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Saying Goodbye to a Child You Never Got to Meet

TW: Child death

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I got some heartbreaking news today that the child that two of my dearest friends were expecting had Trisomy 18 and wouldn't survive to term. After a lot of thought and prayer, they decided to induce labor today at 18 weeks so that it wouldn't feel pain and that they would be able to say goodbye.


My heart aches for them terribly, especially as they just had a miscarriage earlier this year. It was very painful for them back then and, up until recently, this pregnancy had been going well and all signs were that they could expect a healthy and happy baby boy next spring. Now those hopes are dashed and they are having to say goodbye to a son they never knew.

I, along with the other Godfather to their 21-month-old daughter, have started working together to figure out how to support our friends in their time of need. So far, we're planning to make and freeze some dinners for them so that they can just reheat and eat. We're also going to take our Goddaughter out for a day in the near future so that our friends can have some private time to grieve and connect with one another as needed.

Amidst all of the sadness and grief for their loss, I'm also being forced to revisit my own experience with losing a child too soon. For those of you who don't know, five years ago, my then-fiancee and I were expecting a child. Around the 20-week mark, we got the devastating news that our child had severe birth defects and wouldn't survive until birth. The news hit us both very hard and, after a lot of thought, we ultimately made the choice to terminate the pregnancy. That loss still hurts to this day, and though the wound is mostly healed, it reopens on days like today and that grief and loss comes flooding back.

I really wish that I could focus 100% on them and supporting them right now, but I'm tearing up remembering the hell that my ex and I went through after losing our child. I feel guilty and feel like a shitty friend for thinking of my own loss right now when my friends are suffering their own. I hope that my experience can help me better support my friends in their time of need, but am afraid that I'm going to be overwhelmed by my own emotions to be a good friend to them right now.


Please send good thoughts and prayers to my friends right now; they really need them.

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