We are forced into a lot of really hard conversations after loss.
For those of you with other children around (nieces, nephews, neighbors, your friend’s kids or your own, etc) you may find yourself in some uniquely challenging moments, such as when the little person beside you spontaneously discloses the most personal and painful details of your life to some perfect stranger.
You are then suddenly forced to try to somehow protect your own boundaries while simultaneously shaping how this tiny person will come to know and understand really big stuff like loss, life and death.
You’ve been there, I’ve been there, and the woman who sent in today’s Q & A question has most certainly been there. This stuff is real. And it’s incredibly challenging and conflicting.
So I’m sharing some ideas in the Q & A video below that will help you find your footing and make the difficult moments a lot easier for everyone involved.
One of the factors that makes these situations so difficult is that our generation is entering brand new social territory and defying past conventions when it comes to the topics of miscarriage and infant loss. There is therefore an interesting and powerful phenomenon happening in the awkward moments that I want you to take a step back from and look at with me.
We are breaking old conventions by the simple act of sharing any information at all, not just with the children in our lives, but also with our friends, family and even our own selves. In the past, mom’s of lost little ones were strongly discouraged from discussing or even thinking about the loss of their baby. Previous generations believed the best way of addressing miscarriage and infant loss was with absolute silence and secrecy. As we move forward, we face the difficult task of having to create from scratch brand new ways of approaching and addressing the hard conversations and the awkward moments as we break the silence of previous generations.
We are the trailblazers for bridging the silence between the generation before us, who didn’t talk about baby loss at all, and the next generation for whom we are clearing the path.
And this is the tension we are bumping up against every time we are standing next to a call-it-as-I-see-it 5 year old, who, in front of a room full of strangers, pokes us in the belly and loudly declares “you’re sad because your baby died,” like my sweet nephew did one day at the YMCA.
Here’s some of the main points I want you to know:
- You have the right to set boundaries with all the people in your life, both young and old.
- Kids speak their truth simply and factually all the time, so let’s give ourselves permission to do the same
- Why you need a “conversation smoother” in your back pocket at all times
- A “conversation smoother” lets you gracefully exit an unwanted conversation while validating the child (or the person asking the questions), protecting yourself and honouring your baby’s memory
- Some kid-friendly ways to process grief and create meaning, including really helpful books like this one
So check out the video and if you found this article useful I would greatly appreciate it if it shared it with someone who may also benefit from being a part of the discussion. And I’d love to hear from you! What strategies have you tried and found helpful? Which one of my points stands out the most to you? Let me know.
Thanks & Bye for now,
And if you have a question you want to me to discuss, submit it to me here and it may be featured on my next post.