Zelda Language is a Counselling Psychologist in South Africa. She has many years of experience and is currently in the process of establishing a Wellness Centre for families who have suffered pregnancy or infant loss named the Manaheim Healing centre. Dr Ashleigh Smith (creator of The Glimmer Project and 3 week online Program) interviews Zelda and they initially discuss Covid19 restrictions in South Africa and the associated sadness, isolation, unemployment and grief). Zelda opens up about her personal experience with pregnancy and newborn loss and how that left her feeling lonely – especially as a psychologist. She found people were aloof. She discusses ‘Compassionate Friends,’ ‘Voice of the unknown baby’ and the importance of specialized perinatal bereavement care. She explains how she performs hospital visits to loss parents and assists with photos and ‘walks the path’ with them. Zelda raises the issue of early and over-prescription of antidepressants in perinatal grief after miscarriage, stillbirth or newborn death. She explains how the mother or fathers personalities may impact the grieving process and relationships after baby loss, and a lack of communication can lead to a marriage breakup. She discusses the impact on the ‘fathers’ and the importance of no just trying to ‘fix’ grief but allow the grieving parents to just ‘be.’ She differentiates suicidality with expressions of unmanageable grief and strong yearnings to be with your child. Zelda talks about the self guilt of ‘what did I do wrong’ and natural desire to blame someone for the trauma. She talks about the feelings of turmoil and ‘letting down’ ones partner and trying to not let your emotions control you. The 2 women discuss the feeling of not having a baby physically in their arms and an almost ‘withdrawl syndrome’ associated with that. Zelda discusses the impact on the grandparents, siblings and the feeling of not wanting to cry in front of living siblings – and how to navigate this to establish healthy emotional expression.
Zelda advises for family members to write a letter to the child that has passed on, light a candle and have a balloon carry off the letter in a ceremony of healing. Finally, Zelda explains her vision for the Mannaheim Healing center and how to contact her for further inquiries.