Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Tragedy: Advice and Small Comfort to a Friend

It is with a heavy, heavy heart that I write a friend of mine lost her 5 month old son Flynn yesterday, 04AUG2015. It was sudden and unexpected. She is one of the very few people I know in real-life who reads this blog. Though she is not a blogger herself, she will read your comments here eventually. They are not a religious family,  but prayers, good thoughts and good advice are greatly needed. Any love you can send will be appreciated.

I have experienced only a shadow of the tragedy she is going through, but here are the things I do know (applicable to all the baby lost, tailored for my friend) feel free to add:

1. You will never feel "normal" again, but there will be joy. Take comfort in what you do have: the time you spent with your baby boy, your daughter, your husband, family, friends.

2. Don't feel you have to shield others from your loss if you don't want to. You experienced something that is almost unimaginable.

3. People are going to say stupid shit. They (almost always) mean well. You can still tell them off if you want to.

4. You will smile, laugh and someday get through an hour, a day even a week without crying. Allow yourself the joy of these moments: even in the early days. I like to think of grief and joy swapping themselves out in time occasionally. The moments of early grief, intense and crippling, sometimes evaporate (even in the first days of loss), and a smile breaks through. This isn't grief skipped- it will come back- days, weeks, months, even years down the road and you'll suddenly grieve like you literally just got the news. You just borrowed that moment's joy from the future. You deserve to feel both the joy and the grief at any moment in this process.

5. People want to help. Try and let them. I wish I had allowed this in my first days of grief. My Christmas tree was still up in February (odds came on Boxing day). The dishes weren't done for weeks. We didn't eat. People offered to clean and cook and I refused. Unfortunately, there is tragedy in every life, you'll be able to repay them eventually.

6. Talk about him, show pictures of him, smile over happy memories and cry over sad ones. People think that you can "forget" and don't want to bring your loss up again. I get it in the early days, when you're trying to get through that moment without falling apart. After the first raw bit, most of the babylost want to talk about their children. When you do that, others will know he isn't a taboo topic.

7. Try and remember that YOU have needs too. Eat, Bathe, Dress, Sleep. Lean on others.

I love you so much, I wish I could heal this- but nothing can.


  1. I am so very sorry for the losses you both have experienced. They are unimaginable. It's so, so unfair that anyone should lose a child like this. I will pray for peace for your heavy heart.

  2. I'm so sorry for the loss of Flynn. *hugs*

  3. My heart goes out to your friend and her family. Sending a hug for Flynn.

  4. OH my goodness! I'm so sorry for this great loss! What a tragedy. I will say some prayers for that family for sure. :(

  5. I'm so sorry for your loss...Hugs and prayers to you

  6. I'm so sorry to hear this. Lizzy's advice is right on. Don't "be strong." When people tell you how strong you are, just ignore them. They don't understand that there are only two options: to "be strong," i.e. live, or to die. Life will be beautiful again, it's just impossible to imagine right now.