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To think grief outlasts sympathy

(81 Posts)
SudoCremBrulee Fri 26-Aug-16 23:47:26

I'm 3+ years past my bereavement (full term stillbirth) and this seems to be the cut off point in people's heads for me - don't know why.

I am not depressed. I am coping. I work hard. I raise my living children. I laugh. I smile. But there is a part of me that is so, so desperately sad still - and always will be.

I've had a rough patch recently where the grief resurfaced and I tried to reach out to my family and talk about my daughter. All I got was a lot of 'isn't it time you moved on?', 'life is for living', 'can't you just try to look at the positives in your life'...'it's been 3 years!'. Almost as if I'm being indulgent or something. My mum even said 'right - enough is enough now Sudo' in what I guess she thought was some tough love.

I just miss her.

And it's bloody isolating sometimes.

YellowCrocus Fri 26-Aug-16 23:50:45

Grief always outlasts sympathy. It never really ends, I think. But you are right, after a certain period it is not deemed acceptable to express it. People don't like to be reminded about mortality. I think most bereaved people just learn to internalise it after a point. Hugs xxx

jayho Fri 26-Aug-16 23:57:42

do you have other children?

SudoCremBrulee Fri 26-Aug-16 23:59:40


BabyGanoush Sat 27-Aug-16 00:00:52

Sympathy never really ends though

People still feel for you, even I do just reading your OP

Maybe they are judt concerned for you zbd becsuse they love you they want to see you happy

Doesn't mean they don't care

Xxx (unmumsnetty?!) to you

carelesswhisper27 Sat 27-Aug-16 00:02:28

OP said she raises her living children, so yes she has other children. I find it rude that so many posters don't bother to read the thread - or at least the OPs posts (particularly given its such a short thread currently!)

You have my sympathies OP. You're right - grief absolutely outlasts sympathy and I agree with other poster that said bereaved internalise grief. flowers to you

DailyFailAteMyFish Sat 27-Aug-16 00:03:00

Sorry for your loss.
I had a miscarriage and not nearly as harrowing as a stillbirth but I don't think you ever get over it. You just tuck it away and try not to think about it.
Try and celebrate her as best you can.

HeartsTrumpDiamonds Sat 27-Aug-16 00:04:32

Oh OP flowers

Talk to us about her. What was her name?

SudoCremBrulee Sat 27-Aug-16 00:11:54

Thanks - I won't out myself by naming her here, but she was just the loveliest little thing. More lovely than anything I thought I could have made smile

I feel like my family and friends think I am weak, because I dare to say I am still grieving, I am still sad. I think they pity me. I wish they could see how strong I've had to be. It's probably all a bit abstract to them, but it was utterly utterly harrowing and i feel the echoes of that every day

ShtoppenDerFloppen Sat 27-Aug-16 00:14:36

I lost my dear Elizabeth almost 17 years ago. I still have an aching emptiness where her life's memories should reside.

You are absolutely correct that grief outlasts sympathy - I just keep it to myself now.

I am so sorry that you are being brushed off when you need to talk.

AgathaP Sat 27-Aug-16 00:15:41

Hi Sudo I am so sorry for the loss of your daughter. My husband died almost 4 years ago and I have been completely amazed by people's reactions. From repeatedly asking me if we are "over it now" (my DF) to explaining that it was better that he died when the children were little because now they can "just forget all about him" (my cousin) to friends who shudder and change the subject when I mention his name. So much unsolicited advice, doled out by people with no experience, so much judgement of everything I do - it is exhausting. I hope you have some rl support. I am just really sorry that so many people respond with judgement rather than empathy. X

SudoCremBrulee Sat 27-Aug-16 00:16:41

Shtoppen sorry about your darling Elizabeth. Yes, being robbed of all those memories and milestones - I can't think of much that is sadder than that.

SudoCremBrulee Sat 27-Aug-16 00:18:28

Oh agatha sorry, and God, yes! The unsolicited advice. It's maddening. And often more about easing their discomfort than your pain. I've started to despair of people.

EvieSparkles0x Sat 27-Aug-16 00:18:35

Don't ever let anyone feel you have to grieve a certain way, or that there are acceptable and unacceptable "levels" of grieving.

