Has Loss Made Me Less Compassionate?

I had a bleed, I thought I might lose baby

But you did not!

My baby will not sleep, my baby wants to be held all the time

But they are alive!

I am so fat, I feel so sick, I am so tired, My ankles are swollen

But you are pregnant!

My toddler is such hard work

But they are here!

Loss has made me lose my sympathy

Loss has made me lose my patience

Loss has made me lose compassion

I have lost a pregnancy.

My baby is dead.

I am not pregnant.

My toddler is not here as she should be.

Has loss made me less compassionate.

It has.

On my best days I can ignore all the moaning and whinging and ungrateful parents that I see

But on my worst days I am bitter and angry and hurting

Because I will never understand why all of this has happened to me.

Continues to happen to me.

Loss has given me perspective

Loss has helped me see

But I think it has also put me in a position

Where I cannot be the person, friend or relation that I would like to be.

I lost so much when I lost you

What has loss cost you?

25 thoughts on “Has Loss Made Me Less Compassionate?

  1. I cannot and will not begin to imagine how you feel. But with my MS I lost my independance and I lost my sight in my left eye, I became someone different. I am not who I was and I almost mourn who I was? You have every right to less compassionate, to get angry when you see these things. Sometimes people need it x

  2. When I miscarried for the 5th time my father stood in my kitchen and told me that things would work out soon. I threw a cup at him and it smashed on the slate floor. I was so sick of hearing that. I proceeded to collapse in that moment and cry my heart out. And thank god I did for I was going mad otherwise. Anger, hurt and loss owe you one Jennie. No-one on this earth could blame you for a loss in compassion. How you make it through each new day amazes me xx

  3. I lost hope when I was told over and over I’d not have children.

    I lost faith when my dad died

    I lost my hearing and had to learn new skills.

    But I cannot ever imagine losing what you have. And no words that I try to think of are right. Nothing I say will make it better but know this Jennie. You’ll never lose all of these people who stand firm behind you, always here trying to help you and be there when you are feeling lost.

    Thinking of you always Jennie xx

  4. I lost the ability to feel innocent about things. Pregnancies aren’t easy to come by for many of us. I find it hard to talk to people who are so flippantly confident about their ease when things just work out for them. When our babies were in the special care unit each time I lost my ability to put fears into perspective. I may as a result be one of the more paranoid /glum mums around, but I’ve pictured the worst (and in the case of little H genuinely thought the worst had happened) and it’s hard to come back from there. I try. And we can only keep on trying. For the sake of those around us, especially the children. I’ve had “you lift me up” playing in my head all day after your youtube video. You are grieving. More so than ever and in a flood of hormones too. I can’t imagine. I am so sorry for the loss of Tilda and this pregnancy. I wish it were all otherwise. Please keep blogging/tweeting/talking to us all if it’s helping. Even if it just helps the hours pass sometimes. It’s early and difficult days and it’s completely understandable. No one should expect anything from you and I hope we can help reassure you not to expect too much from yourself. But that’s hard too, I’m sure. Love from us all x

  5. I should imagine it is far easier said than done but you must try to remember that it is still such early days. At the beginning of the year, you had Tilda; you had hope and faith and all that has been dented and lost since her death. Now you have lost another baby and it is only to be expected that you are feeling less than compassionate to those who perhaps do not fully appreciate the position they are in. I am so grateful for my two; I had a difficult pregnancy with Jasmine and was told to prepare for the worst. She was due to be delivered at Kings College in London, 70 miles away from our home, at 25 weeks gestation. We were shown round SCBU and told that the time was approaching when she would have a better chance of survival outside than in. By some miracle, this never happened. Things changed, somehow, and I have been thankful, daily for that. She was born on her due date, healthy and perfect and I have never and will never lose sight of what I have. Her brother was born blue and needed help to breathe but, thankfully, recovered quickly. I cannot imagine how I would have coped if we had not been so lucky; I literally cannot imagine. The mere thought makes me want to vomit. I am so sorry for the situation that you are in and hope that you can find solace and peace in our words, somehow. We are all here for you, we all support your feelings and decisions. It is more than OK to feel angry and bitter; don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Thinking of you today and always x

  6. I haven’t lost what you have lost. I cannot understand how you are feeling nor what you are going through. I cannot but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to try. I have suffered loss on a different scale and with each loss a piece of me disappeared. You are not less compassionate. You are grieving. There are no rules on how to do that.

