These powerful images change the way we talk about pregnancy + and the end of the baby

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The words are powerful as well as the pictures. That’s why photographer Melanie Paterak combined the shows with the slogan “Stable Words”.

A few well-known photos, Paterak showcasing the women with them he is lost holding the board with the worst and most good things people told them afterwards pregnancy and miscarriage.

“We called the project ‘Soon the Word’ we wanted to not only bring out what hurt us, but what helped us to give hope.

“She is in the right place”

“I want people to see that we understand that when time is lost, people have nothing to say. “Sometimes you can have good intentions, but when you are hurt, things can be interpreted differently than you interpret them,” Paterak told Ms..ly.

In one illustration a woman holds up a sign with the words, “She is in a better place,” and follows her thoughts by hearing the words: “Was I not good enough?”

This series reminds us that sometimes positive comments can do more harm than good.

How, then, can we balance throwing our cares on someone with more faith? Paterak participants say they are focused on what is available and what is good.

“I want people to see that we understand that when time is lost, people have nothing to say. “Sometimes you can have good intentions, but when you are hurt, things can be interpreted differently than you interpret them,” said Paterak.

“She is beautiful”

The same person who was told that their child was in a better place was also told this her dead son it was beautiful and that was the comment he made.

It was for this moment, not to try again, and it just looked at her baby in a positive way. By paying their child to thank the person who said the words on the board helped this mother remember better about their daughter, who carried her for 36 weeks and 3 days and was perfect.

Paterak is proud of the work and of the women who participated. The photograph never happened, she tells Mom. “We started preparing for the job a month or more before the shooting, and then most of the women spent less than 48 hours before the shooting. I sent it to mine Pictures of Melanie [Facebook} page with 24 hours to go that we needed women to come, and they did! I met many of them for the first time that day. It was a powerful thing. We cried together, we hugged, and we talked about our experiences of loss.”

Her advice to anyone who wants to offer kind words to someone going through pregnancy or infant loss: “Sometimes a simple ‘I’m here for you’ is just best.”

More portraits from “Positive Words” by Melanie Paterak

“At least you’re still young…you can try again,” someone told this mother. Being told that they could “try again” was common for the participants in the project, and most found that comment was not comforting, but dismissive of their very real feelings of loss.

More portraits from “Positive Words” by Melanie Paterak

“At least” was another common phrase participants heard after their losses. “At least you didn’t get to know her,” “At least you weren’t that pregnant.”

While those who offered these comments to grieving moms meant to help them, the words had the opposite impact by comparing their grief to others’. Grief is individual, it’s not a contest.

More portraits from “Positive Words” by Melanie Paterak

The mothers in Paterak’s project agreed that the kindest words were often the ones that reminded them they had support in their corner.

More portraits from “Positive Words” by Melanie Paterak

Sometimes a simple “I’m here for you” is the most powerful comment a person can make to a grieving parent.

To see the full project visit Portraits by Melanie on Facebook.

[This story was originally published on September 16, 2019.]

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