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You're not alone

So many people seek help or information about how to help a loved friend or family member through coping with miscarriage, the loss of a baby or child - I believe these poems, and countless others like them, speak directly to that need in many respects, but also only just scratch the surface. And that is why I have put them here. I found the following poems, in particular, really spoke to me the moment I read them. In essence, they are very telling in their honest and forthright advice.

If you are browsing for information on how to help someone through a miscarriage or neonatal loss, perhaps read these poems and gain some understanding of the raw pain and vast depths of despair this particular experience brings with it. Above all, remember there is no easy 'fix' or magical cure-all sentence or gesture you can offer. But searching for knowledge is a very generous start.

Don't be afraid to share your tears with me, at the loss you have also suffered with the death of my child.
Don't judge me or be impatient with me as I process my grief, it's here to stay now and has been woven into who I am. If you find I am different, look again - it is the same old me, wiser and stronger now.
And forever changed by a baby who passed through so fleetingly but who made her mark on me for a lifetime.

I have found great comfort from these poems (and other writings from other Links you may also find useful), knowing that I am not strange or different in my grief for wanting this acknowledgement of my child. You may also wish to read how to help a loved one and the page on information for friends & family.


Poems:

When life goes on
Untitled
Don't
My dad is a survivor
You can't win with me
Poem about suffering a loss
Let me grieve
Please
To those who look away
The elephant in the room
An angel's kiss

When you are bereaved
Just say 'I'm sorry'
Men do cry
The mention of his name

 

When Life Goes On

What is it, I wonder,
that we set our hope upon?
There must come a point in this grieving
process when the choice is in my own hands.
In dark moments, I played with the idea of death,
listened to it, enjoyed it as one might enjoy
the sweetness of forbidden fruit.
Then I made a decision:
As impossible as it seems,
I must learn to live without my child,
for I really have no other choice.
It may take many years,
much longer than others might expect,
but a time must come
when I have to accept her death
in order to accept her life,
and accept my own as well.
Just as surely as my child walked towards eternal life,
I too must walk toward my own light;
finding a way through this tunnel of darkness
to the brightness of a new day.
And in my own time learn to live again
with laughter, love and joy.
For myself,
for my child,
for those still in need.
And so, just for this moment, just for this day,
I set my hope upon Tomorrow.

In the beginning
I rejected the idea of "going on"
Until I discovered my child
Can "go on" with me . . .

By Dana Gensler,
In loving memory of her daughter, Lindsay Nicole Gensler

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Untitled

Loving you is easy,
We do it every day,
Missing you is a heartache,
That never goes away.

When links of life are broken
And a child has to part
There is nothing that will ever heal
A parents broken heart....

Loved with a love beyond telling,
Missed with a grief beyond all tears.

A child that loses a parent is an orphan.
A man who loses his wife is a widower.
A woman who loses her husband is a widow.
There is no name for a parent that loses a child, for there is no word to describe this pain.

A Life may last for just a moment....
but memory can make that moment last forever...

~~~ Author Unknown ~~~

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Don't

Don't tell me that you understand,
Don't tell me that you know...
Don't tell me that I will surely survive,
How I will surely grow...

Don't tell me this is just a test,
That I am truly blessed...
That I am chosen for the task,
Apart from all the rest...

Don't come at me with answers,
That can only come from me...
Don't tell me how my grief will pass,
That I will soon be free...

Don't stand in pious judgment,
Of the bonds that I must untie...
Don't tell me how to suffer,
And don't tell me how to cry...
My life is filled with selfishness,
My pain is all I see...
But I need you, I need your love,
Unconditionally...

Accept me in my up's and down's,
I need someone to share...
Just hold my hand and let me cry,
And say, "My friend, I care"...

~~~ Author Unknown ~~~

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My Dad is a Survivor

My dad is a survivor...
which is no surprise to me.
He's always been like a lighthouse
that helps you cross a stormy sea.

But, I walk with my dad each day
to lift him when he's down.
I wipe the tears he hides from others.
He cries when no one's around.

I watch him sit up late at night
with my picture in his hand.
He cries as he tries to grieve alone,
and wishes he could understand.

