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Our Grief May Be Different

by Peggy Kerner Pereira

Peggy is a contributing author to the Pregnancy & Infant Loss First Person section. You can read her story about Philip there. Peggy had asked to have the following article and poem posted to the SIDS First Person section.

April 21, 1997

Hello.
My name is Peggy Kerner Pereira, and I lost my first child. His story follows:

I lost my son at 22 weeks. He did not get to be born, come home with me, smile at me, pee on me....I didn't have that set of experiences. But I lost a child, just as the rest of you at this site have. I feel very sorry for your losses, and sought this website as a source of support - people who have lost babies tend to support one another, in my experience. I was reading "An Open Letter to Friends and Family", and found myself saying aloud, "exactly! That is what I could have said to people when this happened...". But I was shocked and hurt when I got near the bottom of the letter and it said "unless you have lost a child too, don't compare my loss to your miscarriage or the loss of your pet."

While our grief may be different, it is still the loss of a child. I also lost the chance to see my son smile, change his diapers, dress him, hold him, etc. The author of the letter got to do that. That may make her pain different than mine, because she will grieve with the memories...I will grieve the hope of ever doing those things with my first child.

I wrote this poem on what I consider Philip's 4th birthday...although it is actually the 4th anniversary of the day we found out he was dead, and delivered him.

Happy Birthday, Philip

It's been four years today
Since you slipped away
Asleep in the arms of Jesus, they say.
Oh, how I wish my arms had held you first.
Never having held you
Makes missing you even worse
Watch over your brothers, your mom and your dad
You were and always will be
The first child we had.

I love and miss you, son.
Your Mommy

Thanks for listening...
Peg Pereira
plkp@buckeye.cb.lucent.com

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