Two people in my life have lost babies in the past month, which really bums me out. Both for them, because I like them and think they should have babies, and also because it puts me right back to my own losses and infertility, and I can so keenly identify with what they are going through. One friend, who lost a baby with his wife last week, emailed me that they weren't sleeping much because waking up was so miserable, and I remember exactly how that felt; waking up and forgetting for a millisecond that you weren't pregnant, and then the crush of grief when you remember. It's almost like having it happen all over again each time. And that really sucks.
So I was thinking about what I could do for them. There's nothing that can bring back a baby, but there are some creature comforts that can soothe, and it's nice to know that you're being thought of, and loved, in the midst of the misery.
Jonathan and I thought long and hard about what to get them, and we wound up putting together a package on Amazon. So if you have a friend who has lost a baby (or is just going through some sh*t) here are some ideas of how to put together a Grief Care Package. In the theme of Something Old, Something New, Something Borrowed, Something Blue; it includes:
Something to Make You Feel Physically Better Immediately:
- bath lovelies
- other nice little pampering luxuries
Something to Take Your Mind Off Of It and Maybe Make You Laugh:
- silly movie, but make sure you watch it first. I was going to do Monty Python and the Holy Grail, but there's that whole "bring out your dead" scene, and I didn't know if that would be triggering for them. I chose Bridget Jones because it seemed safe (plus there's Colin Firth and Hugh Grant combined to make the view so much nicer). You could also do something like Men in Tights, or European Vacation.
- microwave popcorn for movie night
- movie theater gift cards so they can go out
Something to Distract You in Brief Doses when Grief hits:
- Jenga or something for Family Game Night
- I picked out the Secret Garden coloring book. Because Coloring is Fun (I should say I also bought this for myself. It looks super awesome. I'd never searched "Coloring Books for Adults" before - man, was I missing out)
And Finally, Something to Make You Feel Capable, Creative, and Human
- when your body fails on you so traumatically, and you go through the d&c and everything is just so awful and you feel so gross and like such a failure, it's really nice to remember that you're not. So something that lets you tap into your creativity is nice. Like a cookbook. I got them a candle-making set, and that was apparently the perfect choice; she'd always wanted to learn. That was just dumb luck on my part. But there are all kinds of "for beginners" sets like candle-making, soap-making, jewelry-making, etc etc. It will give her something to do and she might discover a new hobby that she loves. Plus, she can create something. And that feeling of satisfaction is necessary to healing.
So there you have it, Gift Care Package Ideas for the Grieving.