I can almost bet my house that after your baby died, friends and family alike came up to you and said, “Please let me know if there is anything I can do for you.” I can probably also bet that you said, yes, thank you and then didn’t take them up on their offer.
I would like to suggest that you do take them at their word and ask for their help. It can be a very simple task like picking up your dry cleaning, bringing the trash bins to the curb, driving your children to an activity, or taking them to their home so you can have some time for yourself, going to the post office, or going to the grocery store, etc. I’m sure you can think of other tasks for them to do for you. These are simple tasks that most people do every day, and to them it might seem insignificant, but to you it is one less thing you have to do or think about.
I think you might be surprised to see and feel how someone else completing these tasks may give you a sense of space and freedom and lessen your load. It might also lessen any guilt you may feel in not doing them, or not doing them as you would have in the past, or even doing them on time. As I said in one of my previous blogs, grief is in every cell of our body and it is exhausting and all consuming. Even after 36 years, when I look back at how I was after Lukas died, I think the fact that I could get out of bed, shower and get dressed and then sit on the couch for the rest of the day was a major victory for me. I didn’t go back to work and I didn’t have other children at home so all I could do was grieve. For you that do have to go back to work and still be mom to your other children, plus grieve the baby you just lost, adding anything else to your plate may become more overwhelming with each task.
Allow your friends and family to help you. Ask them for help. Your friends and family will be happy to help you. They may feel so helpless watching you suffer and if taking out the trash will help you, I think they will be happy to do it. They may even feel they are helping you in your “recovery.” We are not superwomen. We can’t do it all by ourselves. This is not the time to show our superpowers by doing everything ourselves. Grief is our Kryptonite.
As I have said before, grief is our individual journey. However, it is the people in our village who help us with our journey. Reach out to them. They are waiting.