A couple weeks ago I was at a conference and heard Katherine Wolf speak. I listened to her as she spoke to a room full of therapists about her hopeful journey after suffering a stroke at 26 years old, a few months after her son was born, that left her partially blind and paralyzed. She has an amazing story, a story of redemption and hope. As a result I bought her book ~ that's what I do; I hear a speaker I buy a book....so. many.books.
Anyhoo....I began reading her book "Suffering Strong" last week, (in all fairness she and her husband wrote it together). I am enjoying her book, and think I would recommend it. Part of what she wants to get across is that people avoid discussing death, "avoid witnessing the dying process up close and personal" because it is too scary to confront our own. I think this is true.
I do want to clarify something she wrote (she didn't ask for my opinion), she wrote "In the past, many kids died in childhood". Although this is a true statement it is incomplete. It should go on to say "and they still do". Did she avoid this truth because discussing childhood death is too devastating? I don't know, but if we are going to mention childhood death then let's be clear that childhood death is not a thing of the past.
In the space of Pregnancy Loss and Infant Death Awareness month I want to remind us all that, according to the CDC 21,000 babies were stillborn in 2020. There are about 3,400 sudden unexpected infant deaths. Neither of these numbers account for miscarriages or kids that are sick with a terminal illness. So, Katherine, too many kids still die in childhood; please don't minimize or dismiss this truth because it is too uncomfortable to discuss.
But, these statistics do nothing for a family that has had to say goodbye to their child ~ statistics mean nothing when you are planning a funeral.
If you are a loss mom (family) please hear that we know the truth, and we can speak it.
We know the pain that you carry.
You are seen, your child is seen.