Category: Child Loss & Grief Graphics

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I did not have "a stillborn". I had a stillborn CHILD; a human being.

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.

"Grief is a passage, not a place to stay." Rewritten: Grief IS.

“Grief is a Passage”

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.

I can't imagine - Downloadable Graphics for Child Loss & Grief

“I can’t imagine” (3 versions)

When I talk about Adrian’s death, I often hear the words, “I can’t imagine.” I feel like that’s a cop-out. Of course you can imagine. It’s just scary.

"I know how you feel." Rewritten: I don't know how you feel, but I'm here to listen.

“I know how you feel” (2 versions)

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.. Here are 2 alternatives to the phrase, “I know how you feel”

"It's going to be okay" Rewritten: It really sucks…and I'm here for you.

“It’s going to be okay” (2 versions)

It’s instinct to want to reassure, but there is no reassurance to be had after loss. Please don’t tell the bereaved everything will be okay. Sometimes it just needs to hurt. These are 2 options to say instead of “It’s going to be okay”

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.

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 Fathers Day. May the day be kind.

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

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.

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

There is no "just" about the process of adoption

There is no “just” about the process of adoption

Adoption is often held up as the “solution” to the “problems” of both child loss and grief. This is an unfortunate misunderstanding and oversimplification. Adoption is a beautiful thing. It is not, however, easy or automatic, or guaranteed. There is definitely no “just” about the process.

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.

"Look on the Bright Side." Rewritten: This sucks.

“Look on the bright side”

It’s common for outsiders to tell the hurt and bereaved to look on the bright side or find the silver lining in their grief. This is ridiculous. Sometimes it just needs to suck.

I have grown as a person since the death of my son...But I would give up everything I’ve gained to have not had a reason to.  -Miranda Hernandez Adrian's Mother

I have grown as person through the death of my son, but it’s not worth it

I think our culture idealizes those who use their loss or pain as an impetus for personal growth. While I don’t object to how anyone else chooses to live after loss, I do think it’s important to acknowledge that no matter how much growth is achieved, it is NEVER worth the cost. I would certainly give it all up to have my son at home.

Often when I share about my deceased child, people rush to give advice or hugs. I don't always need that, though.  Often, all I really need is for you to listen. - Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Often all I need is for you to listen

Often, when I share about my deceased child, that’s all I’m looking for: An ear. A person to open their heart to experience. Someone to take a moment in their day to read and acknowledge, without trying to analyze me.

"Positive vibes only."...Rewritten: Authentic vibes only.

“Positive Vibes Only”

“Positive vibes only” sounds like a great message, but it unfortunately acts as erasure of the full emotional spectrum. Authenticity is always preferable.

Bereaved Life Graphics for Child Loss & Grief

Bereaved Live in the Real World

Sometimes I feel like the bereaved live in the real world and everyone else lives in the fantasy. It’s the only way the world makes sense.

I deserve enthusiastic support, both in life and grief.

I Deserve Enthusiastic Support Both in Life and Grief

When someone is important in your life, you shouldn’t have to wait for them to “come around” to acknowledge and respect the things that are important to you. You deserve enthusiastic support from the very beginning. I do too. I deserve enthusiastic support, both in life and in grief.

Tragedy is not a one-time event

Tragedy is not a one-time event

Tragedy is not a one-time event. It happens over and over again–every morning; every milestone; every holiday. Every new experience is touched by the loss. In every experience, something is missing.

Thankfulness is not a cure for tragedy, trauma, or grief.

Thankfulness is not a cure for grief (B/W; 2 versions)

It is common in loss circles to talk about finding thankfulness in the life we have left. There are so many things wrong with this sentiment. The biggest problem is that it assumes the bereaved can’t be thankful and grieving at the same time. The other main problem is the unspoken assumption that thankfulness is a “cure” for grief.⁠ It isn’t.

The body keeps a calendar completely separate from the mind. Some days just have to be felt.

The Body Keeps a Calendar Separate from the Mind

I have continually been surprised by the way my body reacts to various anniversaries surrounding Adrian and his death. Sometimes they are “important” things like his birth or due date, but sometimes they are just random Tuesdays. It reminds me that regardless of the days we consider most relevant, the body keeps a calendar of its own.

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.

You are always allowed to feel how you feel

Pain and grief can make outsiders uncomfortable, and sometimes they may urge you to heal and be your positive self again. This is a reminder that you are always allowed to feel however you need to.

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