By: Amy Lied
Life after losing a child is filled with triggers. They are everywhere and some times in the places you least expect them.
Immediately after losing Asher, I found social media to just be a minefield of both comfort and triggers. It was my saving grace by connecting me with other mothers who were like me, who were grieving their child. Yet at the same time, it was also the cause of massive emotional breakdowns. In the same minute of scrolling through Facebook or Instagram, I could see a loss mom sharing about her deceased child and then a woman, who was due three weeks ahead of me, bringing home her healthy baby. During the initial all-consuming grief the “unfollow” button became my lifeline.
Seeing the happiness of others over their pregnancy or new baby was great for them, but sucked for me and I needed to protect my already shattered heart.
Five months after Asher died, I was invited to a Fourth of July picnic. My friend warned me that there would be two babies in attendance; one born the same month that Asher was born still and another born the same month Asher was due. I thought I would be okay. I thought I was at a point in my grief that I could handle seeing other babies.
I wouldn’t go near them, that was out of the question, but I could be in their presence without freaking out. Boy, was I wrong.
After seeing baby number one, I had to go for a walk around the block with my husband to keep it together. Once I gathered myself and returned to the party, baby #2 arrived and I burst into tears, full blown hysterical tears. I ended up literally running out of the event, while the mother of baby #2 chased after me crying and offering to leave the party. I felt awful for upsetting her and causing a bit of a scene at the picnic. It was too much too soon.
Seeing those reminders of what should’ve been, had Asher been born early but alive or born on his due date, were overwhelming and I had to remove myself from the situation as quickly as possible.
Losing Asher has taught me that I need to take better care of myself. I’ve learned that it’s okay to say ‘no’ sometimes. I’ve learned that I can’t be there for everyone like I was before. I’ve learned what can be triggering for my grief and that I am allowed to avoid those causes. Of course, there are always the unexpected triggers that you can’t control; the song that comes on the radio at work, hearing his name at the grocery store, seeing a father and son together at the park, etc.
I can’t avoid them all. However, if I can control my exposure to some of them, it’s perfectly fine to dodge them in order to save my already broken heart of additional hurt.
About Amy Lied
Amy Lied is a wife and a mother. Her son, Asher, was inexplicably born still on February 19th, 2017. Before losing Asher, she suffered a miscarriage and struggled with unexplained infertility. After losing Asher and struggling to conceive again, she went back to treatment where she became pregnant with her twin daughters; Harper and Scarlett.
She has documented her journey from the beginning of her infertility struggles on her blog, Doggie Bags Not Diaper Bags.She is also a co-founder of The Lucky Anchor Project, an online resource for loss families that houses an Etsy store whose profits are donated to loss family non-profit organizations. Sharing her journey has helped her cope and she hopes it also helps others who are walking on this road of life after loss.