Thursday, 24 September 2015

Birth, Death and Beyond

Jackie Barreau, Adelaide author, shares with us an excerpt from her book 'Through a Mother's Eyes'

As I look back on my second pregnancy, and it’s unfortunate ending  - I am extremely thankful that I was able to carry my three other children to term. I also wish I could add they were in good health but that was not the case.  I do know that statistics show 6 babies are stillborn each day. These statistics are still high and yet we seem to avoid talking about child loss. Just like birth is a natural occurrence so too is death.  Elisabeth Kubler -Ross a Swiss-American psychiatrist and author of the book ‘On Death and Dying’ described her five stages of grief as; Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression and Acceptance, better known as the acronym DABDA. Kubler-Ross also suffered two miscarriages before giving birth to her two children. Her famous quotes are now shared around the world in social media circles and beyond. It is still a mystery to me that we can openly discuss acts of terrorism and the media can televise beheadings, but we can’t talk openly and honestly about child loss; that it is just to confronting.

Child loss can tear families and relationships apart or it can truly galvanise them. For my husband and I - our marriage has weathered the storm, where many have crumbled ours continues to strengthen. Child loss puts enormous strain and pressure on a relationship. I know so much has changed in the years since Cody died, and the bereavement support offered to families is readily available and accessible, it is so vitally important and necessary in the recovery process. I talk of the word ‘process’ and how grief is just that. We may be getting on with our lives but we will never get over the loss of our children.
In 2013 I published my first book of poetry ‘Through a Mother’s Eyes’ here is an excerpt.

           If the meaning of loss
           is measure by heartache
           and deep and overwhelming grief,
           then maybe we have already
           learnt one of life’s
           most difficult lessons.
           If we quantify each step taken
           forwards rather than backwards
           We will realise that the hardest
           part of the journey
           is already behind us
           It has no boundaries,
           The only ingredient
           being love.


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Jackie Barreau
Jackie is a resident of Adelaide, South Australia and a published author. Happily married and a mother of four (two sons in heaven) she also has two teenage daughters. In 1998 her second son Cody was stillborn at 26 weeks, the cause of death an issue with the placenta. Some months later her first born Luke  just 2 yrs old whom was diagnosed with neuroblastoma (cancer) died after a short battle. Jackie's articles on child loss have appeared in She currently writes for a NFP blog for invisible illness and disability. You can also read her own musings at

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