  7. It’s OK, it really is OK that you have lost your compassion (I see evidence in your writing and your facebook feed that you feel more compassion for others than I’d have thought possible) and I don’t know for a fact but I suspect it will come back gradually in increments over many years: I suspect that you will never lose the ability to see that truth that we non-grieving can’t hold moment to moment in our daily lives and will hold onto that knowledge but will also eventually become more able to accept that everyone is coping with their own individual reality the best they can based on THEIR experiences (and not yours!) and that that is OK (up to a point….chronic whingers who need their balls shot at with a painball gun aside, obviously). BUT that is not something you can aspire to in such an early stage of grief, surely? It seems unrealistic to me! You’re already doing so unbelievably well and inspiring so many people, it would be too much to expect to bypass such a natural, inevitable part of grieving, and to be honest I’m not sure this no-bullshit, laser-vision of what’s important in the world isn’t a positive thing in the end, at least once it has sunk deeper into the fabric of who you are and perhaps softened a little into a more permanent outlook on life. I went through a very traumatic event in my life 10 years ago (again, a fraction of the trauma of losing a baby but still life-changing) and I felt exactly as you describe for years after. I couldn’t hold a conversation with some of my friends for a while and one friendship bit the dust entirely because I just didn’t give a SHIT.. No, make that COULDN’T give a shit. I really, really tried. The feeling, or rather lack of feeling declined slowly, slowly over a couple of years but never went away completely, and I’m happy about that. I now love a good whinge as much as the next mum in town, of course! I frankly can’t imagine how it is possible to survive parenting without it entirely, it is after all the most ridiculous rollercoaster ride! I think those days when your toddler poos deliberately in the bed/carpet/bath for the fourth time, draws on the walls, screams in the bus home, your shopping bags split on the pavement and they nearly cut themselves on the broken glass/try to run into the road when you’re picking up the fruit rolling around the pavement making your heart-stop and you get accidentally kicked in the face while they’re putting on their pyjamas and then throw their arms around you and say “I yuv oo mummy” just as your were about to burst into tears leaving you a whirl of conflicting emotions, would test the Buddha himself!..one of those kinds of days it’s OK to whinge a bit and be cheered up by being reassured other mum-friends are having a similar day. BUT long-term in the last ten years, I find I developed a sense for telling who is just sharing what challenges happened to them today to get a little “me too!” support while still holding their base-feeling that they love their lives and feel lucky, and who has lost their graditude for what they have deep down and is really, really ungrateful, and I give those people a wide berth now, when ten years ago I might have said, “Poor you..” My veeeeerrry long winded point is.. Long term, you’ve probably just lost your tolerance for over-indulging people who don’t see how lucky and wonderful their lives are and that’s not a bad thing at ALL..you will attract a different class of person into your life all round! In the short term, you may have lost your ability to give a shit about anything much at all and that is TOTALLY COOL !! The world doesn’t need your compassion right now, it needs you to look after YOU and travel through your storms as safely as you can and just use your energy for clinging on. That is your work right now, not looking after others’ feelings. It’s not your problem to try to be the best friend or the best anything at the moment. You’re already the best Jennie, the best mother and the best grieving baby-lost person anyone could ask you to be and that’s quite amazing enough! Don’t worry. Just be you. And I have a hunch some of that compassion will come back in just the right quantities at just the right times. Anything that doesn’t probably wasn’t real compassion before anyway, it was probably a tendency to over-indulge people’s bull-shit! ;-) Sorry for the very long, very sweary post! xx x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x Love as always.

