A Child and a Tumour

I just watched this video in which Tamara Taggart from CTV News talks about her child with down syndrome and her experience of having cancer. She compares the conversations she had with medical professionals in both situations. I could totally see all those conversations happening in front of my eyes. I remembered a conversation with someone in the Faculty of Medicine who said that education of doctors in the past has focused on the medical skills and not the emotional component, even purposefully eliminating the human side of compassion and empathy. Only in recent years has the focus started to shift.

Her experience resonates with me very much. I actually think there are many similarities to what parents hear who experience the death of their child during pregnancy or shortly after birth. With all other deaths the focus would be on remembering together and honoring the deceased. When babies die the focus is often not on acknowledging the baby, but on moving on or getting over it. There are hardly any conversations about the birth experience or the child, often because of a fear to make it harder for the parents. The mantra seems to be to remove the baby and bury the memory.

The reality is that many parents love to talk about their children, no matter how short of a time they had together. Maybe just because the time was very limited the need to talk about those moments and to remember every second is even more important. Tamara is absolutely right. We have to change to conversation.

Help break the silence!

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