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.
Work and Professional Life After Loss
I look back on that time now, and it’s like I’m looking at a different person. That old Miranda lived in a different world, where everything felt like it was possible. And even though it has been almost 3 years since then, I think a lot of people don’t understand I’m not that person anymore.
I started school this month. It’s been intense, learning to live again inside rules and structure. I can’t get up and walk away when I need to be alone with you.
I’ve felt like such a horrible person because I’ve been so numb this week. Now I sit in my car and my eyes fill with tears, and I realize that what I dread more than being asked if I have children is not being asked anything at all.
The Miranda from Before knew excitement. The Miranda from Before had plans. She mapped out her life and she felt you move and she lived in a world where passion equals reality. She loved you with the careless assumption that you would always be alive to treasure.
I was supposed to start work next week. I was supposed to be home, snuggling a tiny child. I was supposed to have a life different than the one I float through now.
Life is coming back to me. I hate it, it makes me feel disloyal to you. I hate feeling my mind engage, hate losing my focus on everything about you.
Crawling out of the early days and fog of grief after the death of my child and rejoining the world is one of the hardest things I’ve done in my life.
After Adrian’s death, I came home from the hospital to a fully furnished nursery and without a living child. I wanted nothing more than to sleep for weeks, but I had to deal with milk, and funeral planning, and all the minutiae of being postpartum without a living child.
The story of how I planned for conception and pregnancy as a single mother by choice (SMC), the process of becoming pregnant, and the sheer joy in looking forward to my son Adrian’s birth.
I’ve often said that those of us who have experienced tragedy live in a new layer of existence. It’s the thing that defines us now, that marks this transition to this separate world. And I almost said “different” there instead of “separate,” but this is another defining characteristic; because the only thing that is different is each of us. Because we are a world inside of a world, and we are the only ones who know.
In the black-and-white photos, he looks like he’s sleeping. Photos are difficult; they don’t tell the whole story.
People said some (mostly unintentionally) hurtful and insensitive things after the death of my child. This is what I wish I’d said in response.
When a Type A personality grieves, at some point grief becomes her job. She finds old focus and determination. She reads books and attacks her grief with her previous energy.
Dear pregnant woman in my office – people are starting to get excited. They threw you a baby shower, and things are starting to feel very familiar. I wish I could explain why I’ve started to dislike you. I wish there were some logic beyond jealously and pain.