It Never Stops Hurting

When my brain keeps coming back to something over and over again, that means it’s time to blog about it.

There is no way that I can claim to know how it feels to lose a child.  My son is 20 months old, happy and healthy.  While I have been through several miscarriages, it still doesn’t shine a candle on the grief that a parent experiences with the loss of a baby.  I was offered a glimpse of what that pain is like by the Spohrs after they lost their daughter, Maddie; when Katie Granju lost her teenage son, Henry – but you and I… we still never understand.

I meet so many amazing people through the course of my work.  Even on my worst nights, when things are so busy, when I can taste the stress of the amount of exams I have to do and the pressure to get them done, there is always someone that shines through.  There is always a story that I can’t help but remember, even if I only speak with the person for a few short minutes.

And I have learned that it never stops hurting.

This weekend, I scanned a sweet older man that had suffered a stroke.  We couldn’t talk during the exam because of the nature of the study, but I stood in the hallway with him while we waited for the transporter to come pick him up.  He told me of his four children, and how they all had three letter names.  He told me how exciting and wonderful it was to raise three girls, and how thrilled he was to finally have a boy.

His tone changed, then, when he told me that he’d lost one of his girls.  His favorite, he said, she was bright and sweet.  He told me she had melanoma, and they found it.  They removed it, and said they got it all.  The declared her Cancer free… and she passed away three months later.  His eyes filled with tears as he told me of losing his 42 year old daughter, and I realized it doesn’t matter how old your children are – they are still your babies.  He said he would never get over it.

Speaking with this man reminded me of another father I had the priveledge of meeting many months earlier.  His story still shines out in my mind, despite how long it’s been.  Same situation – we were waiting for the transporters to come bring him back to the room while we talked.  He asked if he could tell me about his daughter and I said of course!  He told me about his wife’s labor, and how excited they were to bring her home.  He described her bright eyes, and her sweet nature.  He told me exactly how much he loved her, how he loved to hold her and play with her.  Then he told me that she had gotten sick… just a cold, with a fever.  They took her to the doctor, who said to make sure she had lots to drink and she would be fine.  Tears poured out of his eyes as he told me they woke with her between them the following morning, and found her cold.  She had passed away quietly in the night… and their little girl was gone.  I held his hand as he remembered his sweet baby girl, who died suddenly when she was only 3 months old.  It was nearly 70 years earlier, and he still loved her.  It still hurt him as though it were yesterday.

Hug your babies, mommas.  Hold them tightly.  Remember every moment, and be thankful they are with you.  Because you never forget…

…and it never stops hurting.

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Disclaimer:  I am an Ultrasound Tech at a busy hospital.  My stories are purposefully vague with no personal information nor identifiers to protect patient HIPAA privacy.

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  • My parents lost my brother 38 years ago (he was 5 days old) and they still have a hard time every year on his birthday and on the anniversary of his death. As my mum says, it gets easier as the years go on, but it’s never easy.

    • It never ceases to amaze me how quickly or strongly the parent-child bond is created. Your mom has the same sentiment I’ve heard so often. Thanks for sharing. <3

  • This is a wonderful post and so very true.

  • Oh, Mandy! I started crying reading about the man whose daughter died nearly 70 years ago…I can’t imagine how that would stay with you for always. I want to go give Simone a big hug and a kiss!

  • My mom had a miscarriage when I was six. Reading this reminds me that there are still times when I wonder what it would have been like to have a little sister.

    • I wonder if she still thinks about it too.

  • My mother had a miscarriage about a year after I was born. She miscarried 34 years ago and she still talks about it quite a bit. My aunt lost her daughter to cancer when she was five. Her marriage fell apart because of it and although my uncle wanted children, my aunt was never able to try for a child. The pain of losing her daughter was too great.

    I can believe how horrible it would be. It would just tear a hole in me. I don’t even want to think about it. It’s my greatest fear above all others.

    • It was never something I thought about before I had kids… and now I worry about it more than is probably healthy! I try to tell myself not to worry about something so out of my control, but it’s hard. I hope neither of us ever have to experience something so terrible.

  • My uncle died in 1994. I had to tell my grandfather that his youngest son was gone. I won’t ever forget the look in his eyes, the pain that I saw there.

    I know that I wasn’t responsible, but I always felt like I made grandpa cry.

    • Thanks for sharing, Jack. That must have been incredibly difficult to do.

  • I think she does, Mandy. It’s not something that we talk about very often, but the subject does come up from time to time.