My dad is like a tower of strength.
He's the greatest of them all!
But there are times when he needs to cry...
Please be there when he falls.

Hold his hand or pat his shoulder...
And tell him it's okay.
Be his strength when he's sad
Help him mourn in his own way.

Now, as I watch over my precious dad
from the Heavens up above...
I'm so proud that he's a survivor...
And, I can still feel his love!

~~~ Author Unknown ~~~

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You can't win with me

If you say to me " How are you going?" with such sympathy and meaning in your voice.
I reply "I'm fine" and brush you off,
because to talk about my loss with you today is just too painful.

If you see me and don't mention the loss that is consuming my thoughts,
I think you don't care enough, or are too scared to mention it
for fear that you might upset me.
You can't win with me.

If you say "I'm sorry your baby died," it is hard for me to reply to that.
What do you expect me to say?
I want to say "I'm sorry too!" or "It's awful"
I want to scream "its not fair"
But I won't because I don't want to upset myself today, not in front of you.
So I reply "Thank-you".

That thanks means so much more than that.
It means thanks for caring,
thanks for trying to help,
thanks for realising that I'm still in pain.

If you don't know what to say to me that's okay because I don't know
what to say to you either.
If you see me smile or laugh don't assume I must have
forgotten my baby for the moment,
I haven't, I can't, I never will.

Tell me that I look good today.
I will know what you mean
I'm getting good at picking up unspoken cues from you.
If you see me and think I look upset or sad, you are probably right.
Today might be an anniversary day for me,
or some event might have triggered
a wave of grief in me.

If you don't say anything I'll think you don't care about me,
but if you do say something, it might make me feel worse.
You could try asking if I want to talk, but don't be surprised if I say no.
You can't win with me.

Don't give up on me, please don't give up.
I need your attempts however feeble, however trite you might feel they are
I need your thoughts.
I need your prayers.
I need your love.
I need your persistence.

I need all that but most of all I need to be treated normally,
like it used to be before all this happened.

But I know its impossible.
That carefree, naive person is gone forever,
and I am mourning that loss too.
So you can't win with me.

Written by Jane Warland 1996

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Poem about suffering a loss

Unless you've lost a child.......then

Don't ask us if we are over it yet. We'll never be over it.

A part of us died with our child.

Don't tell us they are in a better place.

They are not here with us, where they belong.

Don't say at least they are not suffering.

We haven't come to terms with why they suffered at all.

Don't tell us at least we have other children.

Which of your children would you have sacrificed?

Don't ask us if we feel better.

Bereavement isn't a condition that clears up.

Don't force your beliefs on us.

Not all of us have the same faith.

Don't tell us at least we had our child for so many years.

What year would you choose for your child to die?

Don't tell us God never gives us more than we can bear.

Right now we don't feel we can handle anything else.

Don't avoid us. We don't have a contagious disease, just unbearable pain.

Don't tell us you know how we feel, unless you have lost a child.

No other loss can compare to losing a child. It's not the natural order of things.

Don't take our anger personally.

We don't know who we are angry at or why and lash out at those closest to us.

Don't whisper behind us when we enter a room.

We are in pain, but not deaf.

Don't stop calling us after the initial loss.

Our grief does not stop there and we need to know others are thinking of us.

Don't be offended when we don't return calls right away.

We take each moment as it comes and some are worse than others.

Don't tell us to get on with our lives.

We each grieve differently and in our own time frame.

Grief can not be governed by any clock or calendar.

Do say you are sorry. We're sorry, too, and you saying

that you share our sorrow is far better than saying any of those

tired cliches you don't really mean anyway. Just say you're sorry.

