The Internet – A Bereaved Parent’s Worst Nightmare?

The internet. I often find myself wondering how we ever lived without it. And yet, sometimes it is an extremely painful reminder of how things would be if Finley didn’t die.
My facebook currently has an ad that says ‘Beaming Baby – Give Your Baby the Best Start to Life’ and also ‘Pampers – Picture a Better Future. Vistaprint do an ad as well for a free personalised calendar – always complete with different photos of incredibly cute babies.
The number of people whose posts I’ve blocked from my news feed is getting bigger and bigger. People who I care about and want to remain friends with, but who’s pregnancy announcements, scan photos, birth announcements and baby photos I can’t handle seeing unless I’ve mentally geared myself up for it. I’ve blocked so many posts, and yet there’s always somebody new with baby news, and so the list just continues to grow.

Babble bibs? Really? Can’t my facebook just leave me alone?
The same goes for Instagram. Photos that I’m sure are lovely, but that I just can’t face seeing. I actually downloaded Instagram on my phone right before Finley was born. I was gearing up for all of the baby photos I anticipated posting. After he died I deleted it for a time – seeing the icon on my phone was a hard reminder.
Today I received an email from ASDA Baby advertising Christmas items. Yesterday I received one from Kiddicare where we bought Finley’s nursery bedding.
Even the websites where I connect with other bereaved parents are often pregnancy and parenting sites. The places where I network for this blog are quite often parenting sites – because although my son isn’t here, this blog tells a story that I think is an important one to include on these types of sites. For other parents like me whose children aren’t with them.
And so each time I log in to facebook, I get a sharp reminder of where we should be. When the emails come in, I get a sinking feeling in my stomach. I spend time trying to remove myself from mailing lists, but somehow emails still manage to filter their way through.
Sometimes, I can be having a positive day, and when I hear the beep of my phone, I check my email and can be instantly crushed.
I don’t think there is ever a way to avoid such things, and I guess that is a part of living with this new normal that I face. Things that I never even took notice of before can now bring me tumbling down to a very low place.
If you can relate to these goings-on, what would you recommend doing to help ease the pain? What do you do to help protect your heart, if only a a little bit?
Watch for tomorrow’s post: The Internet – A Bereaved Parent’s Best Friend? where we will discuss the other side of having the internet available after the death of your baby.

5 thoughts on “The Internet – A Bereaved Parent’s Worst Nightmare?

  1. Lisa I think the Internet can be our best friend and worst enemy. It has helped me realise I an less alone than I thought I was and has introduced me to a world of women who understand.

    I too have had to block Facebook posts and delete emails from a variety of baby stores. I don’t know what the magic answer is to make that better, but I know I would have been in a worse place without the Internet and social media.

  2. I agree with your post Lisa. Sometimes I find the internet my safe place, and other times my most vulnerable place. You just can’t escape it, can’t escape from advertisments,updates, reminders, through email post and in person. facing our demon every day is hard, actually harder than hard.

    I have deleted a lot of people of my facebook for that very reason, to protect myself. Not because I don’t understand how valuable their baby is, but because I don’t feel that they fully acknowledge how sore my loss is, or even think about who could be reading their posts and updates…not everyone who has lost a child shares the news….. for example.
    But I decided to be ruthless, and had to protect myself on fb. Like you I barely get any feeds now, because even people who were considerate at the start hae all started to move on with their lives, and that is expected totally, but I haven’t.

    I unsubscribe from mailing lists all the time….they just keep on coming..on days where I’m really struggling I just stay away….i find that a bit easier, or I just go straight to my blog page xxxx

  3. Been there, and felt exactly as you say. I’m not sure what I did to get through it, I guess just time? I had to block people from facebook too, I can’t tell you the amount of people announcing they were having a girl right after my daughter died. Of course, lately it hasn’t been nearly as much, or perhaps since it doesn’t bother me as much I don’t notice as much? I can honestly say right or wrong that I was only able to handle babies again after I got pregnancy with my rainbow, maybe even after he was born. Although sometimes things people say still bother me, always will I think. Like you say, part of this new normal.

  4. Hi Lisa, I’ve been reading your blog for a few months now. I deactivated my fb account when our son died in January because a “friend” had posted, “T is mourning the loss of her stroller” as a status update. This was just after this person had sent me a condolence email. Also, I couldn’t face chirpy birthday wishes on my page. When I finally felt able to reactivate, I culled non-friend “friends” and blocked non-loss friends so that I don’t get their posts in my news feed. If I want to see what they’re up to (hasn’t happened yet), I can go to their timelines. Now all I get are posts from other babyloss parents and the various sites I follow. I actually look fwd to fb some days b/c it helps me grieve. But at first it was definitely jarring. I guess I never really looked at the ads before so I don’t notice them. Maybe I will notice them now, ha! Same with twitter – I only follow grief people/orgs and only tweet grief-related items.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts about this. If it was just ‘pure’ grief we had to deal with, that would be enough.

    Kind regards,
    Andrea

  5. I hated facebook after I lost my son and now that I lost my daughter too I only go on it to go to the groups I am in or check to see if I have messages. The ads on the side piss me off as well. It is never ending though, whether it is facebook or something sent in the mail. I wish I had advise to help you through it, but I don’t. The blog world helped tremendously after the loss of my son but it doesn’t seem to help as much now since my daughter died. Same goes for grief group and counseling. I’d say just keep trying new things to find something that brings you some comfort. The things that used to probably aren’t the same as now. I think the important thing is to just be easy on yourself, easier said than done, but it is okay to be selfish after what you’ve gone through.

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