'Real Housewives' star Kara Keough Bosworth speaks out about infant loss and grief
Former Real Housewives of Orange County star Kara Keough Bosworth's life was forever changed when her newborn son McCoy Casey Bosworth died on April 12th.
During his birth six days earlier, McCoy had shoulder dystocia and a compressed umbilical cord that caused severe brain damage. After days of testing, Bosworth and her husband, former professional soccer player Kyle Bosworth, learned that their baby is unlikely to ever regain consciousness.
"I've been lucky enough to hear from parents who are on the other side, or as far on the other side as possible, and they say it's getting better," Bosworth told Good Morning America earlier this year. "They say at some point the waves of grief don't feel like they're knocking you over every day, and you just have to get through it - but you are not alone."
Now Bosworth would like to support other grieving parents. In honor of the National Day to Commemorate Pregnancy and Child Loss on October 15, she wrote a letter describing her experience and the importance of being a member of a club that "no one wants to attend".
MORE: 'Real Housewives' star Kara Keough Bosworth shares the heartbreaking loss of her newborn son
To my loss mother
I wish I could call you something else, something else that I could call myself. "Angel Mom" feels too fluffy and "Bereaved Mother" sounds like we're supposed to be wearing black lace and crying on our knees in a stone church somewhere. Don't get me wrong, we are absolutely still crying. But we do it in yoga pants. Lululemons hide our postpartum bellies better and help us answer questions like "When are you due?" To avoid. or worse: "How is the baby ?!" That's one thing even grief counselors won't warn you about: How to get the news of your child lost to strangers, insurance agents, employers, acquaintances, TSA agents, and everyone.
The fact that the rest of the world keeps spinning the day after our stop feels like a personal attack. How can people have baby showers at such a time? How do weddings still take place when our hearts are so broken? We should have a sticker that reads "FRAGILE: Handle With Care" as we are only one trigger away from returning to this worst moment. For some, this worst moment has a soundtrack: "There's no heartbeat." For some, like me, that moment spans six days. For most, it's the moments before the moment - the "if I only had", the "if only I could have", or the "why didn't I?" These questions plague all of us who ask ourselves and others, the desperate plea: How could I have saved my baby? We blame ourselves, not because we did something to harm our children, but because we are their mothers and protect them, is our most sacred duty.
People say the wrong things and people say the right things that feel wrong. The "at least you know you can get pregnant" or the "I wouldn't stand if I were you" are the wrong things. Talking of "God's plan," "your strength," and "I haven't stopped crying for you" are right things that feel wrong. Some days, the right thing to do is when a friend pulls you out of bed and gives you a cup of coffee. On other days, the right thing to do is just stay in bed and feel everything. Texts become repellent, phone calls become intrusive and FaceTime can also be a teacher who calls us in class when we haven't read. Those who show up and ask nothing are best friends. The friends who can sit with us quietly without feeling the need to fill the silence with "I'm sorry", who don't bring our babies back, but make us feel like we answer "It's okay" have to. if it isn't.
The space our babies should be in feels less like a gaping hole over time than more like an invisible abundance. We want to hear their names, we want to think of them and smile, we want to see them in the world around us. Milestones hit us like bricks and time feels messed up. How was it so long ago And who would you be today?
Every day, every minute, a different mother comes to this club. It's a club that nobody wants to be a part of, but the love and compassion in it are unique. The instant bond that ignites between two women when we sit together in this pain is almost spiritual. Sadness like this, sadness like ours, cuts deep into our souls. We are no longer flat, shiny objects, but we are shaped by our loss. Somehow nicer for it.
If not wasted, grief can be an incredible gift. After the initial haze, the lens through which we see the world sharpens our vision. It's almost like that first victorious breeze after being underwater for too long, so much more valued than the sip before it. Somehow the spirit of the earth reveals itself to us in sorrow. Sunsets are colorful, wind is euphoric and rain is an echo of our heart. Rainbow and butterflies only seem to appear for us when we need them most.
You never know how many people love you until you experience such a loss. Most people do not have the pleasure of realizing how valued they are until the day they die. And in a way, we die a little bit the day we lose a child. The old us is gone. But the new we can be better. The new we can leave pettiness where it belongs. The new we can see beauty where others could pass it. The new we can love again, although we know the risk. That kind of bravery didn't exist in us before. But unfortunately we are here. Never go on, just go along with it. Grief is like a bear hunt: we can't go over it, we can't go under, we have to go through it. Squish, squash.
Yes, being a mother with empty arms becomes a strange coexistence. More joyful despite suffering, more alive despite death, and more loving despite loss. We ask ourselves, "Where should we put all this love, all this love that we reserved for her?" The answer becomes so clear: All around us, of course, and still into them. Most of all - and without hesitation - we need to bring love back within ourselves. Terry Tempest Williams insists, "We dare to grieve and love again."
So to sorrow we reply: "You triple dog trust me?"
Real Housewives star Kara Keough Bosworth talks about child loss and grief that originally appeared on goodmorningamerica.com
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