Dialog Box

The Pink Elephants Support Network

Why We Share

Why we share - Sam Payne, CEO and Co-Founder of Pink Elephants, explains the importance of openly sharing our stories and our grief.

I do not share my losses and grief for attention, sympathy or to be criticised. I share now to change the future. I share because I want to plant the seed for the tree whose shade I will never sit under. If my daughter goes on to suffer a miscarriage or my son, I quite simply don’t want them to suffer the way I did.

I imagine a future where women & their partners lose their babies to miscarriage and are validated in their grief, have access to bereavement leave to grieve, are given a clear referral for support along with information on what to expect, are offered choices to mark their loss, that their loved ones know how to support them, and that their babies are remembered & talked about. That miscarriage is not a shameful word, no longer a taboo to share. A world where we offer additional support & empathy to those brave enough to try again, those who are quite literally putting their heart on the line again without knowing the outcome, to walk the anxiety-riddled journey of pregnancy after loss.

The silence when no one responds to our losses is deafening. What is more dangerous are the comments telling us to grieve privately. They are outdated and perpetuate the shame and stigma that surround miscarriage. As is often stated, it is a personal experience, therefore it’s a personal choice to share or not; I fully support those that don’t share and I fully support those that do share. We should be met with empathy & understanding if our choice is to be open about our difficult experiences. As Brene Brown says:

"If we share our stories & they are met with empathy & understanding, shame can’t survive"

Brene Brown

I choose empathy & understanding over criticism of a grieving mother sharing about her baby. Have you considered it’s her way of showing all the love she has for a child that she will never meet? That it’s her way of acknowledging they existed? That it’s her way of working through the grief?

I will always wonder what if....

Maybe you could share with our community a message of support & hope? That this too shall pass & one day it might not hurt every time we see others who have bumps we long for or newborns snuggly in their arms. Perhaps instead of telling us how to grieve, you could offer us compassion. Women are consistently told how to react to situations in life and the truth is grief is messy, it isn’t linear there is no right or wrong way to react to the loss of a baby. We should be able to choose what is right for us.

No matter the gestation of our babies they each matter to us, they each deserve to be acknowledged as having existed and our losses validated as bereavement.

Could you offer us more than criticism? We are suffering so much already. Criticism only serves to minimize our losses and continue the cycle of shame & stigma. It’s time for a change, it’s time to RIGHT the story of pregnancy loss, to do this, when we are ready, our truths must be shared, our stories should be told to be forever noted in the archives of history to change the future.

If you’d like to join Pink Elephants #circleofsupport head to https://www.pinkelephants.org.au/ scroll down and sign up to stay connected.

30 November 2020
Category: News