Letter from Baby Michael’s Daddy

Letter from Baby Michael’s Daddy

To the new parents,

No one can tell you how to grieve.

If you read nothing else of this letter, then I hope you retain this: you are parents, you will grieve, but no one can tell you how.

Your life just took a terrible turn and I’m so sorry that this has happened. Very few people will understand the pain you’re going through and everyone’s journey is unique.

Expect the unexpected

You might find support in the most unexpected of places: an acquaintance you haven’t spoken with in a decade. You might not find support where you expected it the most: from your close friends and family. But know that you do need support to get through a trauma like this – even if it’s just to have a stranger listen to you. It’s important to find an outlet for your pain before it affects you in ways you can’t recognize.

It will be difficult because there will be good days and bad days and unexpected triggers along the way. You will figure it out in time, but don’t let people rush you because no one can tell you how to grieve.

You and your partner

This is also true for your partner, only this is not something you can simply ‘fix’ for them. This was beyond your control and will never be gone from you memories. There will undoubtedly be differences in how you grieve and these will be trying times for both of you. So as no one can tell you how to grieve, neither can you tell them. Nor can you compare griefs – either with yourselves or with others, it’s simply not helpful. These will certainly be the ‘worst of times’. Finding ways to communicate how you want to honour your child and move forward together will be your key to success. Supporting each other, particularly through grief waves, will be paramount.

Interacting with others

You can tell people how you would like them to support you. It may change day-to-day, so be open and honest about how you feel and choose how you want to address it – or not. It’s up to you, because no one can tell you how to grieve. You can also help others to understand by explaining what you’ve lost. For me, it was hope & love.

Hope & Love

Hope for their future to be bright. Hope for them to succeed in areas where we could not. Hope that their life would be filled with laughter and love.

Love. That others will not get to experience the love of your child is tragic. They might only see your grief. But what is grief if not love persevering? Grief shows that your child is loved. And while their future might not be what was hoped for, their impact will still be felt and live on in our actions.

Moving forwards

So find a way to make your child’s life meaningful – to show the world the love you have and transform hope into action, so that it is not lost.

You can hold a funeral for your child; you can host memorial events; you can visit them regularly; you can do charity work in their memory; you can give a toast in their name; you can start a new tradition or end an old one – anything that brings you comfort because no one can tell you how to grieve.

Just know that you are not alone and that your child is loved.

Sincerely with love,

Michael’s father.

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