Category: Child Loss & Grief Graphics

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I did not have "a stillborn". I had a stillborn CHILD; a human being. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

I Did not Have “A Stillborn”

My child isn’t “a stillborn”. The term makes it seem as if he is an abstract concept; a “thing”. He’s a child, though. He was BORN. He had a funeral. He HAS a name. When I speak about him, I use the term “stillborn” as an adjective: My son is a stillborn CHILD; an individual person; a human being.

Original Statement: Grief is a passage, not a place to stay. Rewritten: Grief IS. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Grief is a Passage, not a Place to Stay

I’ve seen this quote in many places, and it has always felt wrong to me. Especially if we acknowledge grief as tied intrinsically to love, then we understand that grief CAN’T be a passage; grief simply IS.

Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original statement: I can't imagine… Rewritten: Try. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

I can’t imagine

When someone has experienced tragedy, it is common to say, “I can’t imagine” how they are feeling. But the truth is, you can. Please take a moment and try.

Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original statement: I know how you feel… Rewritten: I don't know how you feel, but I'm here to listen. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

I know how you feel

Humans are hardwired to find points of comparison. It’s how we build community. It makes us feel less alone. In some cases, though, comparison feels minimizing. This is especially the case in loss. This is something to say instead.

Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original statement: Everything is going to be fine.  Rewritten: I'm not going to tell you everything is going to be fine. I understand grief is hard, and no amount of positive thinking is going to make up for the loss of your child. So I will simply tell you that I love you, and I'm here for whatever you need. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Everything is going to be fine

When someone you love is in pain, it’s natural to want to comfort them; to reassure them that everything will be okay. Unfortunately, when you are dealing with permanent changes like death, sometimes this simply isn’t the case.

"It's okay to not be okay as long as you don't stay that way" Rewritten: It's okay to not be okay.

It’s okay to not be okay (as long as you don’t stay that way)

It’s a common saying: “It’s okay to not be okay as long as you don’t stay that way.” I disagree. Why do we put a time limit on reality? It’s only when we recognize that ALL feelings are valid, that we have the space we need to make genuine change. And even then, change is optional. It has to be.

Statement: You're so strong. Response: Inside I am dying.

You’re so Strong!

How do you respond to the phrase, “You’re so strong” when you feel like you’re anything but? People tell me I’m strong, but I feel like I’m dying inside.

Death changes you. Permanently. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Death Changes You. Permanently.

The death of my son changed me as a person more than any other event in my lifetime. The death of a loved one does that.
Death changes you. Permanently.

Gentle wishes for bereaved Dads on Father's Day. May the day be kind. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Father’s Day

Fathers Day 2020: Gentle wishes for bereaved dads on Father’s Day. May the Day be Kind.

Prayer is appreciated… ...When it has been invited. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Prayer is appreciated…when it has been invited

After Adrian died, many people close to me offered to pray. I generally don’t find comfort in thoughts of a higher power myself, but I understand the desire to want to pray as a means to demonstrate care. If you are ask permission before offering prayer, it is generally going to be okay. I certainly appreciate the intentions behind it, especially when paired with consent.

Sometimes it just needs to suck. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Sometimes it Just Needs to Suck

It feels like we are conditioned to look on the bright side of every dark situation, but sometimes there isn’t one. Sometimes, things just need to suck

You may find it "triggering" to hear about the death of my child. Imagine how much harder it is to live with it. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Trigger Warning

Please think, before you request a trigger warning, if the unpleasant sensation is worse for you than it is for the person speaking.⁠ You may find it “triggering” to hear about the death of my child. Imagine how much harder it is to live with it.

Sometimes I'm just— Tired. An exhaustion that goes beyond the surface; an exhaustion that is more than just physical. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Sometimes, I’m just—Tired

Sometimes; some days, I am just — tired. An exhaustion that goes beyond the surface. An exhaustion that is more than just physical.

Notes for the Support Team - Children. Aren't. Replaceable. Please consider the impact of your words before you talk about things like subsequent children or adoption. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Children Aren’t Replaceable

Children are not replaceable. I know you probably don’t think they are…⁠
(DO you?)⁠⁠
I know you probably don’t think you can grab one baby out of a parent’s arms and then give them a different one with no consequence.⁠ (You DON’T think that, right?)⁠
But this is what we are sometimes hearing.⁠⁠

What's with this expectation that grief should be "reasonable"?  Death certainly isn't reasonable. Grieve however you need.  -Miranda Hernandez Adrian's Mother

Neither Death nor Grief are “Reasonable”

I’ve seen so many people begin a post about grief with phrases like, “This may sound odd,” or “Sorry if this is weird.” I’ve decided I’m going to stop doing that. Grief doesn’t have to be reasonable. Death certainly isn’t.

I constantly wish someone had told me stillbirth was SO VERY COMMON. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

I Wish Someone Had Told Me Stillbirth Was So Common

I was educated & open to new information, & I thought I knew everything…And then the nightmare that is stillbirth rose up & broke me. Despite my curiosity, I was hit by the fact that NO ONE in my world had thought to tell me that stillbirth was SO VERY COMMON. 1 in 160. It’s a freaking emergency.

Notes for the Support Team -  When someone is in the thick of grief, "someday" is pretty meaningless. Sit with them in the hard parts, today, instead. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

“Someday” is Meaningless

What you need to understand is that your loved one isn’t there right now; they are here. And here, today, they are hurting. As much as you want to point them to “someday,” it is so much more important to acknowledge where they are, today.

Even as a bereaved parent, I still don't always know the right words to say. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

The Bereaved Don’t Always Have Words Either

Almost 4 years in this community, and I can identify most of the wrong things to say. I write scripts and stories. I try to make things better for other people. And sometimes, still, when it comes to those I care about, words fail me.

You are under no obligation to be healed—Not today, and not at any point in the future. It is always always ALWAYS okay not to be okay. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

You are under no obligation to be healed

There is often this perception that healing is a required part of the process of grief. I don’t believe this is true. Healing is and must always be the choice of the individual.

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