If you are reading this it means either you or a loved one is facing loss. So before I go any further, I want to pray over you. I want to tell you that there is hope. I want to tell you how sorry I am and wrap my arms around you and hug you and let you cry. You are so loved and you are not alone.
In the first year after losing Beckett, a few things were instrumental to my healing. I want to share those things in hope that you can find support and healing as well.
Hope Mommies is a non profit organization/community for mothers who have lost their baby through miscarriage, stillbirth, or infant loss. They have Facebook groups, in person groups and meet ups, bible studies, and memorial events. They even have a yearly retreat.
I cant speak enough about what Hope Mommies gave me. When I was in the hospital preparing to deliver Beckett, I was given a hope box (lovingly put together by Hope Moms). It was filled with comforting items and keepsakes as well information about Hope Mommies. It allowed me to find a support group where I could bring the deepest parts of my grief and find love, acceptance, and support.
I highly recommend finding a local grief counselor and getting started with regular sessions. I had severe anxiety and ptsd after my loss and it is a very hard road to navigate alone. There is NO shame in going to counselling. Consider them a guide to the path of healing. Also, keep in mind that you may not click with the first counselor you see. That is okay! You can try another until you find a good fit.
Or running or walking or hiking or weight lifting. Find something that gets your body moving. For me, it was yoga and daily walks. I needed to feel my body move. I needed the meditation and calm of yoga. The surrender. I needed the sunshine on my face and the fresh air. I needed to feel alive. I recommend 108 for online yoga classes so you can still practice even if you need to stay home.
Food and Sleep:
Sounds simple? It’s not. For those walking through grief it can be the hardest thing in the world. Getting out of bed can seem impossible. But getting actual sleep can also be impossible. Insomnia is very, very common after loss. If you are struggling with insomnia it will make the grief and depression so much worse. I used essential oils and melatonin. There are stronger options as well that your doctor can prescribe you. You need sleep so don’t hesitate to ask for help.
Now, food is also important. Cooking wasn’t an option for me so I relied on others to bring me food. If you don’t have that option, call and get take out. There are so many food delivery services now too. If you are paleo or aip there is Paleo on the Go (delivers ready to eat compliant food). I know it’s hard but try to eat nourishing healthy food. Stress lowers your immune system and makes our body very susceptible to illness. Drinking lots of water (aim for half your body weight in ounces) and eating real fresh food will go a long way to help support your body. Also, continue to take your prenatal. You need all the support you can get right now. I also recommend taking magnesium or soaking in epson salt baths. Stress uses up our magnesium so quickly and we need to replenish it.
Churches are a safe haven for those that are hurting. Support groups, counselling, life groups, mentors etc.
Your church wants to help support you during this time. Reach out and ask about what services they offer. Join a life group. Godly friendships were a lifeline for me. They breathed truth and hope into me when I was most broken.
I love to read and I needed to find answers and to begin to heal. My faith was badly shaken after my loss and these two books helped me so very much.
1. Heaven by Randy Alcorn
2. Safe in the Arms of God: Truth from Heaven About the Death of a Child by John McArthur
These two books gave me scripture based truths about where Beckett was and if I would see him again. I highly recommend!
My midwife who delivered Beckett was a wealth of support. They can get you set up with a counselor, offer medication if necessary, and may know of grief support groups in your area.
Grief and Subscription boxes:
Laurel Box is a company that specializes in gifts for those that are grieving. Around Christmas they have the most beautiful ornaments as well. Gifts can be so soothing to a broken heart.
Find a Purpose:
For me, finding a way to channel my grief was key. I needed to make a difference, to bring hope, to help others. I needed a way to honor Beckett. I needed a way to be his mother. Parenting a child who isn’t physically here is so hard. For me, I needed to find a way to do that. Donations in his name were wonderful. Raising money for a chosen cause or charity (I have started to do this for his birthday ever year), starting a non profit or working with a non profit you are passionate about, or simply choosing to serve in a way that makes you happy. By channeling my grief it didn’t consume me but instead gave it a purpose.
And for those that are supoorting someone going through a loss I want to say thank you. Thank you for walking in their grief. Thank you for not being afraid of it. Thank you for loving them through this. They need you so much. Don’t be afraid to mention their baby’s name. Don’t be afraid to talk about them! Don’t be afraid. You choosing to be there is the best gift you could give. You just showing up is worth more than diamonds. Thank you.