Sometimes events touch your life in a way that you will always remember - where you were, when it happened and the people that were with you.
When you experience the loss of your baby, it is one of those events. I remember where I was with each loss I had. I remember the doctors, the nurses and other staff that took care of me in my time of need. I remember the caring face of the doctor when he gave me the news. I remember when the doctor held my hand so I wouldn’t be scared when I had to have surgery; and she was the first face I saw when I woke up. The doctors, nurses and staff at St. Agnes Hospital are top notch when helping families through these terrible, private events.
The Resolve Through Sharing program is specifically designed to help caregivers understand what their patients, families and friends are going through. I have not only gone through this loss, I have the privilege of being a nurse that can help families in their time of need.
As health care employees, we are able to help families move through the difficulties of loss of their babies. We also get to help the family members and friends understand how to help. Patients often ask “what do I do now?”
The best answer I can give is, take one moment at a time. Start minute by minute if you have to, or hour by hour, and then day by day. Also, don’t hide your feelings, or bury them deep down inside. Find a person who will listen, and allow you to express yourself.
As for the family members, the best advice I can give, is to just be there. Allow your loved one to get their feelings out, or even be there in the silence. Let your loved one cry if that is what they need. Don’t try to “fix” everything or make it better right away. Allow your loved one to transition through the grief in their time. It can’t be fixed over night or a day. It takes time, and it will never be completely OK. There will always be a place for their baby in their heart, but it does get better. This type of loss isn’t like any other. To say good-bye, to someone you never got to meet, is a grief of all the hopes and dreams you had for that child. It is a humbling experience to have patients and families that allow you to be part of this time in their life and help them in the best way you can.
Resolve Through Sharing is so much more than a program. It is a way to touch people’s lives forever. I am grateful for those that helped me through my times of need, and that I am able to pay it forward to help my patients.
On Monday, October 15 from 6 to 7:30 p.m., parents who have lost an infant, as well as the community, are invited to join Agnesian HealthCare Bereavement Services as it hosts a RTS Walk/Support Group at St. Agnes Hospital's Christmas Box Angel of Hope Memorial and Healing Garden (held in the St. Agnes Chapel if in climate weather). For more information or to register, call (920) 907-3940 or visit agnesian.com/bereavement.