Things We Wish Others Understood About Grief And Child Loss

By: Sabrina Ivy

Death invaded our lives in a way that has irrevocably changed us. We can never go back to who we were before. We are painfully aware of how different we are now. We know what death looks like on our child. We know what death smells like. We know what death feels like in our hands and in our hearts. This has changed us in a way that is often misunderstood and even more difficult to explain. So, for just a moment hold onto our outstretched hands and allow us to give you a glimpse into our world of grief and child loss.

grief and child loss

The death of a child brings with it a different kind of grief.

It isn’t the natural order of life to bury your child. This grief feels different from losing a parent, a grandparent, a sibling, a best friend and especially a pet. I’m not saying it is worse…I’m saying it is different.

Grief is messy. It’s unpredictable. It’s relentless. It’s chaos and it comes in waves. One moment we can breathe and maybe even smile and the next we are standing in the produce aisle at the grocery store sobbing right in front of the lettuce and cucumbers. The waves come crashing down. The countless tears we shed are not a sign of weakness or a lack of faith. Tears are a sign that we are recovering.

The baby showers we avoided, missing events and unfollowing our pregnant friends on social media is part of our world. It isn’t personal. Please, please don’t for a moment think that we don’t care. Sometimes we just can’t, and we need you to understand it is solely for the purpose of protecting what is left of our broken hearts. Give us grace…and time.

Time doesn’t heal all wounds. Not this one.

Our grief may change over time, it may look different. But it is still here. It will always be here. Not a day goes by that we are not aware of their absence.

Another thing about grief you need to understand is how it affects us physically, mentally and emotionally. Grief is exhausting. Sometimes we tire easily and don’t even want to get out of bed. Sometimes we may be edgy. We may be forgetful. We may appear fine one moment and the next melting down. We may even appear angry for no apparent reason. Our arms are empty…they actually ache. We are constantly aware of our child’s absence. There is this invisible weight bearing down on us and it rarely if ever eases up.

Our children are not replaceable.

Having another child is beautiful, but there is no replacement for the child we buried. There is a reason that the subsequent baby is called a “rainbow baby.” They do bring a certain amount of joy back into our lives after the storm. They are a blessing, but they are not our healer.

Our children matter. They mattered in life and they matter in death. Please don’t ignore them. Remember them with us. Say their name. Tell us when you are thinking of them. Let us know that they matter to you, too.


“We Remember Them”

In the rising of the sun, and in its going down,

We remember them.

In the blowing wind and in the chill of winter,

We remember them.

In the opening of buds and in the warmth of summer,

We remember them.

In the rustling of leaves and the beauty of autumn,

We remember them.

In the beginning of the year and when it ends,

We remember them.

When we are weary and in the need of strength,

We remember them.

When we are lost and sick at heart,

We remember them.

When we have joys we yearn to share,

We remember them.

So long as we live, They too shall live, For now they are part of us.

We remember them.

from “Gates of Prayer,” the Reform Judaism Prayerbook

About Sabrina Ivy

Sabrina has been married to her wonderful husband, Chris, for 13 years. She is a mommy to four beautiful children; two that walk with them and two that live in Heaven. They are a homeschooling families and have found great comfort in being able to mourn and grieve in their own ways together. The Ivy’s daughter was stillborn at almost 37 weeks on March 22, 2014. This has been a journey of faith, grief and hope for their family.






  1. Lisa Z on August 11, 2017 at 11:32 am

    Sabrina, thanks for sharing about Alivia, what a wonderful tribute. Hugs my friend

  2. Ella on August 21, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing Sabrina <3 I think this is very well put.

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