On 28 June 2017, I was 6 days overdue. It was the height of summer in Texas, and I blasted the AC in my home. I lay down on the couch and watched my son kicking and moving in my belly. He was so active that night! By the time I woke up the following morning, he was dead.
As a supervisor, the most important thing you can do when supporting a military member after the loss of a child is to understand this loss is significant. Regardless of planning or length of gestation, your military member has lost much more than a pregnancy; they have lost an entire human being.
Dear Commander; Dear First Sergeant; Dear Supervisor—Child loss as a military member is heartbreaking, and is especially complicated by culture and expectations that bereaved parents should be “strong” when they feel most weak. This is what bereaved parents in the military would like you to know.