So, we know what it feels like to love, but what about when we love and lose? How do we then take that experience and begin to bring that huge emotional experience into a space for growth?
After a stillbirth, your heart is beyond broken, and you might be thinking, “Where the hell do I even begin in transforming the pain I feel into growth, it sounds so beyond my capabilities right now!”, I hear you! so let’s just began one word at a time.
- Listen: Listen to your body, what is it telling you, I need rest, I need movement, I need support, I need nourishment, I need love? How is your body responding, listen to it and respond with kindness.
- Don’t try and fix it: This is an experience, not a car…
- Don’t assign blame: And I mean specifically self-blame here. That’s only serving to pulling you further down a spiral, and on the way day you’ll meet blame, guilt and self-loathing. If there are external factors to your loss, then absolutely seek that accountability, find your answers, and please monitor your mental health and as you go forward.
- Be vulnerable: Don’t shut it off and shut down… the experience is all you fear wrapped into one…. Wow, pain goes that deep! Yes, but so does love.
- Find the quiet love: a place within yourself that does not require external validation to exist. Rest into the feeling of being their mother, honour their life by giving them a space within your heart that is pure joy and love.
- Get the support you need: Whether it’s mutual support from a partner who will also be grieving, being mindful their grief may look different to yours. A support group, an online chat group, friends, and family. Support can also look like self-care.
- Believe in your strength: Look at what you are going through, what you have already been through… you are the definition of strength.
- Write a gratitude journal: I know, I’m no Oprah, but I did this and it really works to help acknowledge and thankful for what you have, also helps to switch up negative though patterns which were a very real challenge for me.
- Give yourself a friggin break: Seriously… this truly is really tough and so beyond scary… but you are actually really strong as well.
These are just a few, but there will be a multitude of small things you can do each day within your daily routines that will begin to balance the love and the loss. One last thing, and this is no small thing. Keep a check on the way you speak to yourself, that rolling internal voice. Speak to yourself kindly, with the emotional ride you’re on, make sure you’ve got your own back.
Click on the link to go to our full ABC article: ABC Interview for ‘Say their Name’
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