How long should one grieve? Is there a time limit on grief? All those parents who have lost children before birth – are they entitled to grieve? One month, two months, three months, one year, two years, three years, four years down the line? Or should we hide our pain? Or are we the ones that should carry our grief but not burden anyone with it? Not share openly and honestly that it still hurts us all the same.
We are parents too, no or not? We had to bury our children too. We had to do the hardest thing any parent had to do and that was letting go off our children so that they can be free. No matter how small they were. No matter if they died in the womb or outside of the womb. They were still our children. Little people that perhaps not everyone knew. But these little people did make a difference in our lives. Did leave a footprint on our hearts. It doesn’t matter how long they were with us. They still impacted us. These little people were still a part of us. We were parents who had hopes and dreams for our little ones. Only we had to sacrifice those dreams and hopes we had for our children because they died.
Apparently it is OK to grieve for a child that died after birth a lot longer than to grieve for a child that died in the womb just before birth. But should grief be a hierarchy? Should it be measured? How long should one grieve for something that they have lost?
It took courage for me to walk this journey of grief. It wasn’t an easy journey. But in the face of grief I learnt about myself, I learnt to use my resources and how to overcome tragedy and turn it into triumph. I am not wallowing in self-pity nor have I become stuck in grief. I have moved on with a certain grace. Yes, at times grief rears its ugly head above the surface but I don’t let it consume me nor do I let it define who I am. But I do acknowledge it’s presence because it is OK to acknowledge grief. It is OK to still love your child. It is OK to honour your child. As long as you grief in a health fashion. As long as you don’t let it take over your entire life then you are on the right path.
Face grief with courage. Allow yourself to touch others with your story. Don’t be ashamed of who you have become.