Do put your arms around us and hold us.

We need your strength to get us through each day.

Do say you remember our child, if you do.

Memories are all we have left and we cherish them.

Do let us talk about our child.

Our child lived and still lives on in our hearts, forever.

Do mention our child's name. It will not make us sad or hurt our feelings.

Do let us cry. Crying is an important part of the grief process.

Cry with us if you want to.

Do remember us on special dates.

Our child's birth date, death date and holidays are

a very lonely and difficult time for us without our child.

Do send us cards on those dates saying you remember our child.

We do.

Do show our family that you care.

Sometimes we forget to do that in our own pain.

Do be thankful for children.

Nothing hurts us worse than seeing other people in pain.

shared by Trish in memory of ~Charlotte~

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Let me grieve

You ask me if I'm ok
The answer is always yes
I'm screaming at the top of my lungs
No one can hear me
Let me grieve

"I lost my son", I yell
No one understands
They say tomorrow is a new day
everything will be ok then
Let me grieve

6 months has now past
everything has changed
my world has been ripped apart
nothing will ever be the same
Let me grieve

sent in by Joanna in memory of ~phillip~

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Please

PLEASE - don't ask me if I'm over it yet. I'll never be "over it."

PLEASE - don't tell me he/she's in a better place. He/she isn't here.

PLEASE - Don't say "at least he/she isn't suffering". I haven't come to terms
with why he/she had to suffer at all.

PLEASE - don't say "well, you're lucky...he/she would have been born with a lot of problems."
Would you love your own child any less if they had been born with problems?

PLEASE - don't tell me you know how I feel unless you have lost a child/infant.

PLEASE - Don't tell me to get on with my life. I'm still here, you'll notice.

PLEASE - don't ask me if I feel better. Bereavement isn't a condition that "clears up."

PLEASE - don't tell me that "God never makes a mistake" or it was "God's will."
You mean he did this on purpose?

PLEASE - Don't tell me "at least you had him/her for _____yrs/days/months.
Or "at least you have/or can have other children/babies.
Or, "at least you know you can get pregnant."
What year would you choose for your son/daughter/pregnancy to die/end?

PLEASE - don't tell me God never gives you more than you can bear.
Who decides how much another person can bear?

PLEASE - just say you are sorry.

PLEASE - Just say you remember him/her or my pregnancy/our excitement if you do.

PLEASE - Just let me talk if I want to.

PLEASE - Just let me say his/her name without turning away or changing the subject.

PLEASE - let me cry when I must.

by Rita Moran

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To Those Who Look Away

To those who look away
when I grow teary-eyed in the baby department,
look a little deeper.

Surely you have some compassion in your heart.

To those who change the subject
when I speak my sons' names,
change your way of thinking.

It just might change your whole life.

To those who roll their eyes
and say that we barely had them at all,
how could we miss them so much,
in our hearts we have seen them live a thousand times.
We have seen their first steps, first day of school,
their weddings, and their children.

We have had them forever in our minds.

To those who say we can have another,
we did. I thank God for her everyday,
but even if I have twenty more babies,
I will forever have two in the grave,
and that is two too many.

To those who say to get on with my life,
I have. It is a different life,

The life of a grieving mother.

One with a tremendous amount to be thankful for,
but also one with a lot to mourn the loss of!

Do not judge the bereaved mother. She comes in many forms.

She is breathing, but she is dying.

She may look young, but inside she has become ancient.

She smiles, but her heart sobs.

She walks, she talks, she cooks, she cleans, she works, she IS,
but she IS NOT, all at once.

She is here, but part of her is elsewhere for eternity.

Do not dismiss us:

we have shaped more than just the future generation.

We have released all the tiny angels who are watching over you.

Open your eyes to US

and you just might see THEM.

