Funeral Instead Of Celebration

Funeral Instead Of Celebration

Soon after I got off the plane in Germany I got the bad news. The baby was gone.  Doctors visit day before was fine, next day disaster struck.  Six months into the pregnancy when things normally are stable. A parent should never have to bury their own child.  Still, that's what's coming up for my friends Olaf and Saskia.  Funeral and mourning instead of celebration and deciding on a name for the baby.

I lost a child once. Or actually two.  It was twins and we lost them after 10 weeks.  This will sound terrible but we took it well.  We knew about the pregnancy and were a little excited but it was still so early we hadn't quite grasped parenthood was just around the corner.  Maybe we weren't ready or perhaps it was our way or dealing with the miscarriage, saying it was no big deal.

What do you say to dear friends who just lost  their baby six months into the pregnancy? What do you say to the nicest friends in the world who have been trying for years and finally got pregnant?  What do you say to someone who is almost a parent and then everything is gone?

Miscarriage is common, but mostly during the first three months.  Around 25% have a miscarriage a some point.  But there is a world of difference between three and six months.  At the latter stage the baby is real, it moves around a lot and one can see a real human on the ultrasound.

I'm down here for the fifth long weekend in a row playimg professional tennis for my German team.  Everyone is heartbroken and a bit in shock.  This tragedy is of course unimaginable for Olaf and Saskia but it also poses a tough challenge for the team.  There is a match coming up tomorrow which can not be cancelled or moved.  We must all be there, fit, focused, and ready.  One can not play tennis against great opponents for hours in hot weather without being fired up and mentally ready.  This is the last thing we want to do but we still somehow have to do it.

Send some happy thoughts to my friends Saskia and Olaf in Germany.  

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6 Responses to “Funeral Instead Of Celebration”

  1. My heart goes to your friends. Such tragedy! But time heals.

    All the best for the match.

  2. That is heartbreaking. I have never been through a miscarriage and can only imagine how painful it would be, especially after six months.

    I don’t think there’s much to say to make it better, but to me it seems important to realize the parents have lost a child they never had the chance to meet and respect what a serious and unique tragedy that is.

  3. Oooh, I’m so sorry to hear that news. It’s so absolutely unfair. I had a miscarriage in November, and I bawled my eyes out for weeks. I was only at 7 weeks when it happened, so it was early, but it was still painful. However, I agree that the further on in a pregnancy one goes, the more attached one is to that baby, and the dreams and ideas that go with it.

    My way of dealing with my miscarriage was through music. I posted the song I wrote to my blog a few months later when a friend of mine had a late miscarriage. Perhaps your friends might find some comfort in it. Here’s the link: She Soars. Good luck with the match, and “alles gute an Olaf und Saskia”.

  4. I am so sorry to hear the sad news. My heart goes to your friends.

  5. I’m so sorry to hear about their loss. I, too, lost my first baby at about 4 months.

    I just recently read an article in Parents Magazine about this so here are a few things that I read from it:
    Don’t say:
    -it wasn’t meant to be (it’s easy to be philosophical when it’s not you)
    -are you going to try again? (it’s hard to think about another child when grieving.
    Try:
    -I’m sorry to hear what happened
    -I’m here if you feel like talking about it
    -Can I help you run errands (or help with kids if they have others)

    it doesn’t seem like much, but I know if these things had been offered instead of well-intentioned harsh words, It would have done a world of difference. My heart goes out to them.

  6. I can’t imagine losing a baby that far along. That is so terrible. Like you, I lost a baby in the first trimester, but since I knew the rate of miscarriage was high I wasn’t *that* upset when it happened. It’s almost like I was expecting it to happen, sadly. At six months though, I would have been positively devastated. Even though I get pregnant easily, that’s not the point, you can feel that baby kicking and it’s so real. So horribly sad.

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