  8. My brother would have been 42 tomorrow and has been dead for nearly three years. I’ve lost a friend, my Mum & Dad lost a son, my boys an Uncle. My twins birth will always be associated with his death (which I still find unbelievable). He was in the room near by when they were born but it was too late for him to visit as it was after visiting hours – he never saw them or me again.

    He was so talented and smart – I will question why everyday. I had to get on and focus on my twins – they were also my Mum’s salvation – although things will never be the same. My pain is not the same. No parent should ever have to bury their child. Life can be cruel and unfair. I am impressed and proud of the legacy you are creating.

    KA xxx

  9. I lost my dad at 16 and my mum at 21 (I’m 35) now and I still find it hard when people don’t appreciate their parents, when they whinge about little things their parents have supposedly done wrong, you want to shake them and say “Dont you know how lucky you are ?” I still feel sad when I see a father giving his daughter away, I feel angry when I think that my parents never got to meet my wonderful daughter (and they would have loved her so much). Grief is a terrible, terrible thing and it’s only natural to feel angry or sad when you see people who don’t appreciate what is right in front of them and that could be taken from them at anytime xxx

  10. I am sorry as I am someone who does moan sometimes when the little ones don’t go to sleep at night ( like last night)…I am very lacking of patience and haven’t suffered loss so I can only imagine I’d be awfully short with people if I was in your shoes. I really am sorry-I don’t mean to moan as much as I do I love the boys to bits an am very lucky to have them-I should always remember that next time I go to complain in an heated moment. xx

  11. In honesty, I think your loss has made a lot of people lose their compassion Jennie. Or at least it has me. I have never on e complained about those uncomfortable days in pregnancy because through both mine I had a friend who was desperate to get pregnant but couldn’t. There is nothing like that to put my small issues in perspective. And I think that your loss has given a lot of people some much needed perspective. Parenting is tough some days, but I NEVER stop being grateful that I am one and that my babies are here with me.
    It’s hard to be compassionate when some people just appear to be so ungrateful. And you are allowed to feel like that, I know I do. x

  12. “Compassion is the understanding or empathy for the suffering of others” – the examples you’ve put above are not suffering in the same way that I’m sure you still feel compassion towards others. Sometimes people can be very insensitive and lets face it, whingey. You are just you and you are doing the best you can – be angry if you want, we’re all still here for you xxxxxx

  13. You’ve just about summed up everything I’m feeling at the moment…
    I had a miscarriage about 4 weeks ago and I’m still emotionally all over the place…there’s so much I want to say on my own blog, but can’t bring myself to. Reading your blog helps me to feel that I’m not unusual for having the same emotions as you’re having.
    I haven’t lost a child to SIDS though, which on top of a miscarriage would be horrendous and I can completely understand your anger and bitterness. Life is dealing you some massive body-blows and you can’t just keep smiling and keep patient with everyone else all the time. It’s ok to rage, it’s ok to be p*ssed off.
    I actually don’t think it makes you less compassionate, in fact it makes you more compassionate because you empathise with other families who are going through the same situation. It might make you less tolerant, but not less compassionate…you’ve been through hell and you’re still writing, still fundraising and still reaching out to people who may be going through what you’re going through.
    Take care of yourself xxx

  14. I think loss changes everyone and their outlook on life. But I think that Helen is right, it may make you less tolerant, but I doubt that it has changed your capacity for compassion. Sending you love.

  15. I used to be a very compassionate person, in many ways I still am, but since my twin sons died last year, I have noticed my capacity to be tolerant has diminished. Or perhaps I am just more careful with feelings of compassion, empathy and tolerance. Not only because the people we expected to be supportive showed little to no empathy or sensitivity for the horror my husband and I were (are) going through, but also because I simply can’t feel bad for someone moaning about trivial incidents in their life.

