I have written quite a lot about the experience of losing a child through miscarriage, stillbirth or neonatal death, but haven’t really said much about what it is like AFTER… when everything is “supposed” to return to “normal”. For so many of the women I speak to about their perinatal and neonatal losses, returning to work is one of the most terrifying things they will have to do. When everyone else returns to work after having a baby, they busily share their baby photos and complain about lost sleep. But what does a parent say when they return to work after their child has died? This still mother shared her experience http://www.stillmothers.com/2017/10/18/returning-to-work/
If you have lost a child, don’t be afraid to ask for help in getting through this incredibly difficult time. Counsellors with experience in perinatal and neonatal loss are available, and while we can’t take away your pain, we can help provide strategies to get you through.
I knew Day One would be a horrible day. Facing those who I see more than my closest friends, yet who know so little about me in comparison. While some had appeared at my daughter’s funeral, I didn’t know how fast the word had spread around the office. Was I to be met with “Welcome back, how is your baby?” or “Welcome back, I’m so sorry for your loss”? Both simply sucked. Would I tell people? Could I tell people without crying? Did I want to cry? I had no idea of what I was really feeling or what was adrenaline prescribing me to wear a brave face. So as it was going to be such a tough day, I decided to take it one step at a time. I knew I had my boss’s approval to jump ship and head home whenever I wanted, so I set myself the somewhat simple goal: Make it to the office, stay for 8 hours, make it home. I had one job, and it was to be there. That’s it.