~~~ Author Unknown ~~~

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The Elephant In The Room

There's an elephant in the room.
It is large and squatting, so it is hard to get around it.
Yet, we squeeze by with, "How are you?" and "I'm fine"...
And a thousand other forms of trivial chatter.

We talk about the weather.
We talk about work.
We talk about everything else...
Except the elephant in the room.

We all know it is there.
We are thinking are thinking about the elephant as we talk.
It is constantly on our minds,
For you see, it is a very big elephant.
But we do not talk about the elephant in the room.

Oh, please, say her name.
Oh, please, say "Barbara" again.
Oh, please, let's talk about the elephant in the room.
For if we talk about her death,
Perhaps we can talk about her life.

Can I say "Barbara" and not have you look away?
For if I cannot, you are leaving me

Alone

In a room...

With an elephant

By Terry Kettering

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An Angel's Kiss

We go through life so often
Not stopping to enjoy the day,
And we take each one for granted
As we travel on our way.

We never stop to measure
Anything we just might miss,
But if the wind should blow by softly
You'll feel an ANGELS KISS.

A kiss that is sent from Heaven
A kiss from up above,
A kiss that is very special
From someone that you love.

For in your pain and sorrow
An ANGELS KISS will help you through,
This kiss is very private
For it is meant for only you.

So when your hearts are heavy
And filled with tears and pain,
And no one can console you
Remember once again.....

About the ones you grieve for
Because you sadly miss
And the gentle breeze you took for granted
Was just......... "AN ANGELS KISS"

By Peggie Bouse

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When You Are Bereaved...

When you are bereaved... It is ok to...
Scream in the shower,
Yell in the car,
Pound on the steering wheel,
Cry anywhere you like.

When you are bereaved... It is ok to...
Misplace little things like your glasses or car keys.
It is also possible to misplace big things...
Like your car.

When your baby dies... It is ok to...
Still feel kicks,
Hear a baby's cry when you are alone,
Feel your arms ache,
Avoid other peoples' newborns.

When you are bereaved... It is alright to...
Get lost at the mall,
Put milk in the cupboard,
Put toliet paper in the refrigerator,
Put ice cream in the oven.

When you are bereaved... It is ok to...
Find a punching bag,
Beat up your pillow,
Throw stones in the lake.
It is ok to...
Talk to yourself,
Talk to your baby,
Talk to your pets.

After your baby dies...
You can say "no" to others.
You can cancel plans that you are not up to doing.
You can have a bad day.

It is ok to hurt.
It is ok to grieve...

From The Empty Arms Newsletter, March, 1999 in Erie, PA

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Just Say "I'm Sorry"

"You don't know how I feel.
Please don't tell me that you do.
There's just one way to know -- have you lost a child too?
"You'll have another child" - must I hear this each day?
Can I get another mother too, if mine should pass away?

Don't say it was "God's will"
That's not the God I know.
Would God on purpose break my heart,
Then watch as my tears flow?

"You have an angel in heaven,
A precious child above."
But tell me to whom,
Here on earth, shall I give this love?

"Aren't you feeling better yet?"
Is that what I heard you say?
No! A part of my heart aches
I'll feel some pain each day.

Do you think silence is kind?
It hurts me even more.
I want to talk about my child
Who has gone through death's door.

Don't say these things to me,
Although you do mean well.
They do not take my pain away;
I must go through this hell.

I will get better slow but sure
It helps to have you near;
But a simple "I'm sorry you lost your child"
Is all I need to hear.

by Gail Fasolo
In memory of Christina, bornstill February 5th, 1991

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Men Do Cry

I heard quite often "men don't cry"
though no one ever told me why.
So when I fell and skinned a knee,
no one came by to comfort me.

And when some bully-boy at school
would pull a prank so mean and cruel,
I'd quickly learn to turn and quip,
"It doesn't hurt," and bite my lip.

So as I grew to reasoned years,
I learned to stifle any tears.
Though "Be a big boy" it began,
quite soon I learned to "Be a man."

And I could play that stoic role
while storm and tempest wracked my soul.
No pain or setback, could there be
could wrest one single tear from me.

Then one long night, I stood nearby
and helplessly watched my son die.
And quickly found, to my surprise,
that all that tearless talk was lies.

And still I cry, and have no shame.
I cannot play that "big boy" game.
And openly, without remorse,
I let my sorrow take its course.

So those of you who can't abide
a man you've seen, who's often cried,
reach out to him with all your heart
as one whose life's been torn apart.

For men DO cry when they can see
their loss of immortality.
And tears will come in endless streams
when mindless fate destroys their dreams.

by Ken Falk

The Mention of His Name

The mention of my child's name
May bring tears to my eyes,
But it never fails to bring
Music to my ears.
If you are really my friend,
Let me hear the beautiful music of his name.
It soothes my broken heart
And sings to my soul.

~~~ Author Unknown ~~~

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