The Glimmer Podcast

Ep 3: Learn to Hold Space for families grieving miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn loss

July 20, 2020 Heather Plett Season 1 Episode 3
The Glimmer Podcast
Ep 3: Learn to Hold Space for families grieving miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn loss
Show Notes

This episode discusses grief after pregnancy loss, holding space, post-traumatic growth, liminal space and recommendations for further reading. Dr Ashleigh Smith interviews Heather plett - an expert on grief. Heather lost her mother in recent times and her son Matthew many years ago through stillbirth (she unfortunately had an incompetent cervix with subsequent cervical cerclage, ruptured membranes and intrauterine infection).

These events shaped her life and took her from a managerial job in Canada, to being an international speaker, coach, facilitator and author – she is currently launching a book called ‘Holding space’ – which was based on her wildly successful and viral blog post from 2015. 

Heather radiates a sense of peaceful wisdom and mutual understanding of grief and loss. 

She speaks about how losing Matthew informed and changed the trajectory of her life and that in time, she felt she became ‘seasoned’ in her grief – but it took 10 years. Heather sometimes calls her grief her ‘best friend’ – saying it has made her life full of richness. She is able to sit with other people through their grief and offers non-judgment and compassion. 

Heather defines holding space as being willing to walk alongside another person in whatever journey they’re on without judging them, making them feel inadequate, trying to fix them, or trying to impact the outcome.  She says, when we hold space for other people, we open our hearts, offer unconditional support, and let go of judgment and control.

Heather explains how her grief has changed over time and that after losing Matthew, she found a new sense of spirituality. She initially felt angry for errors in her medical care and suffered great restlessness, before eventually finding acceptance. Finally, Heather advises how the listener can move through their grief and hold space for themselves. 

Reminder: The views, thoughts and opinions expressed in this podcast belong solely to the individual and do not represent their employer or medical advice. Always consult your doctor.