How Do I Face the Days Ahead?
Newly-Bereaved parents have many questions:
- What do I do now?
- How am I supposed to act?
- What about the nursery?
- Can we leave the nursery up for a while or do we have to take it down?
- Should I stay home? Go out? Keep busy?
- Should I go back to work? How can I?
- He seems ready to go back but I’m not.
- What is acceptable and normal? What is not?
There are no definite answers. All people grieve differently and you need to do what is best for you, what helps you cope. The following ideas might help you face the realities of home, other people, and life without your baby:
FACING REMINDERS AT HOME
Choose your own time to put away maternity clothes, baby things, the crib, the baby books. One mother came home to find that her family had put everything away to make coming home easier and to protect her. But she could not face the empty room and asked her family to put everything back. Then when she was ready, she put things away. Some parents want to put everything away quickly, while others prefer a delay. Either way is okay, it is your decision.
FACING OTHER PEOPLE
You can rejoin the world in days or weeks. When you choose to resume your life is entirely up to you. But be prepared for awkward moments. Most family, friends and co-workers will not know what to say when they first see you again. They may say nothing and that may bother you. But they are probably more interested and concerned than they appear, they just do not know what to say. Be open and honest with them.
Life goes on and that fact has to be accepted sooner or later. One mother went shopping about two weeks after her baby died. Seeing people around her enjoying their day was very hard to accept. Did they not know what had happened to her? It seemed unfair that life was going on normally for everyone else. But life does go on and in time you will go on too.
Your life will never be quite normal again and by that we mean just the way things were. Your life story will always include this experience. Life looks and feels different now. You have been changed forever.