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Parents of lost babies and potential of all kinds: come here to share the technicolour, the vividness, the despair, the heart-broken-open, the compassion we learn for others, having been through this mess — and see it reflected back at you, acknowledged and understood.

Thanks to photographer Xin Li and to artist Stephanie Sicore for their respective illustrations and photos.

for one and all > This life is just too horrible

Since losing my son two years ago my life continues to unravel. I'm still so consumed by grief and anxiety and depression I can hardly function. It's debilitating. I miss my son. I'm ashamed that he died. I still feel as though it's my fault. Everyone thinks I should be "better" by now, but I'm not - there is no support now. My husband can't even support me very well. He's sick of my struggles. Other who know this pain I can be around, but if they're newer in their losses, I feel like they're looking to me to offer hope. At this time, I can't offer much. My life feels as though it's been destroyed. I'm completely heartbroken all the time. How can I come back from having held my dead baby? I don't think I can... I'm jealous of all others with comparatively less tragedy so I don't interact with society anymore. This life is too unfair and too cruel and sometimes I don't think I can do it any longer.
March 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterCMM
CMM first of all im sorry. I dont talk on here very much, but i havent ever read a post that hit so close to home. All of the feelings you portray are the exact same as mine. I have already tried to take my life once, although im only a year out I have only been outside for doctors appointments. My anxiety and depression are overwhelming. Its the feeling of drowning and occasionally having a very small air pocket to breathe. Life has no meaning, would it be all that bad to just drown? I also cant talk to my partner as he struggles with it, his method is to just think about it later, constantly postpone the thoughts. He doesnt visit the grave with me as its too hard for him so i bare it alone. I wish I could say it gets better, but i really dont think it does. I miss my son more than anything. Why me? I cant stand looking at others' babies. I am overcome with jealousy and in a way disgust. My son is my life even when he isnt living. I wish i saw the signs, went to the hospital quicker.. why did i think it was a good idea to sleep, even with the concerns he wasnt moving? Why was i so dumb? Did he die when i was asleep? was he already gone? This is what keeps us under. A never ending cycle. I sincerely hope that things do improve for you soon. From one mother to another, in the same sinking ship.
March 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterA
CMM, "Forgotten" it describes how I feel sometime, my baby is forgotten, my struggles forgotten, I am forgotten. No-one calls to check up on me just because they thought I might be missing my baby, no-one censors baby talk and chatter about babies in the family growing and turning whatever age. No, people have forgotten the sadness that I cannot. It will be four years in July this year and it's still hard, I put on a face, a brave one, a "normal" and "acceptable" one but it still hurts so I relate to this post. I am sorry for your loss, I am sorry they've forgotten, gotten fed up or whatever, they don't carry this in their hearts and souls. I just want to say I get this.
March 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJo-Anne

I'm so sorry. It's so cruel and unfair. I wrestle with the same sentiments you shared, and I sincerely thank you for your honesty. I struggle with interacting with non-tragedy-stricken people as well, which means most of the people in my network. I've had an unusual amount of hard stuff to deal with for my age, so I generally can't relate to a lot of my peers on big life topics. I come on these boards to swap stories with people who do get it. It's hard.

I see you and hear you and acknowledge your pain. I'm sorry life has thrown you such hardships and that now you must re-route on a completely different path than you expected, wanted, or deserved. It's heartbreaking to know the pain you and others in our shoes must face every day. The uneven distribution of pain across lives is a hard, cruel fact to face.

Jo-Anne and A, amen to what you both wrote, too. So much I can relate to in the words from you both.

CMM - Again, I'm so sorry. I get it. It's horrible. It feels like a life sentence to misery, for a crime we didn't realize we committed or ever would have wanted to be part of. Bewilderingly lonely and shocking and cruel. I too wrestle with feeling like it's all "just too much" at times. I've even hesitated to think about trying for another baby, b/c I don't want that poor soul to be subjected to the cruelty of life on this earth, along with a mother who only wants her first baby back and carries incredible emotional baggage. My thoughts on EVERYTHING changed after my baby died, including even whether life is actually worth living.

Please post here any time. xo
March 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterNM
CMM, I, too, recognize all the emotions you are talking about. The shame, the worthlessness, the loneliness and abandonment. Myself, I kept a loaded gun which I checked everyday for 18 months after my daughter died. Took me until about 4 years out to try and get some professional help for the depression and pain. I'd say it was about at year seven or eight that I let suicide drop off of my coping list. You know the list. It's when you wake up in the morning and the pain and grief hit and you think, "What a miserable day! What a miserable life! How should I try to get going today? Should I stay in bed? Should I take a walk? Should I journal? Should I kill myself? Should I binge on chocolate for breakfast?"

