For many women (and even fathers), opening up about pregnancy or infant loss may be difficult for a variety of reasons. October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month and in honor of this event, mother of three, Shreeda Tailor shares this poignant narrative of how she came to the realization that sharing the loss of a child is not something one should shy from.
For some time now I’ve struggled with the question “How many kids do you have?” Let’s be honest. I have three.
There was a sweet girl named Sahaara that forever changed us. I love talking about her and remembering the very short time I got to hold her and physically be her mother. Now I am spiritually her mother.
I struggled with that aforementioned question because I worried I would be pitied if I replied with “I have three but our middle child passed away” or that I would be judged as an attention seeker if I said that.
But then today my eldest child did something that put it all in to perspective in one quick second, so fleeting it could have been missed if I was wrapped up in a business email or cooking dinner.
Someone asked him if he had a brother or sister and he very simply replied “I have two sisters. One is dead.”
He didn’t pause expectantly waiting for a pitiful look. Nor did he seem like he was seeking attention. He just seemed matter of fact and grounded in his reality.
My perspective shifted. Why was I wasting my time worried about what someone else thinks? Someone outside of my grief. Why was I concerned with how someone felt about the horrible card I was dealt? It’s my reality.
The fear of being pitied or misjudged should never have overshadowed my need to honor my daughter daily. So today my five and a half year old taught me something. I learned that I need to stay rooted in my reality and practice grace with my grief. I accept that this is the way it is for us. We get to be spiritual parents.
But if I shy away from talking about it, not only am I not honoring Sahaara’s memory but I am enabling the taboo that surrounds discussing infant loss. #infantlossawareness