The Long Road to Healing After Infant Loss
I was scrolling on my Instagram page last week when I saw this post (Relationships After the Loss of a Child) by a fellow Spelman alumnae. Through the lens of social media and mutual friendship I saw what she’d gone through and how, in my eyes, she recovered so beautifully and miraculously. No one could deny how strong she was. Then there was this post. October 15th, is recognized as Pregnancy and Infant Awareness loss and she was opening up about her own loss and inviting others to share and heal in the process.
So I asked her if I could share her story on the blog with the hope that it will be healing to someone that may feel alone in their pain. She writes about how she and her partner coped with the lose together through all of the tough moments when most people would turn away from each other. Here’s Jameelah’s story:
After losing a child, it’s no secret that relationships/marriages fail. It’s too hard. It’s ugly. There is choice that has to be made in order for that relationship to thrive. You both must choose each other. And while that might seem vague or untrue, It’s my truth. Many people don’t know but Luther and I decided to move apart from each other and rebuild our relationship and coparent Ryen. In all honesty, we moved really fast (I won’t say too fast because obviously it worked out!) and started dating after knowing each other for two days, pregnant after 2 months, engaged after 10 months, birthed a child within 11 months. We moved into our apartments about 2 weeks before Ryen passed away. So now we have lost a child within 15 months of meeting each other! The night she died, there was just us. We were snowed in from the big snow storm, so no family could safely get to us because the roads were iced solid. So for about 2 long days and nights it was just us. We needed each other and we realized that. The times in which I tried to take my life he stopped me and watched me. People who we thought would be there for us were not, so we held on to the one thing that was constant, each other.
The thing about grief is that no one grieves the same. I am expressive, he is not. I cried a lot. He did not. On days when I would be “ok” he was not, and vice versa. You must acknowledge those things about your experience in order to not misinterpret your spouse’s actions/words. There were blow ups and fights. There were threats to break up. But we essentially made a choice. We stuck with it. We gave birth to another child, I graduated from Spelman, we bought a house, we got married, he graduated from graduate school—we did all of that together. People form the thought that no one knows what they’re going through in order to shield their pain and not express themselves. We had to understand that not only did we experience the exact same tragedy, but we did it together. All those accomplishments we did it together. My advice to couples who haven’t experienced a tragedy together is to not let that be the reason you all decide to come together.
Life is short, nothing is promised, so create a constant in each other. I don’t claim to have a perfect marriage. But I have the perfect partner for me. I have love and I have peace in my soul because he cherishes me. I am grateful that God shaped my story this way. So that I did not have to go through that alone, so I never had to sleep alone on the coldest nights when grief took over. I’ve built so much strength from God and my God given husband. So anyone who is hanging in the balance I hope this puts things in perspective.
I would like to point out that in a relationship it takes two. And also no relationship is the same, thus each solution will not work for each couple. This is my experience and my perspective. Thank you! -Meelah
Thank you Jameelah for being so brave and so strong to share your hurt with the world. Being vulnerable cannot be easy at all, but I’m sure it is helping you grow in ways you couldn’t have imagined.
This year, Jameelah is having a brunch to acknowledge the 1 in 4 women who experience infant loss. If you would like to attend here is the information below:
Have you purchased your ticket yet? Link in Bio to purchase! If you aren’t local you can donate using the link as well! All proceeds will go to the American SIDS Institute for research on how to actively prevent Sudden Infant Death and our Bereavement Service Assistance Fund to help families bury/cremate their little ones. 💛#Support #pregnancyandinfantloss #SIDS #miscarriage #stillborn #ttc #angelmom
Whatever your story, I invite you to share and heal.
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