As NM said, everything changed after the baby died. Including how I felt about life and death. Being dead no longer frightens me. Dying, now that can still give me butterflies in my stomach. But the thought of being dead doesn't bother me for myself or fer very many people. Children, it bothers me. The young adults, it bothers me. As far as life goes, I came to the decision that if I was going to live, my life had to include two things, love and laughter. I had to be able to give and receive love and I had to be able to occasionally laugh at how completely ridiculous life is.

What I am trying to get at is that you are not irretrievably broken and worthless. There is a good chance that you will find love and laughter and worth and joy in your life again. Probably going to take some thought and a lot of trial and error. We don't learn how to love a child who is dead and a world in which they could die, easily. Because it is not fair and it really sucks.

There is still good here in this world. Most of us find some of it, though we never lose the pain and the grief. The joy comes along side of the pain, not instead of it. I haven't yet met anyone who said, "Damn! I wish I had killed myself three years or twenty years ago. So stupid to stay alive!" That is why I think it is still possible for you, you are alive and reaching out and thinking.

Peace to you ladies.
March 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJill A.
I wish I could reach out to you moms and just hold you while you weep. My heart aches for all of you. Life is hard. Yesterday was two weeks since our beautiful grand baby's birth and death. Fourteen days of tears. I woke up early and went for a walk while it was still very dark. The dark hides my tears. It began sprinkling and then rain come down steadily. Cold rain which matched my mood. But later in the day my sister came with a lovely card and flowers. And a hug. Then at work I was visiting with two women who quite coincidently (or not) unknown to me, had lost children. One of them had buried 2 children and one grandson. More tears and hugs. Then later another dear friend came to visit with warm bread and more hugs. Her mother-in-law has buried 3 children. We think we are all alone in this grief journey but I have realized there are so many mothers and fathers grieving for their sweet children. All of these women told me that you never "get over" the sorrow and heartache BUT it changes and softens and you begin to be so grateful for the moments you were blessed with these dear children. They all said that they are always a part of us. A good part. A really really really good part. One of the best parts. Later in the day we had a gorgeous thunderstorm. After the rain and lightening, the sun peeked out through the broken clouds. Please hold on. Please hope on. Please keep looking for the sunlight through your storm. No matter how long the storm rages the sun ALWAYS comes out eventually. The sun will shine again for my son and his dear family, for me, and for each of you. We went to see Beauty and The Beast and one of the new songs had a few words that reminded me of our babies. "I rage against the trials of love. I curse the fading of the light. Though she's already flown so far beyond my reach, she's never out of sight. Now I know she'll never leave me. Even as she fades from view. She will still inspire me, be a part of everything I do." I pray the memories of your babies will inspire you to keep going onward in your search for peace, hope, and even joy. Please trust that dark days will end and please reach out to someone who can help you weather the storm. HUGS.
March 23, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterC

You have lost so much as so many here have. It's cruel and unfair and changes you. The trick is to find - something, anything that makes life worth living. I can tell by your pain you are full of love for your child. Can that love, even after death, sustain you. No one can take that love.

I found a good therapist, a support group to help me. I read every book on grief. I also did need some medication for the PTSD which I was able to wean off of with the help of exercise. But everyone's journey is different. I hope you can find some support that works for you. Two years is still very early in loss. I know there are no timelines but many in my support group reported it was 3-5 years to feel okay again. Be patient and gentle on yourself. I am so sorry for your loss. Abiding with you.
April 1, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterKim
Dear CMM, Thinking of you today and hoping you are reaching out somewhere, hoping that help, peace and healing find you.
April 5, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterJill A.
Dear CMM

I have not been on this forum for some time now, since my son passed 10 months ago. I miss him SO DEARLY! I have tried to be more 'normal' but it is very hard...and I have developed depression, vertigo, and major anxiety. It IS VERY debilitating and I understand everything you are feeling. I can't really relate to anyone of my friends or people around me anymore. I hardly socialize and I am really not in the mood to talk to anyone most of the time. I often wonder if I'll ever be happy or enjoy life again. I feel like im watching a movie, standing on the outside watching everyone's lives move on happily with their family. I wish I can give you a hug, and I know that does not do much but I just want you to know that you're not alone in this unfair place - i completely understand. We have to fight to go on and find support - whatever that may be. Glow always helps me by reminding me that I am not alone in this harsh world and that there are people (as unfortunate as it is) who truly understands and are supportive. Right now, peace for me is, meditation, and holding on to hopes of having another baby one day. I also wonder if that would make life better? My thoughts on everything changed...I am just living day to day, passing time. But still... I'm fighting to grasp onto hope and finding little moments in life that makes me feel like it is worth living. Remember, there are people that love us. I hope you chat here as often as you like, and reach out if you need.
April 14, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterM