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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

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Pregnancy Loss Support Program

You've got it just right. For those who need someone to speak with there's the Pregnancy Loss Support Program of NCJW NY - we provide peer-counseling by women and men who have suffered pregnancy loss and have graduated a professionally-guided training seminar. Phone counseling is available nationwide, and support groups are offered in New York City. You can see more at http://www.ncjwny.org/services_plsp.htm

Karen

I remember walking down the street in New York City the day after my mother died, and feeling like no one could see me, my grief was so powerful. It was a zombie-like experience indeed.

But when my infant son died when he was 5 days old, I was less a zombie and more sky-bound. It was a fog-like state, one that lasted for months. I would look up at clouds all the time, and I'm not sure what I was looking for. Not a believer in god or a higher spirit or place, I think I was just looking for another continuum in which my pain could reside, as it felt so foreign, so out of natural order, and so piercing at all times.

The challenge, as you mention, is the reality that you still have to function here on earth while you are in a bereaved state. When my baby died, I had a two year old boy at home to take care of, who had not had his mommy at home for over two months (I had been on complete bed rest in the hospital for 7 weeks leading up to my second son's birth.) When my mom died, I had three young children at home who were terrified of my grief and my tears, and who needed to be comforted themselves.

Despite the advent of the internet, and the support groups and online resources for parents grieving either a neonatal death or a miscarriage, it still carries, if not a stigma, then a scarlet letter. No one wants to touch it, lest they carch it. Much of the online material is very angel-focused, and for those of us who feel more rooted in terra firma, there is little to call on. People just simply don't know how to react to the sadness and the fear of the loss of the natural order.

shari

We lost our twins at 24 weeks and I couldn't have put it better. It has been four months since our loss and the zombie-like feeling is only beginning to subside. The way that I described it to most friends was that I just felt like I was "floating" through life without being able to feel anything else around me but the grief. As you said, it is so challenging to memorialze lives that never came into being. We had no memories, but we had our visions and dreams for their future and that was what we mourned. I suspect that some folks suspect that by now we should be "over" it. You never are. Yes, with time, the tears do not flow as regularly but the scar will always and forever remain.

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