Monday, October 6, 2008

For Family and Friends- Our Grief Experience Shared

Several people have expressed curiousity about our experience of losing Grant. Many have wondered how best to help us. We have found that sometimes we do not even know ourselves what to do or say. At the time of the delivery, Kris and I received a special packet from the hospital, and we just came across something that we thought would help with these questions.

We have suffered a tremendous loss, and we need to grieve. Even though this may be uncomfortable for others around us, it's something we MUST do. We won't be "over this" in a few weeks as most people expect. We must learn how to live with our loss. We will be able to adjust to the loss of our precious child if we are given the time needed to grieve. ( Average intense grieving is 18-24 months ) However, we will not be the same people we were before our loss.

We may need to talk about our baby, how much we loved our child, and the details of our experience. Even though we may not have many memories, we suffer from broken dreams. During this time, we need others to be there and listen to us time and time again. This is the kindest thing a person can do for us. We do not need opinions on how we should "move on". We do not want to forget our baby and we will need to mention him in the future. It would be appreciated if you would remember our baby, especially on difficult days such as anniversary days, birthdays, Christmas and Mother's and Father's Day.

In our struggles with grief, we may have difficulties with the following:

  • understanding our many emotions and feeling emotionally balanced

  • coping with feelings of guilt, anger, and jealousy

  • dealing with normal daily functions due to lack of energy

  • deciding what to do with our baby's belongings

  • coping with the individuality of our grief as a family and a couple

  • sharing family celebrations

  • seeing babies/children that are the same age our child would have been

  • needing to make major decisions such as subsequent pregnancies, moving, job changes, etc.

  • visiting the cemetary and purchasing tombstone

  • remembering our baby in special ways that are acceptable

  • feeling different and subsequently feeling isolated

  • dealing with physical symptoms that arise due to grieving

Dealing with these many emotions takes a lot of courage and tedious work. It is worth it so we have a peace of mind and a physical well being.

We may attend support group meetings. Support groups are not for weaklings. The meetings are a safe place where we can share our feelings and love for our baby. Our feelings are validated by others who have experienced similar experiences. These meetings give us comfort and hope for our future.

If we sound a little selfish, please understand. Only after we are able to adjust and experience the journey of this grief can we reach out and help others. One day we will be able to live life in a fuller manner.

We try not to criticize others. Before our baby died, we didn't understand the full impact this loss has. We want to share this painful experience with you so others can understand our need for support. No one will be able to take our pain away, but perhaps they can be there and listen.

We hope this helps answer these questions. We love all of you and thank you for all of your efforts to try and help, understand, and travel down this road with us. This is something new for all of us and we are thankful that we have family and friends to help us through it. As Kris and I were talking last night, we both said that one of the most important things we want everyone to understand, is that Grant was a person, our CHILD, Jake's little brother. We were all so very excited to have Grant in our lives and never dreamed in a million years that we would have to say goodbye before we even got to say hello. Though he was very small, his short life mattered to us and we will do what we can to keep his memory alive. If you are interested in helping us with that, there are some things that you can do. First, please consider donating to our church- East Valley FreeWill Baptist church in Grant's name. They are redoing many things in the nursery and any donations will go toward this, as well as a plaque put up in Grant's honor. These folks have been WONDERFUL in pulling together as a family to stand with us in these difficult times.

Secondly, please come out and walk with Jake and me on October 18. (If you live in our area!) =)It is just a mile walk, and it would be comforting to us to have you walk it with us in remembering our sweet boy. Please see details to the right of this page for more information. Finally, continued prayer for our family will help us in honoring Grant too.

Thank you for taking the time to think about us today and for reading this blog!


  1. I wish we could be there for your walk. We will be walking with you in our hearts.

  2. Jody,
    I am glad that you shared this with your family and friends. It is so important to let people know this process takes time and how much you need them to let you tell your story even if it makes them uncomfortable. I look forward to meeting you in person on the 18th.
    Andrea Arias


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