Sometimes you just need a little understanding…
In recognition of Pregnancy & Infant Loss Awareness Month, Hospice Orillia Volunteer, Peggy, talks about the importance of providing compassionate support for those losses that often go unacknowledged or undisclosed.
You see, 28 years ago, Peggy and her husband had a full-term stillborn baby boy. The loss of their son caused a tremendous amount of deep grief for their family, but with a two and a half-year-old daughter at home and no known specialized support in her community at the time, she explains that she was forced to go on with her life. “Life went on, I never forgot him and I thought about him every day, but I got so busy, especially after the addition of twins, that I didn’t allow myself to feel the grief that I should have,” she admits.
Peggy also felt challenged over the years with the general avoidance and lack of acknowledgement of her loss from others. She described her first day back to work after the loss as awkward and uncomfortable because although she understands that it is hard to know what to say to someone in that situation, she explains that “avoidance made things more difficult.”
“Sometimes people don’t realize the enormity of the loss, they just think that you were pregnant and you lost the baby” says Peggy, “but you lose so much more than that, you also lose the future that you had envisioned. The first time your baby says ‘mommy,’ their first day of kindergarten, or their high school graduation.”
Learning from her own personal experience, Peggy is a firm believer that “sometimes you just need a little understanding.” In January, Peggy reached out to Hospice Orillia to become a volunteer, in hopes to take the lead in bringing a peer support group to the Orillia community specific to Pregnancy and Infant Loss. “I really feel that I can be helpful to someone who loses a baby,” says Peggy, “and I want to be there for them.”
Hospice Orillia is very excited to offer this kind of specialized support to our community in the coming months and to provide a safe, supportive environment for those who have experienced this type of loss.
If you live in the Orillia area and you or someone you know would like more information on our upcoming Pregnancy and Infant Loss Support Group, please feel free to contact Louise Brazier, Bereavement Services Coordinator at 705-325-0505 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mandi May, Communications & Fundraising Coordinator of Hospice Orillia