Public grief

I just read this post from the round up. And this quote stuck with me. “She said something that stuck with me, “Clare, a friend just told me that I am grieving publicly and that doing so, in the current world, is a rare rare thing.””

I think public grieving is becoming more common, at least in the BLM community. We blog, we make websites, Pinterest boards, facebook pages, donations. We have loss jewelry, car decals, memorial tattoos.image

We want the world to remember our children, so we share them daily. And in doing so, we open up about our grief, we bring public what a generation ago was very private.

I have a very close friend I’ve known for a decade and a half, and it wasn’t until Noah died that I knew she had a brother who was stillborn. I didn’t know my grandmother had multiple 2nd trimester losses.

I honestly don’t know how they made it through without the community and the public support we have now.

I think grief should be public. I think that as a society, mourning together and honoring the lives of those gone is important.

But I also know that this is relatively new. And I know that for those who haven’t been there this “public grief” may seem uncomfortable.

I don’t know how to bridge that gap. I do know that I’ll keep sharing Noah with the world, and encouraging other to share their children, even if they have been told they shouldn’t.



7 thoughts on “Public grief

  1. I absolutely agree. In the past few months, I have become much more comfortable with saying to people, “My daughter died in January.” I no longer worry about making others uncomfortable – if they can’t handle it, then that is too bad. Obviously this is a personal decision for everyone, but the more we talk about these terrible life occurrences, the less taboo they become and the less isolated you feel if they happen to you.

  2. Thanks for liking my post… I look forward to reading more of your story here.

    I was just talking with my mom about my friend I wrote about in my post. My mom said that when she first saw this mom after the car accident she said something to the effect of “Oh it is so good to see you [big hug]. I am sorry I couldn’t make it to the funeral, I was thinking of you and everyone on that day”

    And then my mom said our friend cried and she regretted saying anything.

    This made me pause. I think the interaction was exactly what should happen. People should say things like “how great to see you” and acknowledge they weren’t able to attend this huge life event. I would apologize for missing a wedding – why not a funeral?! But my mom felt bad because she “made” this dear friend cry.

    I worry that we are so worried about triggering tears that we are all being less authentic with each other and less supportive. The best gift I have ever received is when someone loved me enough to be there with me when the tears were flowing.

    Okay.. enough writing in your comment space 🙂 I am off to read a bit of your story….

  3. I appreciated this post and the one you linked to.
    I feel like it is still difficult to grieve publicly. I sometimes feel like I would like to live in a time and place where physical markers of grief were normal. I wish it would be written on my forehead that how bad i am missing my baby.
    But i think people are so afraid of saying something wrong that they’d rather say nothing… i find it incredibly difficult.

      • Yes, people not knowing about our loss is difficult.
        And i find that even for the people who already know, i wish i had a way of showing them i am still in pain even as i am functioning…

  4. I completely agree with your words. Public grief and acknowledgement of loss, heartbreak and other not so pleasant things is definitely hard to handle, but one that makes us all more compassionate, aware and caring creatures. I have not had a pregnancy loss, but it did take years to get my boy. The TTC journey and the heartache I went through during it is something that I am not ashamed of and share it freely these days. I think if anything, I have shown and taught a few others (non IF people) how words, or the lack of, can hurt.

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