Today I speak with Pinky who lost her son due to inflammation that affected his heart when he was just a few months old. The birth and the loss of Leonardo both happened during the Covid pandemic and both Pinky and her husband understandably felt extremely isolated in their grief. Pinky dealt with her grief by joining a grief support group and seeing a therapist. Someone she had met through a group on Facebook gave her the book Surviving My First Year of Child Loss as a support resource.
Here is what Pinky shares about how reading the book affected her:
I felt like I was not alone in this journey. My feelings and my behaviours…, sometimes I thought I was crazy, but after reading the book I understood that it was pretty common, I was not crazy. I learned some very helpful coping mechanisms from parents in the book. I couldn’t find any similar resources in my native language Vietnamese.Pinky
About this week’s guest
Huong Lan ‘Pinky’ Vu is a communications professional who has lived and worked in Vietnam, Singapore, and the US. After the passing of her first son, Leonardo Vu Massa, in October 2020, she and her husband founded the Leonardo’s Smile Fund to support orphans in the SOS Children’s Villages Vietnam. She and her sister also translated the book Surviving My First Year of Child Loss: Personal Stories From Grieving Parents into Vietnamese with the hope to help bereaved parents in Vietnam have access to this helpful resource.
Topics discussed in this episode
- The sudden loss of her son Leonardo during the Pandemic
- Guilt and doubt, self-blame
- The power of peer support
- Reading Nathalie’s book Surviving My First Year of Child Loss: Personal Stories From Grieving Parents helped Pinky understand her grieving experience
- The project of translating the book into Vietnamese
- The difference in grieving between men and women
Resources mentioned in this episode
- Nathalie’s book Surviving My First Year of Child Loss: Personal Stories From Grieving Parents
- Order the Vietnamese book
- Child Bereavement Support (Singapore) and the Facebook Page
- Leonardo’s Smile blog
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HOW TO DEAL WITH GRIEF AND TRAUMA is produced and edited by me, Nathalie Himmelrich.
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Remember to keep breathing, I promise, it will get easier.