing through the last stage of grief.


Thanks for reading. I wish all of you a peaceful Christmas, and a healthy and happy New Year.

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