My son passed away in 2017.
Society generally acknowledges that the loss of a baby/child is the worst thing that a parent can go through.
However, society generally perceives that the beginning of life is at birth. Therefore, society only affords the above acknowledgement where the loss is after birth.
This perception results in the inadequate understanding of, and therefore the inadequate support for, parents who are grieving the loss of a baby who passed away before birth. Society, whether subconsciously or consciously, views the loss of life before birth, whether through miscarriage or stillbirth, as fundamentally different to the loss of life at any age after birth.
Every life is different and every death is different. However, every loss deserves the opportunity to be grieved, whether the life was lost at 100 years after birth, 70 years after birth, 40 years after birth, 5 years after birth or during pregnancy.
The grief often differs in severity, shock and type – some will grieve the loss of love, others will grieve the loss of companionship, others will grieve the loss of family traditions, and others will grieve the loss of the deceased’s future years.
If you say that someone who passes away at 100 years old has had “a good innings”, then you might say that someone who dies at 70 years old has missed out on a possible 30 years of their future, that someone who passes away at 40 years old has missed out on a possible 60 years of their future, and that someone who passes away at 5 years old has missed out on a possible 95 years of their future.
It is true that the older someone is, the more bonds that they will typically have made in life, and therefore the more bonds that will be broken in death.
However, the younger the age at which someone passes away, the greater the loss of their possible future years, and the greater the loss of the hope of what they might do or achieve in those years.
The relationship between ‘bonds made’ and ‘future years lost’ will typically be an inverse correlation – in other words, as one increases, the other decreases. So when ‘bonds made’ is higher, it is likely that ‘future years lost’ will be lower, and conversely when ‘bonds made’ is lower, it is likely that ‘future years lost’ will be higher.
This is only a general principal and there will be many exceptions. The point is that these two factors (‘bonds made’ and ‘future years lost’) are two of the key components of grief – given that one factor will typically be high when the other is low, the combined total will generally always be at a similar level.
10+0 = 9+1 = 8+2 = 7+3 = 6+4 = 5+5
My son passed away less than one day after birth. My wife’s and my own bonds with our son were substantial, albeit probably lower than for parents who have bonded with their son for 40 years before he passed away. The loss of possible future years, however, were higher for us.
The creation of bonds and memories with one’s baby begins before they are born, potentially as early as conception – every parent is different. The hope for that baby’s future can also begin at that stage.
Therefore, the loss of life at any stage, before or after birth, is a tragedy and family members should be allowed to and expected to grieve however they want to.
Life is Love – a new Love begins at conception and a new Life begins at conception.
A Life Begins At Conception!