Original Statement: Still Grieving? Still dead. Still a parent. Rewritten statement: Always grieving. Always dead. ALWAYS a parent.

Still/Always

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STILL grieving? Yes, I am still grieving.⁠

I am still grieving, because the work of grief is never done.⁠

I am still grieving, because I put into my grief what I cannot put into life with my son.⁠

I am still grieving, because he is STILL, and will always, be dead.⁠

I am still grieving, because grief has no ending; grief lasts as long as love.⁠

And so maybe, instead of “still,” you would understand it better if I said “always”:⁠

Always grieving.⁠
Always loving.⁠
ALWAYS my child’s mom.⁠

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Special Topics: Grief Positivity

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Notes for the Support Team -  It's hard to feel sad and helpless when someone you love is struggling after loss. It's hard to sit there in the darkness and support them when they are most in pain. But if you can do that—your support means everything. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Accept that you feel helpless and you will be so much more helpful

Notes for the Bereaved -  You don't have to be brave. Bravery is ALWAYS a choice. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

You don’t have to be brave

Yes, you can parent a child even after their death. #SeaGlassParenting

Yes, you can parent a child even after their death…#SeaGlassParenting

Death isn’t something you ever “get over”.  It’s something you integrate, and then reintegrate again  and again.  -Miranda Hernandez Adrian's Mother

Death isn’t something you ever “get over”

Notes for the support team - "Good intentions" are best revealed by changing behavior you've been informed is hurtful.

“Good intentions” are best revealed by changing behavior you’ve been informed is hurtful

My child should have been starting preschool this month. #StillbirthSucks - Sea Glass Parenting

My child should have been starting school this month (Customizable!)

My son Adrian James should have been going back to school this week too. Sea Glass Parenting

My child should have been going back to school this week too (Customizable!)

I am parenting my child after their death. I am a Sea Glass Parent. - Sea Glass Parenting

I am Sea Glass Parent; Parenting my child after their death

"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)

Notes for the Support Team -  It's easy to disappear in times of tragedy. It's hard to live with yourself afterwards. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

It’s Both Easy & Hard to Disappear After Loss

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”

Adoption is a beautiful, beautiful thing... It is not the "solution" to the "problems" of child loss or grief. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Adoption is not a “solution” to the “problems” of child loss or grief

I'm lighting a candle in honor of my son Adrian. 15 October is International Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day. - Sea Glass Parenting

I’m lighting a candle in honor of my child (Customizable!)

Notes for the Bereaved -  It is not your job to make other people feel comfortable. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

It’s not your job to make other people feel comfortable

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

Tragedy is not a one-time event. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Tragedy is not a one-time event

I deserve enthusiastic support, both in life and in grief. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

I Deserve Enthusiastic Support Both in Life and Grief

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

You’re so Strong!

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

I can’t imagine

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

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Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original question: Why didn't you…? Rewritten: I have no idea what I would have done were I in your place. I will certainly never second-guess your decisions. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Why didn’t you…?

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

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There is no asterisk to the things that are allowed in the grief experience. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

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The body keeps a calendar completely separate from the mind. Some days just have to be felt. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

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I wish I could take your pain away

Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original statement: At least… Rewritten: I'm so sorry this happened to you. It isn't right or fair. Nothing can make up for the loss of your child. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

At least…

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

Notes for the Support Team -  Your pain is important. Their pain is MORE important. Don't ask them to bear the burden of comforting you. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Your pain is important. Their pain is MORE important.

Thankfulness is not a cure for grief

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Look on the Bright Side

“Healing” from the death of my child is about as likely as regrowing a missing limb.  -Miranda Hernandez Adrian's Mother

“Healing” from the death of my child is about as likely as regrowing a missing limb.

