Suyin Aerts
July 24, 2020

Grief needs a name

I have always known that my parents lost a child at birth. It was more than 40 years ago and of course it is not something you can understand as a child of only 1 year old. However I had some talks with my mother growing up on this topic (more than with my father actually) and one of the things that really struck me was when she told me that it was hard for them that the child did not get a name, legally it was not permitted.

And than you wonder, would that change the situation? I can see it affected both my father and my mother in the rest of their lives, this loss without a name. They are human after all and the only thing they can say is that this little girl went to the 'angel' grave, without a name...

When 20 years ago I had a miscarriage, it already got deeper in my heart, knowing that 1 out of 3 pregnancies turns out to be a miscarriage. Although I can only honestly say I was happy at that time this happened, I talked about it a lot and got over it. And I did not feel the need of a name. But it was only after 3,5 months...

But than just after lock-down a dear friend wrote me a letter to tell me about her loss, not a miscarriage after 3 months, but giving birth after 20 weeks...of an unborn child, serious complications leading to this loss.

Throwing me back at that moment the view of losing a child after 3 months, the view of a very, very tiny creature...but yes clearly a human creature, not ment for this world.

I remember my mother saying it was so hard for her that people did not ask her how she was after giving birth, as off course people talk and saw her pregnant and all know that the child was not alive. Not knowing anymore what to than people prefer not to talk, not to ask...

My friend and her husband gave the little girl a name, this girl will always be missed by this marvelous couple and their 2 healthy children. In a way they want to keep the memory alive, a name will help them. To bring this creature of love high above the skies.

Be honest when you have children, could you ever imagine they would not got their names? So yes those little angels deserve a name, because grief without a name is maybe even harder.

Yes I will call my friend, write my friend, talk, listen and cry with her if this is my feeling. And they will get over it, but getting over something is not trying to forget, but give it a place, somewhere in your heart. Not trying to erase it as I think this might not work with this trauma.

As I am so sure that saying something is better than saying nothing.

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