    Hearing someone whinge about how often they had to feed their newborn baby the day after our sons’ funeral, I can’t even fathom it. Listening to women complain about their ‘pregnancy problems’ – the exhaustion, the stretchmarks, the weight gain. They don’t realise how lucky they are – try being told your baby is going to die, being admitted to hospital time and time again after massive bleeds, enduring 12 hours of labour knowing your babies won’t survive – those are problems. It’s so hard, being a bereaved parent. I now have a very different perspective on life, but the compassion is still there, perhaps it’s just harder to reach.

  16. I am one of those people this week who has been having a moan about things that are really insignificant in comparison to what you must be going through. Sometimes it’s too easy to forget your own fortune and use social media to have a bit of a gripe. I don’t think it’s lack of compassion, I just think you are a beautiful lady who is grieving and as a result has a truer understanding on how fragile life is. Wishing you peace with yourself xx

  17. It’s just a phase of the grieving process, anger, resentment etc.

    Your perspective has altered forever but your tolerance will return in time, promise. You are not a bad person at all, just grieving.

  18. when any type of tragedy or difficulties struck from out of blue, it does change everyones perspective amd life whom are experiencing it. its very easy to moan whinge and just really take things for granted in our lives. we tend to forget how precious things are around us.that life can change in a split second so much and we will never be the same. i cant imagine how you feel, but trust me, the feeling of no compassion in some situations are with me as well. when i had my little boy and he was whisked away from me 20 mins after birth to another hospital 60 kms away because he turned grey and had some issues after birth, i thought my world just fell apart. i couldnt go with him, my husband neither, he couldnt even stay with me, i had no visitors or any contact for 3 days, as the maternity unit was shut down for a suspected rota virus. i was so alone, a new mom without a baby, didnt even know what is going on with him. he is ok now, but the 2 weeks of icu, the fact that i didnt have my baby with me, the fact that he has a chromosome deletion problem and always tests, hospital visits etc just made my life so different . i remember how the ladies i was pregnant with chatted to me moaning how their baby is crying, and not sleeping and really? i just wanted mine with me, wanted him healthy and ok. everything just seems so ridiculous when your world is down to a simple change, when life is not about a friggin red or orange buggy, a medela or philips breastpump, a friends husband who moans that baby is making him tired while mine couldnt hold his little bundle boy for a week at all, just see him for couple mins and i could go on and on. everything shrinks into a very small thing and becomes really insignificant when you are down to one simple black and white situation in life. LIFE and HEALTH itself, nothing else. Because you cannot help it, you cannot buy it, cannot change it with a return, its out of your means. So it comes down on you very raw and hits you in the face with its reality. but someone who didnt experience these things, will not always understand how precious and important things can be and how small everyday problems turn into when you are in a sudden change. When my little girl ended up in hospital 5 days old with meningitis, i thought: life are you serious? really? ! i already know that its not the frills or the stripes that matter, just dont make it worse for me. i have my two kids and ive learned to be thankful , yet i still get moany every day, im tired, the kids annoy me, or i just want some me time and not scrubbing the wall or the floors, or cleaning bowls of food untouched after 3 hours of cooking andthinking how ungrateful the little ones are and i could go on, but than i remember…..

  19. Jennie, this post showed up on a link at the bottom of your latest one. I’m sorry but there were quite a few posts of yours I missed when I was ill. Since 3rd February I literally squirm at some of the moaning I see on social media about the silliest of things. I want to scream at them to stop so I can only begin to imagine how angry it must make you. I used to moan about my children when they were going me sleepless nights or playing up in some way. Now I don’t. I’m so much more thankful for everything. Funnily I wrote a post back in September called A Darkened Room about how I feel about this. It has meanings on a few different levels. I just want to wrap you in my arms and take your hurt away and tell all the ungrateful people to go away xx

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