Canadians will be very familiar with the Idle No More movement these days. I was reading about it in the news while I browsed various websites about child loss. I noticed a recurring trend that very much reflected my personal feelings.
In the Wikipedia article about Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day the New Brunswick Minister of Health and Wellness is quoted to have said “Miscarriage and infant death are a source of grief, often silent, for mothers, fathers, siblings and grandparents“.
On several websites you can find this statement: “If a husband dies, the wife is called a widow. If a child’s parents die, the child is called an orphan. If parents lose their children, there is no word to describe it”. The site http://www.october15th.com/ suggests that it was said by former US President Ronald Reagan, but I could not find that in the original proclamation.
The tagline of the Rowan Tree Foundation is “because it is okay to talk about child loss”.
On the back of the DVD cover of “Capturing a short life” it reads “For some, the idea of even talking about infant deaths may seem disrespectful but this film gently re-examines that taboo“.
Update: I keep coming back to this post to add more examples. The more I browse the internet, the more resources and initiatives I find. I just read about a movie about stillbirth called “Return to Zero”. Their mission statement captures the same feeling I express here very well: “The impact that one stillbirth has on the mother, the father, their family, and friends is devastating — a shock-wave of pain, guilt and then, too often, silence. The majority of those affected, especially the mothers, suffer in this silence often believing that their grief and trauma is theirs to bear alone.”
These are just a few examples of the same symptome. Bereaved parents grieve in silence, the significance of their loss might not be fully understood by society and it is a topic that simply is not talked about in public.
I am arguing we should change that. I say “silent no more”!