It's the last day of Canadian Infertility Awareness Week and I want to close things off by talking about the importance of support. For those of us trudging through the mires of infertility, we need the support of family and friends and strangers in order to make it through.
A friend of mine showed me a little video and I thought it was so perfect. I'm sharing it here so that you can listen to it and hopefully take something from it.
Really, we just need to know we are not alone. That is the most important part. You may not fully understand what we are going through, but we need you to sit with us and say you are sorry. That's it. If you don't know what to say, just leave it with "I'm sorry".
If you are a more practical person and are looking for ways to show your support, here are a few ideas that you can start from.
1) Send a card. It doesn't have to say much, just say that you are thinking of us and are sorry. It's nice to know others care.
2) Make us food or send us a gift card. When we are in the depths of despair (literally), we can't think about much and we don't have much energy to cook. But like everybody, we need sustenance. A home cooked meal, a gift card to a restaurant or even a box of cookies goes a long way.
3) Send flowers. This one can go both ways, I have heard some people don't like flowers, especially after a loss, because they remind them of funerals or are depressing when they die. For me, I love flowers and absolutely adore getting them. So if you know your friend well and know if flowers would be welcomed, feel free to send some over.
4) Listen. We need someone to listen to us without offering advice or talking back (much). We need a sounding board, someone who can soak up our thoughts and feelings and not judge us for them.
5) Pampering is always good. Chances are we feel pretty crappy about ourselves, so sometimes getting out for a pedicure or a haircut or something indulgent hits the spot. Even better if we can get in some girl time during the process.
6) Chocolate. Okay, so this one isn't exactly showing support but for me at least, it is always welcomed. Chocolate really does make me feel better, if only momentarily.
7) Honour our loss. Whether we are grieving the failure of a cycle or the loss of a baby, finding some way to honour this pain can be meaningful. Some people like keepsakes, such as Willow Tree Figurines, or maybe a flower or tree that can be planted in the yard. Some sort of token to commemorate this huge loss can mean a lot to someone.
Those are just a few things that you can do, but remember that I am just one person with different feelings and opinions. Not everyone will feel supported in the same way, so be sure to gauge that person's personality before doing something. If you're in doubt and not sure what to do, I would stick with just saying you're sorry in a card attached to a meal. You can rarely go wrong there.
This post wraps up Canadian Infertility Awareness Week and I hope that you have learned something from all my writings. I choose to share my story and bare my heart for the greater cause of raising awareness and advocating for those who do not feel comfortable sharing. If I have helped just one person see things a little clearer, I have made progress, and that is good.
Thank you for reading and for sharing over this past week, it means a lot to me. Now take what you have learned and put it into practice, because I am sure you know someone who is struggling with infertility and could use some understanding along this journey.