Truths about grief (Archives)

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Truths about grief

Laughter doesn't mean the grief is over - Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

Laughter doesn’t mean the grief is over

Something I wish people understood is that it’s possible to laugh while you’re dying inside. Laughter doesn’t mean the grief is over. The two things can exist simultaneously.

Notes for the Bereaved -  I'm not going to tell you it gets better.  The truth is, for some people, it doesn't. What I will tell you is that it CAN get better. There is POTENTIAL for happier days. There is hope.  I hold hope for you. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

I’m not going to tell you it gets better

One of the common sayings that has bothered me in the past is this sentiment of, “Just hold on. Better days are coming.” The thing is, you can’t know that for certain. Nobody can.

White flowers with yellow centers in tall green stalks (Miranda Hernandez)

Life after loss isn’t ALWAYS about grief

Something I wish more people understood is that life after loss isn’t always about grief.⁠ Even when we do things to honor and remember our children, those things don’t come from grief alone, but from so many additional and powerful feelings.

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

Still/Always

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.⁠..

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

Before Adrian died, I had very little sense of the impact of death. It was an abstract concept to me. I had known people who had died, but nobody close enough to trigger intense grief. And so, when someone in my circle lost a child, I misunderstood.

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

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.

Notes for the Bereaved -  There is NO time limit on grief. Take whatever time you need. -Miranda Hernandez, Adrian's Mother

There is NO Time Limit on Grief

I was sitting with the patient advocate, and I was surprised to see the tears in his eyes, and they weren’t entirely for me. It turns out he had also lost a child to stillbirth—30 YEARS AGO. And he STILL grieved. Because there is no time limit on grief.

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

We need to talk about grief

We need to talk about grief.
We need to talk about death & the fact that it happens.
We need to talk about relationships & how they don’t go away even when someone dies.
We need to talk about the realities of loss & the complexities inherent in planning a life for someone who never gets to live it.

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

There is no Asterisk to the things Allowed in Grief

It’s something I experienced, early in my grief: Do what you need, *but understand that eventually you will have to stop grieving and move on. And man, does this hurt! Because who defines this concept of “too much” of anything? Is it really possible to have too much grief? I don’t think so.

24 March 2021 – Emulation

My daughter threw a tantrum on the kitchen floor just now. Wrought face and wet-noodily, she bemoaned the breakage of the back of her high chair, even though SHE was the one who broke it. I try very hard not to laugh at these things. The world is heavy when you’re tiny.

Dried wild plants in North Lake Tahoe, California (Miranda Hernandez)

Growing, Evolving…And Also Staying the Same

I am a growing and evolving creature. I am a grieving mother, and I am ALSO so many other things. And this is where I am today–exactly who and where I need to be. And I am both messy and complicated and also uniquely human. And I love being able to accept that and just be okay.⁠

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

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.

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

Grief isn’t always overwhelming

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.

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.

Screenshot of Scary Mommy Article "Sharing Pictures Of My Stillborn Son Is Not 'Gross'" with a photo of Adrian and Miranda in the background.

The First Real Byline—Published in Scary Mommy

Two big influencers lost children this year. In the wake of heavy criticism of their public grief, I wrote this piece in defense of sharing photos and talking about our beloved deceased children. Today, that story was published in Scary Mommy.

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

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.

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

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.

Sunset over the Pacific 1 - Feature

26 Feb 2018 – Nuclear Bomb Part 2

I call it a nuclear bomb. It’s a conversation ender. You meet someone, you’re making good small talk, and then they ask about your family. I will never deny my son. He is a permanent part of me. And so it happens — I tell them, “Yes, I have a child. He died shortly before he was born.” And everything stops. It’s no longer a casual conversation.

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