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Grief is the hardest challenge I have ever been faced with.

You would think, that bereaved mothers share something universal, something collective, and that we each, would treasure our cup that we carry into our global community pool of tears.  That we would treasure one another’s cup, as well.

The reality is, we don’t.

We speak of the things our loved ones can do better, but we are hurting one another within our own circle.

We try to push others out of the circle.  We try to push ourselves out of the circle.

Divisiveness becomes a way to protect our very fragile wounds.  We bereaved mothers often discriminate, often divide, based on:

  • age of the baby.
  • family structure.
  • choices made prior to the birth.
  • choices made during birth.
  • choices made after the birth.
  • definition of loss.
  • religion.

And while I tend to think that these divisions most often come from a place of fear, what we need to know, is that these divisions fester something terrible, in ourselves, and in each other.


I don’t deserve to be part of community, because _________

  • I’m too young.
  • I wasn’t as far along as you.
  • I’m lesbian.
  • I’m older than you.
  • I’m not married.
  • I didn’t do what you did, or what you would have done.
  • I’m not religious.
  • I’m confused about what I believe.
  • I am religious.
  • I should have known better, and I should have done things differently.
  • I haven’t had enough losses.
  • I’ve had too many losses.
  • I have more to be thankful for or happy about than others.
  • I have made mistakes, and I am unforgiveable.


These are all lies!

Shame is a facet of our grief.  It just is.  And as we peer into our cup of tears, we are terrified to think that ours is the only one that holds shame.  We fear that if we dare pour our cup into the community pool, that what we have to bring will taint the well.  It will stain the waters and will ruin the gathered source of healing.

So we try to scoop it out.  We try to pat our damp hands on our sides, hoping we got it all out, hoping nobody will see.

And our community source of healing is terribly dry because of it.

The more options we learn that there are, prior to birth…

The more options we learn that there are, during birth…

The more options we learn that there are, after birth…

…the more that shame can loom in, casting out a shadow that we are tempted to flee and hide behind.

Shame, just like grief, is something we have silently learned to run from, but shame, just like grief, is something that stillbirthday invites you, with tenderness and with sensitivity, to learn to lean into.

I am the founder of stillbirthday, and I strive continually to find the next option, the latest choice a family may have, the newest wonderfully healing opportunity for families enduring their darkest of days.  And in the process, I can say with all certainty that yes, there are things I would do differently in my own darkest of days, if I could do them all over.

But the process also reminds me, that it’s never too late.

I am worthy of healing.

I have beautiful choices now.

I can learn to mother my mourning.

I can learn to release myself from the bondage of shame.

I can remember and I can believe, that we are all, in this together.

With a little bit of courage, with our circle of community and with a little bit of creativity, we can show love – to one another, to our babies, and to ourselves.

 We do not have to forget or forfeit our own experiences, morals, interpretations or beliefs, nor do we need to have others forget or forfeit their own.  We can give – and get – love, just the way we are.  And by so doing, we will deepen, we will grow, we will heal.


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