Sunday, April 22, 2012


A few months after A’s death my cousin and his wife announced they were expecting their third child. My other cousins, who live out-of-state, had given birth to a son 2 months after A’s death (see this Post) this is another set of cousins and they live locally. Of course I was happy for them and they were extremely sensitive in announcing it and whenever they were around us. Still, I was dreading watching her pregnancy progress and the inevitable birth of their baby. I can't avoid it as easily as I can the out-of-town family.

Last week, these local cousins lost their baby. I believe she was around 4 months along. E and I both cried when we heard the news.

I feel like I should know the magic words to say. Because I am a bereaved mother, I should know what do and say to bring comfort to my cousins.

The truth of the matter is no one can ease the pain of losing a child. It’s so awful to watch loved ones experience something this awful. I feel extra helpless, if that makes any sense.

Luckily for me (and my own need to do something) she has been receptive to my emails and has even asked me about local support groups. At least I can offer her resources and literature. But it still doesn’t feel like enough. Shouldn’t I have the magic alchemy? The right equation or potion or spell? Shouldn’t I know exactly how to respond every step of the way?

I wish no one ever had to lose a baby ever again.


  1. Oh this is so sad. I know I wish everyone knew what it felt like to walk a day in our hearts as parents whose children have died... But then no one should ever have to know. You do have the magic words to help her though. They are through your emails and you reaching out. Even a text saying you are thinking of her vwe all know the worst thing in the world is when our child and grief go un-acknowledged. You can not take away her pain as mo one can take away yours but you can abide.

  2. I'm so sorry for your cousin's loss... Grieving is so individual but you know her pain and loss, and you are helping her. You're stepping with her on this lonely route through your emails. I'm sure that it means a lot to her. And when so many will chose to "move on" and you're stiill there, it will mean the world to her.

  3. I think there was magic in knowing that I was not alone in my grief. We reminded ourselves during those first days that horrible things happen to people and they survive. Your cousin can see that although you may struggle, you are surviving and so will they. Some preliminary resources will also be helpful in knowing how to begin starting her own search for books, websites and a community of people who understand. No magic words, but magic in understanding.

  4. You say your emails aren't enough, and of course, they aren't: the only thing that would be enough, really, is our babies. But - and this is a huge but - without our babies the contact and understanding and compassion of someone who knows, who really knows what the loss is like, is almost magical. To have someone reassure you that you are not the only one to feel this terrible ache, this senseless emptiness is a kind of gift. With other mothers who've lost their babies, we create a magical space where we can share our stories without censure, without having to censor ourselves, to accommodate others who want the best for us but can't fathom that the best for us really is to talk and talk and talk about our dead babies. A space where our babies 'live' in our words, are real to others, matter. Your emails have helped me tremendously and I'm sure they must be helping your cousin, too.

  5. Thank you ladies. Your validation is priceless.