"Dead" is not a dirty word. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

“Dead” is not a dirty word (B/W)

My feelings are authentic and I own them completely. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

My feelings are authentic and I own them completely

Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original statement: You should be thankful for the children you have. Rewritten: Parenting after loss is an eternal balance. I am always available for babysitting or help around the house if you need a break. It's okay to tend to your grief for your missing child too. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

You should be thankful for the children you have

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

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He/She wouldn’t want you to be sad

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

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Public Service Announcement: Back Up Your Photos. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

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When my child died, I thought about suicide - Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Elephant

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Forced positivity is toxic.

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"1 in 160" feels like such a small number until you put it in context. For the parents of a stillborn child, 1 in 160 will always be one too many. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

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I think one of the hardest things I had to do was accept that grief isn't always overwhelming. Sometimes it just exists; present but not always screaming. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

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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

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Refusing to talk about or even consider that death happens is not going to keep it from happening. Death isn't Rumpelstiltskin. It doesn't work that way. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

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Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original statement: Let's cheer you up. Rewritten: I understand your grief is heavy right now. I'd like to support you in whatever ways you need. Would you like to tell me about him? Or maybe we can go for a walk. Whatever you need. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Let’s cheer you up

Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original statement: It's time to move on. Rewritten: I understand you grieve for and miss your child. What can I do to help you honor them today? -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

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Original statement: "Positive vibes only." Rewritten: Authentic vibes only. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

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What doesn't kill you... ...Still hurts like a bitch. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

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

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Feelings are always valid, Even when they aren’t rational; Even when they are "negative"; Even when other people wish you felt differently.  Feelings are always valid.  -Miranda Hernandez Adrian's Mother

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I have the right to feel how I feel, for as long as I feel it, regardless of circumstances  or whether someone else  feels differently.  -Miranda Hernandez Adrian's Mother

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The month of October is Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness month. Honoring all children lost too soon, including my child: [fill in the blank] - Sea Glass Parenting

Please Honor my Child during Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month (Customizable!)

Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original statement: I would never survive it. Rewritten: I haven't experienced your pain, so I can only imagine what it feels like. I am here for you though, if you ever want to talk about your experience or your child. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

I would never survive it

Notes for the Bereaved -  You are under no obligation to turn your tragedy into something beautiful. You are allowed, todays and always, simply to exist. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

No Obligation to turn Tragedy into Beauty

I miss the days when I still believed all you needed was a good attitude. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

I miss the days when I still believed all you needed was a good attitude

If a bereaved parent feels guilt or blame about their loss, simply telling them not to feel that way is not a solution. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

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I am thoroughly uninterested in being "strong." -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

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Please don’t ask me how I’m doing unless you’re prepared to hear the truth.

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

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Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original statement: Have you thought about adoption? Rewritten: I understand the idea of having children after loss is complicated. I'm never going to push you or ask you questions you aren't ready to answer. I'm here though, if you ever want to talk about it. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Have you thought about adoption?

Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original statement: It wasn't your fault. Rewritten: I understand emotions can be complicated, and I'm never going to tell you how you should feel. I am here though, if you ever want to talk about things. I will always be an ear to listen. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

It wasn’t your fault

I have these moments sometimes with my living child. Moments where I wonder if I am enough for her, trying so hard and simultaneously dying inside. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Can I be enough for my living child while I’m dying inside?

Notes for the Support Team -  Pregnancy after loss is one of the most beautifully life-affirming and also simultaneously terrifying events your loved ones can experience.  If your loved one has shared this news with you, it is likely because they trust you. Be worthy of that trust. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

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Sometimes I miss that initial innocence; the days when I thought positivity was enough to make everything go as planned. Only sometimes, though. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

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Notes for the Bereaved -  You don't have to be a noble victim. You are allowed to be a fallible human being, just like the rest of the world. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

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Dear Prenatal Provider— Please educate your patients about stillbirth. We deserve to know the facts. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Dear Prenatal Provider—Please educate your patients about stillbirth

Time doesn't "heal" anything, not by itself.  Medical care and self-care can be healing, if desired. Time is only a measure of the length of the process. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Time doesn’t heal anything, not by itself

Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Question: "How are you?" Multiple choice answers: "Outstanding, Okay, Really hating this question". There is a check mark next to "Really hating this questions". -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

How are you?

