Seeing, Holding...loving your baby is important
Through the years, I have had medical caretakers, relatives and bereaved parents themselves ask me questions such as: How long should a parent hold their dead baby? or even... Should a parent hold their dead or dying baby? Wouldn't all of this be easier if we let the hospital "take care of the remains?" Is a funeral or a memorial service necessary? Maybe if we try to end our pain by not dealing with the aftermath of a loss, healing will happen faster... and so on...
Fortunately, today, most medical and psychological professionals and, as the result of group input, some of the general public know that memories of real happenings such as holding and seeing the baby, funerals or memorial services, etc. aide the healing process. But, I think, for some, there still remains a question of "how much or how deeply" the parent should be allowed to share with their baby.
Sharng how important and special these moments are for the parent.
In the section entitled "Saying Goodbye," I have lifted these tender and meaningful moments from the stories sent to our website. Over and over I am moved by how strongly the parents felt about this part of their experience.I know that I felt those feelings with our Seth and that I have heard these same feelings within our group.
I also feel that many protect themselves from society by not exploring or sharing too deeply these times. Once again, we must give ourselves permission to have this experience with our baby. These memories are as dear and important as the ones we might have with after the death of an older relative or friend.
A baby lost, through miscarriage, midterm, fullterm or newborn death, is a loss of a special loved one, and we need to feel safe in our decision to recognize his/her passing (or the last hours or moments) in whatever way we feel comfortable.
Seeing, Holding and Parenting our baby..These are special gifts...
It is also possible that these shared stories can help parents who may be in the midst of a loss and wonder what special gifts they can share with their baby who dies too soon. These moments can help to make future memories a little gentler. Today, as a result of our 4Bs Outreach where blankets, buntings, bonnets and booties are given to hospitals for bereaved families, the potential for these precious moments is greater. We hope these stories will touch newly bereaved parent's hearts and souls, and let them know they are not alone. Marcia McGinnis 1999- 2007
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