When my daughter died, everyone wanted to know what could they do. How could they help me feel better? What would make this easier?
Their questions confused me. During the darkest days of my life, it seemed impossible to feel better. I could think of nothing that would cheer me up. It took some time for me to realize what I really needed was the opposite.
After my baby died, I didn’t need anyone to cheer me up–I needed to be sad.
Even now, three years later, and I cringe when people tell me to think positively about the death of my daughter. I don’t want to do that.
I don’t want to hear everything happens for a reason. I don’t want to find the silver lining. I do not want to look for the blessings in disguise.
I want to be sad.
I want to be sad that my baby died and I don’t want anyone to convince me otherwise. I do not need help finding the bright side of losing a baby, because there isn’t one.
My daughter’s death is a tragedy. She did not die for some greater purpose. Her death was not part of some plan to make me a better person.
My baby died and it sucks.
Feeling this way does not mean I’m a negative person–it means I’m real. It means that I am in touch with the very complicated and often depressing emotions that come with losing the one you love more than anything. There are those who view this vulnerability as a weakness. Clearly, they have no idea the strength it takes to walk through the world when a piece of you is missing.
Only those who have lost a child understand the true optimism of moving forward in a life that will never be complete.
I am not broken.
I don’t need fixing. I don’t need positive affirmations or encouragement to keep my chin up. I’m not sad because I have a bad attitude–I’m sad because my baby died.
My baby died. I miss them.
I did not choose this life for myself. I am not in this situation because of a lack of prayer or good vibes. I’m living this life because sometimes awful things happen. Moments exist that are out of our control. I know it’s scary. I know there is a temptation to cover up the fear with happy thoughts.
I don’t want to hide behind a fake smile.
I don’t want to pretend that I’m better off without my baby. I don’t want to lie and tell you that time will heal my wounds. I don’t believe that I can control my life by thinking positively.
What do I believe?
I believe in the power of authentic emotions. I believe that people should be praised for being genuine and vulnerable. I believe that it is sad when babies die and I shouldn’t be ridiculed for feeling that way.
When I’m sad, I want to be sad. When I’m happy, I want to be happy. And sometimes, I’m going to be both. It’s okay for me to have feelings. It’s okay for everyone to have feelings. And when someone is feeling down, they shouldn’t be forced to look for the bright side.
Because when it comes to losing a baby, the bright side will never be found.
Photo by Soroush Karimi on Unsplash
9 thoughts on “I Don’t Need Help Finding The Bright Side Of Baby Loss–There Isn’t One”
You said this with perfection. Thank you for speaking about this topic.
Such a beautifully honest post. Thank you for sharing the complexities of emotion that you have experienced and for reminding us all that a persons’s sadness and grief should not be repressed/glossed over/distracted from. Xx
My baby daughter died many years ago and I felt similarly. The genuine emotions are real and valid. You be what you feel. There will be one or two friends who can take it. Eventually, my husband could accept my pain but it took a long long time because (obviously) he was grieving in his way.
My son was stillborn on May 10, 2019. I’ve read this post at least 5 times and it brings me such relief. Relief knowing I’m not alone in my feelings. Relief that I’m not a horrible person for wanting to say these exact words to others in my life. Thank you for writing exactly how I feel! I’m so sorry for the loss of your daughter. I’m so grateful I found your blog!
You are right when you say one or two friends can take it. I didn’t grieve for 7 years because of the keep your chin up from wonderful family and friends who were well meaning. They just didn’t know what to do with their hands. I even had 2 children afterwards. When I finally did grieve, my 4 year old daughter says , “ Let’s make him a birthday cake. I was amazed at her understanding. So we made a cake while I just cried.
My son was stillborn on May 10, 2019. He is our first child. In the past few weeks I have felt everything that you described in your post. I also feel relief in knowing I’m not alone in my feelings. Thank you for writing this and for your entire blog. I’m so sorry for the loss of your daughter.
This past week I was scheduled to be induced and after 3 days at the hospital, instead of leaving with our beautiful daughter, I ended up having an “unexpected outcome birth” and had to say hello and goodbye all in one day. I’m 4 days pp and I’m feeling 100% this post. Thank you for sharing your story.
Lauren, I am so sorry that you know this heartbreak. I so desperately wish that your beautiful disgusted was here with you. Sending you lots of love.