When Sarah and I first lost Rayna, one of the most surprising things was the number of people we knew who had gone through similar losses, and how willing these people were to help. It is like an infant loss club.
This club is one of the most interesting clubs I’ve participated in. It’s a club you didn’t know existed until you’re in it; kind of like buying a new car only to start noticing others driving the same car. We had known the risks of pregnancy, however you never think it will be you. After losing Rayna, we started to notice how common this really is and hear stories of others, both in the public/celebrity world and amongst our family and friends.
Another reason this club is so fascinating is the support each member has for one another. We expected to find support from family and close friends, which was wonderfully there. What surprised us is the willingness of others with similar journeys to offer their support. When Sarah and I started telling our story in August, people seemed to come out of nowhere, sending their love and mentioning they’re working through their own journey of infant loss. I didn’t even know these individuals had gone through such hard times. I feel bad I didn’t notice their struggle until it became more personal for us. This club is so much bigger than you can imagine.
The support from these individuals was wonderful. We had a few who simply said, “We know what you’re going through and it sucks.” That was all they needed to say. We had others who were open to having conversations with us. From those chats we learned of websites, support groups and retreats others found helpful. Many of which we have put on our Helpful Things page and shared with new club members.
Thanks to many recommendations, we were able to go to Faith’s Lodge in November. While we’ll likely have a separate blog post about our experience, I will say the weekend felt like our real initiation to the club. We were able to spend quality time with five other families experiencing infant loss. The conversations over the weekend felt so natural. We went from talking about sports to our hospital stay to our babies and then to cars. All in one fluid conversation. Sure we can talk about Rayna to our family and friends, however there was a bond formed in a shared experience allowing us to talk at a whole new level about our journeys.
To me, this club is unofficial and that is just fine. There are no annual membership dues or cards to carry for this club. One could say there are meetings with the various support groups all across the country, and even those are optional. Thanks to outlets like social media and blogs, this club is getting more recognition than ever before. This club is there to let families get to know one another and feel a sense of belonging by sharing about a common tragic experience.
If you’re new to this club, I’m sorry. It is not something we would wish on anyone. You are not alone.