What is safe is not always natural & What is natural is not always safe. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

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Notes for the Support Team -  Acknowledge bereaved parents on Mothers' and Fathers' Day. Parenthood NEVER ends. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Acknowledge Bereaved Parents on Mothers and Fathers Day

I’m upset with movies and TV shows for making me think grief was just a phase. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

I’m upset with movies and TV shows for making me think grief was just a phase

Positivity is a choice, and not one you can make for other people. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Positivity is a choice, and not one you can make for other people

You are always always ALWAYS allowed to feel how you feel, with no obligation to cheer up, look on the bright side, or snap out of it. Your feelings are valid and so are you. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

You are always allowed to feel how you feel

We need to talk about grief. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

We need to talk about grief

Grief isn’t sadness. Grief isn’t loss. Grief is what lives in those left behind. -Miranda Hernandez. Adrian's Mother

Grief is not Sadness; Sadness is not Grief

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

Notes for the Support Team - Words Matter: Original statement: Let me know if I can do anything for you. Rewritten: Can I bring you dinner this evening? Can I help you with the laundry? I'm going to the store this evening; can I bring you anything? -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Let me know what you need

Sharing about my deceased child doesn't mean that I'm stuck or broken or even that I am hurting. It simply means I am a parent.

Parenting in Loss; Sharing about my Deceased Child

Notes for the Bereaved - Sometimes the most meaningful thing anyone can say to you is "This fucking sucks." Because it does. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Sometimes the most meaningful thing anyone can say is, “This fucking sucks.”

I think one of the things I've learned over the past few years since my son's death is that you never know what anyone else is going through. Even people who post on social media. Even people who are close. People keep a lot of pain below the surface. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

We have no idea what other people are going through

My pain has a purpose. Please stop trying to take it away from me. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

My pain has a purpose

I too used to believe tragedy was the thing that happened to other people. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

I too used to believe tragedy was the thing that happened to other people.

If you ask a widow about the worst kind of grief, they are going to say it’s losing a spouse. If you ask a bereaved parent about the worst kind of grief, they are going to say it’s losing a child. ...And they are both correct. Grief is not a competition. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Grief is not a Competition

Informed Pregnancy Brochure describing my experience going overdue in pregnancy and outlining risks and warning signs of problems in pregnancy (side 1)

My Experience Going Overdue in Pregnancy (Brochure)

Trauma is not your fault, but healing is your responsibility. Rewritten: Trauma is not your fault.

“Trauma is not your fault, but healing is your responsibility”

Notes for the Support Team -  When you tell me I'm "strong" or "brave", it feels less like a description, and more like a command. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

When you tell me I’m “strong” or “brave”…

My experience feels a lot more valid when I remove all the “buts”. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

My experience feels a lot more valid when I remove all the “buts”

Notes for the support team - Nobody is born knowing how to deal with grief. We are all just figuring it out along the way.

Nobody is born knowing how to deal with grief

Sometimes there is genuinely nothing to be thankful for. - Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Sometimes there is genuinely nothing to be thankful for

Notes for the Support Team -  You aren't going to be perfect. Show up anyway. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

You aren’t going to be perfect. Show Up Anyway.

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

Father’s Day

“I did it and I was fine.” This is called survivors bias. Your singular experience is neither proof nor promise that dangerous things won't hurt other people. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Survivor’s Bias

If you genuinely want to comfort a grieving person, remove these words from your vocabulary:  “But”, “Strong”, “Brave”, “At Least”. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

If you genuinely want to comfort a bereaved person, remove these words from your vocabulary

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

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

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

Prayer is appreciated…when it has been invited

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