Living With Grief

The A to Z of Baby Loss

Words (song lyrics, Bee Gees): It’s only words and words are all I have

There are no words? Yeah there are, lots of them. Lots of existing ones and lots of new ones popping up, all the time, too. So here’s a list of those I’ve stumbled upon – across languages, cultures, acronyms and etymology – that, for me, sum up the world of recurrent baby loss.
(FYI: clicking on the sentences in pink, will take you to previous blogs whose topics are in keeping with the words and definitions stated)

Aftersome (adjective): Astonished to think back on the bizarre sequence of events that brought you to where you are today

Agnosthesia (noun): The state of not knowing how you really feel about something, which forces you to sift through clues hidden in your behaviour

Anemoia (noun): Nostalgia for a time you never knew (the good old, parallel universe)

The Standard Blues (phrase): The sad awareness that the unfolding plot of your life feels new and profound, but is not unique

Catoptric Tristesse (noun) The sadness that you’ll never really know what other people think of you, whether good, bad, or if at all

Drapetomania (noun): The overwhelming urge to run away

Exulansis (noun): The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate

Flashover (noun): The moment a conversation becomes real and alive

Gluckschmerz (German): Feeling pain at the good fortune of others

Hiraeth (Welsh): The feeling of longing for a home that never was. A deep irrational bond felt with a time, era, place or person

IFKYK (acronym): “If You Know, You Know

Jouska (noun): A hypothetical conversation that you compulsively play out in your head

Kakorrhaphiophobia (noun): Fear of failure and so the inability to attempt any goal that is not a guaranteed success

Liberosis: The desire to care less about things, an ache to let things go

Lilo (noun): A friendship that can lie dormant for years only to pick right back up instantly, as if no time had passed since you last saw each other

Mitzpah (Hebrew) The deep emotional bond between people, especially those separated by distance or death

Monachopsis (noun): The subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place

Nodus Tollens (noun): The realisation that the plot of your life doesn’t make sense to you anymore

Onism (noun): The frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time

Paraprosexia (noun): The inability to pay attention to any one thing (a state of constant distraction)

Pâro (noun): The feeling that no matter what you do, is always somehow wrong

Ringlorn (adjective): The wish that the modern world felt as epic as the one depicted in old stories and folktales

Saudade (Portuguese): The love that remains. A nostalgic  longing to be near again to something or someone that is distant, or that has been loved and then lost

Sonder (noun): The realisation of the richness of other people’s lives

Trumspringa (noun): The temptation to step off your career track

Vilomah (Sanskrit): Against the natural order (as in, our children should not precede us in death)

The Wends (phrase): Frustration that you’re not enjoying an experience as much as you should, even something you’ve worked for years to attain

WYTAI (acronym): “When You Think About It,” and means the sudden realisation of how absurd some aspect of modern life is

Xeno (noun): The smallest measurable unit of human connection, typically exchanged between passing strangers

Yearn (verb): Have an intense feeling of longing for something, typically something that one has lost or been separated from

YOLO (acronym) – “You Only Live Once”

Zenosyne (noun): The fear that time is speeding up

N.B. These are a collection of words I’ve stumbled upon and have been noting down over time, but today, I’ve realised that the vast majority of them (and many more) can be found here in the ‘dictionary of obscure sorrows’ – all very fitting.

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