My Musings


Tag-team (informal): People working together

In the book club I’m a member of, we read The Choice by Edith Eger in 2018. Now this is terrible paraphrasing (forgive me Edith), but she’s an Auschwitz survivor who went on to become a counsellor. I recall her commenting on how many people she worked with who were minimising their hurt, after all, “it’s nothing compared to being in Auschwitz”. Although that’s true, Edith made the point that just because she was in Auschwitz, it doesn’t mean that others are not in pain now, it doesn’t mean that what they’re going through isn’t important. It made me think. That’s so true, isn’t it? If we always worked off the premise “don’t worry about me, there’s someone else worse off”, then if you extrapolate that through to its end point, well, just one person would receive all the support in the world! So please don’t minimise your hurt or needs (or other people’s) in comparison to mine. It’s not a ranking or a competition, well, not one I want to win anyway!

That’s an important point for me to make, because I’m now learning how many of us have experienced baby loss. One of the “nicest” things about this horribly long journey, is the compassion people have shown. I have been blown away with people who were much further along in pregnancy than I was, who went on to lose their babies at a much later stage, yet have talked to me as if what we’ve been through is the same. It’s taken me a long time to realise, but you know what? We have. It’s not a competition of who’s had it worse, it’s just something that’s completely rubbish for everyone – we have all lost our children, our hopes, our future. So if you’ve lost a child at any stage, of course you understand and can compare your experience. If it helps, please do. We need to support one another. As a friend recently remarked: we need to change the narrative on baby loss. All hurt is hurt – and mine has recently demanded to be heard.

Since launching Mumoirs I’ve received a lot of apologies, so I wanted to reiterate the ‘house rules’ on the About page:

Apologies aren’t necessary. Actions speak louder than words. So read, have a think and if you want to, act differently.

Just remember that when people are grieving we know that people can’t be there all the time, and we don’t expect you to be either. That’s why phrases like “support network” exist.

You have to start thinking of yourselves as a team of supporters now. A tag-team. If one day you’ve dropped the ball, there’s always another day to give someone else a time-out and for you to pick it up. It’ll serve me well to remind myself of this too. We all have many friends and family going through lots of different challenges. There’s not just me to think about. So be kind to yourselves, ok? Then I can try to do the same.

So, as teammates, what can we do? Draw up a game plan, start small and list seven people who may be going through a tough time. Over the next week, reach out to check in on them, one day at a time. Try not to think only of the obvious people – I don’t want to hog all of your support! Just imagine if we all started doing that, it would be quite a legacy for all the missing babies, wouldn’t it? It reminds me of the coronavirus diagram we’ve all seen: we all now know how things spread, so let’s touch-in with our friends and start a positive chain of transmission.

How to start a chain of transmission

(6) Comments

  1. Asma says:

    I am so guilty if thinking of people but getting lost in my own world and not actually reaching out – what a brilliant message. Lets all try to do our best each day, some days we’ll be better than others!

  2. Rhi says:

    This is the most amazing idea, well done! Going to write out my little list now while I have it in my head to do this. Lots of love and keep the blogs coming xxx

  3. Stephanie says:

    I have only come to realise how many people have experienced miscarriages and baby loss over the past year or so; I completely understand that not everyone feels comfortable talking about such personal experiences, but I also believe that more conversation about it and ‘normalising it’ (although I don’t like the term) is a good thing. No two people’s experiences will be quite the same, but there can be some comfort in knowing that others around you have some sense of what you are going through or have been through.

    Your ‘positive chain of transmission’ idea is a lovely one. I have been making a conscious effort to check in with not-local friends throughout the pandemic and lockdown, but I will definitely be giving the list of people more thought and will make sure to continue this once life returns to something more normal. Thank you for the reminder and the suggestion xx

  4. Jasmine says:

    What a lovely idea and a lovely thought! I’m rubbish with words and never know how to express how I’m feeling or to ask someone how they are but I intend to start today! We get so wrapped up in our own worlds that we forget about others and that a simple message or a call that starts a conversation can make them feel better. I can think of quite a few people who have just simply got in touch and have made my day better, without realising, so I intend to do this more often for others xx

  5. Jenny says:

    Dear Anjulie,
    Firstly, thank you for writing these blog posts, I have always turned to other people’s words for solace, and your honest, reflective views are just so refreshing. I know I don’t know you personally but I feel like I have gotten to know you so well through these pages, and I am thankful that you have made this possible.
    In the spirit of this post I have 1) shared your words with others in the hope that they will help comfort them as they have me and 2) reached out to a friend who has struggled through baby loss but turned away from the world. In doing so this has helped heal both her, myself and our friendship.
    Thank you for the inspiration and the courage to do what so many of us do not have the confidence to do but so desperately need to. Jenny xxx

    1. Anjulie says:

      Dear Jenny, thank you so much for being so kind and most importantly, being brave enough to comment. I really appreciate that – more than you know.

      I’ve been having more ‘good days’ recently, wholly because I’ve been hearing how this blog is helping people in different ways. That was always the overarching hope: “if I have to struggle through this, perhaps it can help someone else”, so thank you for the feedback. I hope you’ll stick with me on this journey; we’ll get there.

      Given the very personal subject matter, I will never know how far it’s reached, but it’s so comforting to hear of some the ways it has helped. I will hold your two examples close. With particular focus on your second example, I’m beaming, hopeful that your friendship may now move into another season: Summer xx

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