Today I speak with Domenique Rice who I have come to know as part of the Instagram community of bereaved parents supporting one another in the Grieving Parents Support Network. People come and go in this community, but Domenique has stayed actively involved and developed a voice to be noticed creating stillbirth awareness in honour of her son TJ.
‘I need to parent my son and honour where I’m at. So that’s the evolution, once again of the ‘stillbirth-Mama-fighting-for light’ and how I really transitioned my grief in my reality to be unapologetic and I say that quite often: unapologetic grief. It has taken me time, but I can’t sugar-coat once again my reality. I can’t water myself down.’Domenique Rice
About this week’s guest
Domenique Rice wears many hats – staunch activist, laid-back California transplant, savvy Brooklyn girl, superstar salesperson – but her most important role is that of (bereaved) mother of five. Domenique never had any reason to suspect that something was amiss in her second pregnancy, at least, not until it was already too late. Like most parents, stillbirth and preventative measures were never discussed with Domenique, leaving her completely blindsided when at 36.5 weeks pregnant she unexpectedly went into labor and her second child and first son, TJ, was born still.
In between her morning “TJ coffee” where she holds space each day for her son, rocking a successful sales career, and loving on TJ’s living siblings, Domenique is passionate about sharing her stillborn son, creating stillbirth and child death awareness, and connecting with other bereaved families to support them in their nontraditional parenthood. Grief is not something that parents should need to hide. Stillbirth affects over 23,000 families each year, and Domenique is not willing to stand by while any of them are silenced for one moment longer.
Feel free to connect with Domenique on her well-regarded Instagram account, @stillbirthmamafightingforlight, where she is actively breaking down stigma and dropping knowledge to prevent stillbirths from happening.
Topics discussed in this episode
- The death of her son TJ, Terrance Christopher Rice
- Unapologetically grieving out loud and the love for TJ
- How to parent a dead child?
- Using social media (IG) to talk openly and connect to other like-minded people
- Differences in grieving between partners and how to support one another
Resources mentioned in this episode
- Return to Zero Hope
- Measure the placenta.org
- Dr Harvey Klimans research (Placential specialist)
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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.