Kambri's advice for parents going through the loss of a child:
- First of all, my heart breaks for you. Remember you are not alone. Jesus is with you even when you feel like he has forgotten you. There will probably be a time(s) where you are so mad at God you can’t even talk to Him. That’s okay. Just remember that He is there. When I was so mad at Him I couldn’t talk to Him, I listened to Lauren Daigle’s album, Look Up Child. It helped me remember I should be clinging to Him, instead of being angry with Him.Do not be afraid to tell people about the loss of your baby.
- I encourage you to at least tell one person even if you don’t want to announce publicly. It’s a lot to carry around by yourself, and getting out your thoughts and emotions is very important. For us, announcing publicly was something we felt like we wanted and needed to do. We lived in New Orleans and the majority of our friends and family members lived in Arkansas. We would have friends reach out to us, not knowing we had lost Baby D, checking in to see how it was going. It was then we realized we didn’t want to keep the loss of our baby a secret and wanted his memory to live on. That being said, everyone is different in how they grieve. And announcing publicly might not be in your path of healing. It was for us though.
- Disconnect from social media for a while. I had a lock on my phone that would only allow me 5 minutes of combined social media time. It’s enough to check and see if someone has tried to contact you, but not enough time to mindlessly scroll. I found this to be super helpful. Social media (a lot of the time) only shows positive things, and a lot of that for my personal feed was pregnancy announcements and progression posts about friends of mine that were pregnant. I would get so upset seeing it, not because I wished something would have happened to them instead, but just thinking why did this happen to us? It broke my heart seeing other people that were due around the same time I was. Disconnect from all of that for a little while.
- I pray that you have a great support system of friends and family lifting you up in prayer. We had friends and family members checking in on us daily. Even if it was just saying they were thinking about us or that they loved us. It was comforting to know that we had that great support during the worst days of our lives.
- Talk about what you are feeling. Whether you reach out for professional help, like talking with a therapist or a psychiatrist, or if you have someone in your personal life that you really connect with, talk it out. My husband and I were always completely honest with how we were feeling, even when it was scary and even when it was mean. Have at least one person you can be completely open about your feelings with.
- It’s so easy to get down and lost in a sea of sadness about losing your baby. This is totally understandable and you need to spend all the time you need to being sad. There is no rush in finding what your new normal will be. But something thing that helped me and is still helping me is to think of specific things I have to be grateful for. Specific people, specific things, specific opportunities in my life, and let them know that I’m thankful for them.
- Ms. Kim gifted us with a book called “Good Grief” and I highly recommend reading that as well. It’s very short and easy to read, but also very helpful. It walks you through the stages of grief, and was therapeutic for me. I shared it on social media and since sharing it, I have had two people reach out to me and tell me they got it for someone they know who is grieving. (To make it clear, this book talks about all kinds of grieving, not just grieving the loss of a child.) I highly recommend for anyone going through loss, and even for someone who is a friend or family member of someone going through loss.
Kambri's advice for what to say to someone who has gone through the loss of a child:**
- Addressing something I said in the podcast to the effect: “I don’t like the phrase ‘it’s all in God’s plan.’” I want to make it clear that I know this is God’s plan for us, for whatever reason that is, but during the time right after we lost Baby D, that was one of the phrases people would say to us and it would just make me angry. So, if you are a friend or family member of someone going through the loss of a child, just be mindful of what you are saying to that person.
- The words that were the most comforting for me to hear were “You are loved. You are cared for. You are strong, even though you do not feel strong. I am here for you. I do not understand what you are going through, but if you need someone to talk to I am here always.”