The New Normal

Finding the Gift after Loss

Sleeping angel hugging Lucy

Sleeping angel hugging Lucy

The epic journey of an emerging author:
Last week I wrote the afterword, this week I’m in tears writing the acknowledgment page. So many people believed in me more than I believed in myself.
The book is born. “Grieving Parents: Surviving Loss as a Couple” is no longer just a document on my computer but a BOOK to be published within less than 2 weeks!

Without giving it all away, here is the last sentence of the Acknowledgment:
“Last, but not least, I want to acknowledge my inspiration for this book: my daughters Ananda Mae and Amya Mirica. This book would not exist without the experience you honoured me with.”

Photo: Nathalie Himmelrich

This Is Just Mine

Little bits of me...

Little bits of me…

Today, while folding laundry, I was thinking of the things I think and feel, that rarely get mentioned, even with those closest in my life. Some of those things are ‘just mine’ and I am ok with not sharing them with the world. Some of those ‘just mine’ things might be due to the pain they cause, others might be embarrassing and others are just my personal ‘whatever’.
I have however also been reminded that there are those ‘just mine’ things that any other person keeps to themselves. We really don’t even know our closest person ever that well to know it all.

It reminded me to be compassionate with the ‘oh-so-stressed’ people running through the streets of Zurich, I really don’t know the reason, they are or seemed stressed.
It reminded me to be forgiving with the people in our little village who do not say ‘Thank you’ when I let them pass in the narrow section between parked cars and the post office.
It reminded me to be accepting of not understanding people’s unusual reactions and words.

It ALSO reminded me to feel really glad when the workmen on the street in front of our house while making incredible noise since 2 months also move out of the way and smile at me when I pass by with Ananda Mae.
It ALSO reminded me to be happy that when walking with Ananda Mae people start to smile and talk, at least to her and sometimes to me.
It ALSO reminded me to feel grateful and appreciative for those day-to-day things like the warm autumn sunlight shining through the beautiful coloured autumn leaves.

So what is it, that you carry around that is just yours? 

Here are some of mine:

  • The subtle pain I feel when seeing identical twins running and playing with each other. (We seem to have a lot of these in our neighbourhood…)
  • The sadness when hearing pregnant women say ‘oh I didn’t even want to get pregnant so fast after my first one’ remembering that, if not for this 2nd miscarriage, I would be delivering a baby soon
  • The disappointment of not having Ananda Mae grow up with a sibling

Just 3 for today. Giving those 3 ‘just mine’ the freedom of disclosure. Feeling vulnerable. Being more real. Part of the ‘new normal’ me.

Rainbow Baby and Sternenkind

baby-rainbow-fingers

A “Rainbow Baby” is a baby that follows a miscarriage or still birth. “Rainbow Babies” is the understanding that the beauty of a rainbow does not negate the ravages of the storm. When a rainbow appears, it doesn’t mean the storm never happened or that the family is not still dealing with its aftermath. What it means is that something beautiful and full of light has appeared in the midst of the darkness and clouds. Storm clouds may still hover but the rainbow provides a counterbalance of color, energy and hope.

Once you are part of the circle of people who have lost a child you will become familiar with that term. I have.

I also have a become familiar with the term “Sternenkind”, German for “star child” which is a term used for a child which has returned to the stars soon after birth or who have received their angel wings even before they saw the light of day in this world.

Therefore, I now am a mother of a “Sternenkind” and a mother of two “Rainbow Babies”.

Recently, when participating on a family constellation workshop I was touched to hear that every child is counted from the moment of conception. I now understand my situation much better – click here to read more.

Still, the topic is such a taboo that I’m glad to know that RETURN TO ZERO, a recently made film, is helping to life this taboo. The film hasn’t yet been released for the cinemas but they are doing their best to get it out into the open.

Have a look here: (a copy of their most recent Facebook status – click here to follow their page on FB)
Here’s your first glimpse at RETURN TO ZERO!

http://youtu.be/4Gq7OL-0fs4 (click to view their latest YouTube video)

Become a Local Leader in your community to ensure that RETURN TO ZERO makes it into theaters!

Responding to Grief

~ I'm thinking of you ~

~ I’m thinking of you ~

There are lots of words written about what NOT to say in response to grief but not enough about HOW to respond to grief. This is my experience about what could help when in grief. It specifically is my experience in relation to the death of my 3-day-old baby and the suicide of my mother, it may however also be the case for other people’s grief in different circumstances.

Asking Questions

Inquire how I’m doing, what I’m feeling. Don’t tell me ‘it must be hard’ or ‘you must feel so awful’. Ask me, don’t tell me. Ask again tomorrow and the day after tomorrow. Be gentle when asking, it needn’t be an interrogation.

I’m So Sorry

This is the simplest and most appropriate sentence. It bridges any ‘I don’t know what to say’ or ‘I’m lost for words’ moment, any awkward silence that you might be tempted to fill with clichés. Don’t. Just say ‘I’m sorry for your loss’.

Show You Care (more…)

How Are You? Part 2

celebration

There is always more than what meets the eye

I must have been asked many many times but this time I’m ready to truly answer.

“How are you?”

“Thanks for asking.”  I guess people are sort of afraid to ask…

I’m still in a kind of mess. In some way. Physically I’m showing signs of inflammation (especially in my elbows, hands, wrists and achilles), pain in my back, headaches… This does not help me to stay physically active, which I know would be good and is what I would recommend to my clients.

Emotionally I’m still experiencing bouts of anger, which also uses up a lot of my physical energy, so I’m tired a lot. Mentally, I’m regularly experiencing overwhelm with the most basic things.
I also haven’t been social for what seems like 18 months now. (more…)