What Grief is Teaching Me About The Pandemic
It’s the last day of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month. Uncannily, my baby son, Cody, died on the 1st day of the month, albeit way back in 1995. It therefore seems fitting to book-end the month with a video interview about going on living after his death. I wrote previously about grieving when there’s someone to blame – this time, I’m talking about surviving baby loss.
I was privileged to be interviewed by Cait Wotherspoon, a bereavement counsellor based in Sydney, working with people ready to move beyond grief and loss, and rediscover joy. I grew up in Sydney myself before jumping ship to Melbourne, and we are both grief counsellors, so we have a lot in common and could have talked for hours! Sadly, we also share another commonality: the experience of surviving neonatal baby loss. One of Cait’s twins died one week after birth, and my son Cody died 9 hours after birth.
In this video, we discuss issues such as the disenfranchisement of paternal grief, grieving after negligence, and couple grief after baby loss. We also address the nuances of that pesky question that is so difficult to answer: “How many children do you have?” Ultimately, we reflected together on surviving baby loss over the years and how grief stays with us, transforms us, and changes over time.
I hope you enjoy watching my conversation with Cait.
I’d love to hear from you! Feel free to leave a comment below or contact me if you’d prefer to connect privately.
About the author: Karen
Counsellor and Coach
I’m a Registered Clinical Counsellor based in Melbourne, Australia. I came to counselling through my own experiences of loss, and my desire to come alongside people struggling to come to terms with loss and grief. It’s a privilege to companion someone in their darkest days and help them find the light inside themselves again. I am based in Melbourne, providing online counselling throughout Australia and coaching internationally.
Thank you Karen. Your blog has helped me understand more about losing a child. You’ve given me some understanding of why people don’t get vaccinated against covid. I am grateful!
Thanks for your comment, Louise. I’m glad it was helpful.
Yes, thank you Karen, for your honesty, and for sharing the story of your loss. I cannot imagine the pain and anguish you have worked through. Nor the sadness you must still feel from time to time. Our Peter and Christy lost two babies at 20 and 19 weeks gestation, and Barry and I still mourn our loss of these two grandbabies. So – how much more must you who are the parents feel the grief and pain. Thank you for helping us to understand more about the losses of life. Also for assisting us to try to understand those who fear vaccination.
A grandparent’s grief is not easy to bear, either. You grieve for the loss of your grandbabies, and you grieve for your children as you watch their heartache, knowing you cannot make it go away. Even though there is no magic pill, I’m sure you were an amazing support to Peter and Christy, too. I’m sorry you’ve had to experience such grief.
Just wow Karen. I had no idea. You write with truth clarity and impact. I am so so sorry you went through that. I have learnt a little about grief these past 3 years following the accidental death of our son in law Nathan. What a journey. Thankyou for sharing.
Thanks for your comment, Lois. I’m so sorry to hear about the death of your son-in-law. That must have been incredibly difficult. 🙁
Karen, what a privilege to read your blog today. Thank you for being willing to share the trauma that you have been through. I appreciate that you linked it with the wider experience of refusal of medical assistance regarding Covid. This is such a real concern and you have made a significant contribution in this blog.
Thanks for your comment. The capacity of the human spirit to learn, grow and adapt in response to trauma is amazing! I do hope that people who are afraid of preventative medical interventions might give pause and consider the bigger picture. These are certainly difficult days we are living in, and we need to draw on our internal and external resources to get through. And we can also lean on each other rather than fight each other. 🙂