You have lost a child, and she will always have a place in your heart. I'm sure it's just naivety on their part as I'm sure non of them have been through the same. You may have weeks at a time where your baby is all you can think about, and that's fine, you certainly don't need to "get over it".

Policing other peoples emotions is probably the biggest thing that frustrates me in life. They are your emotions to feel and you've had unique experiences to make you feel that way, they can't possibly decide for you that it's time to move on.

I've never lost a child, but i have experienced grief, and I dont think anyone ever really gets over it, but you learn that there are other aspects of life to be happy about, but grief and happiness are not mutually exclusive.

You're perfectly capable of carrying this grief and being a great mother, so nobody has the right to make you feel guilty for being upset about your other Child. I really hope you can rise above the way you've been treated, and feel however the hell you need to feel to cope with what you've been through.

Also thought I should mention that, while I'm sure you've been told, make sure you explore all avenues of support for you, as there are lots of organisations to help you with counselling etc if you do feel you should be coping better.

I really wish you all the best in life flowers

candykane25 Sat 27-Aug-16 00:22:33

There is no end to grief. Some days are better than others. Some days are like day one.
The only ones who really understand are other bereaved people.
My grandma lost a full term daughter. I still think about her even though my own father never knew her. I know her name and I think about how it must have impacted my grandparents, who never talked about her (that was their way).

ShtoppenDerFloppen Sat 27-Aug-16 00:23:43

When my youngest DD was born, I was told "that's good, now you can put Her behind you, you have another one"

There is a 7 year gap between my surviving children, I will always miss her in the middle. The hardest thing for me is answering "how many kids do you have?".

I am honest and it makes the asker very uncomfortable, or I lie and feel like I am denying her existence.

I usually lie - it is easier.

SudoCremBrulee Sat 27-Aug-16 00:23:45

Thank you Evie, 'policing other people's emotions' yes, that's it. And people who think it will somehow help you to tell you that the way you are feeling is wrong.

I had lots of support from SANDS and another local stillbirth group early on, I now work with the latter to support others fresh in their grief. It's amazing how many people are rushed through the so-called stages of grief from the very beginning

Potentialmadcatlady Sat 27-Aug-16 00:25:03

I'm very sorry you lost your little girl...I completely agree with you... Grief completely outlasts sympathy..and I don't think that some people realise that we all grieve at different times and rates and take time to heal if Mum died end of March after a long difficult illness...I fell apart in spectacular fashion after she died because I was physically and emotional 'friend' asked me three weeks after she died by text 'if I was all back to normal now'.. Funnily enough I didn't answer and she literally hasn't spoken to me since....i don't think you ever really fully finish grieving you just get better at not talking about it...

SudoCremBrulee Sat 27-Aug-16 00:25:42

Shtoppen it's a question I dread, too. I tend to say 'I have one boy and one girl at home'.

SudoCremBrulee Sat 27-Aug-16 00:27:09

potential 'back to normal' dear God. I am sorry about your mum

ColintheCrow Sat 27-Aug-16 00:27:18

You're not weak at all... you grew and loved a tiny human being and had normal adult hopes and dreams for them.

You never get over all of that or the grief that you feel, but eventually you learn to live alongside it. And some days it's bad and some days it's overwhelming. Some days are amazing. But they're just days and you do it.

ShtoppenDerFloppen Sat 27-Aug-16 00:30:01

I use the " home" ending as well. That way, I don't feel like as much of a fraud.

frikadela01 Sat 27-Aug-16 00:30:11

Grief never ends. I think people just feel uncomfortable if you express it.

I've never lost a child so can't imagine how that must feel. However today I cried over my grandma who died 20 years ago for a brief moment it was like I'd only just lost her and I felt so overwhelmed by it. I told dp and I could tell he felt uncomfortable but then he's never lost someone who he was very close to.

flowers to everyone that has ever lost someone.

PepsiPenguin Sat 27-Aug-16 00:31:55

flowers for you

slithytove Sat 27-Aug-16 00:32:34

Yes. 100x yes. I'm 4.5 years past the same, she should be starting school soon.

No one mentions her any more.

I'm so sorry xx

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