October 28, 2020

Sara Castro: “We must incorporate death into life to learn to live without anguish”

In general, we turn our backs on death and suffering, we want to live in a utopia of great pleasure, which is a falsehood.

Is gestational death more taboo than that of adults?

Yes, it seems that it does not exist, but it is more common than you think and the loss of a child hurts even more than that of another loved one. It is difficult to talk about it, accompanying in those moments is difficult, so if it is not named, you will not have to face it. There are even midwives who are afraid to name it in childbirth classes, when it would come in handy.

Do pregnant women prefer to avoid these risks or appreciate being informed?

Many are afraid to talk about gestational losses, especially those that pass 38 weeks of gestation, but it comes in handy because if you have the misfortune that it happens to you, having talked about it already opens a way for you to seek help, To know that you are not alone, it opens your mind to face it.

Since 2009 you have been a specialist in duels, how did you get into this specialty?

Everything related to death, how to face it, has always caught my attention; Just like abortions, voluntary or not, at the Institute I already remember having done work on this matter. And when I started working with families, some patients came to my office in Zamora for the loss of children, they knew that I work in grief, that I have been a specialist for eleven years, I have been trained. Word of mouth works and, as there are few specialists, they have sought me out.

How does someone prepare for help in grief?

It is very important to know how to listen, not only with your ears, but with your heart, to be willing to tear yourself apart, to break you inside and to enrich yourself a lot. Be willing to love the other person who opens up, who is undressing before you. That’s the basics. Then, you have to work on a theoretical level, there are techniques, theories to know, different authors …, but each person is a different world and each one takes it as best they can.

The reaction of the environment is usually “it will pass, you will have another child”, but the women who have suffered it say that it does not happen. Why does society try to plug that wound without further ado?

It is a way of saying, “well, it will pass, you will have another child to take away the pain,” but that is not true. If you lose one finger, you have nine left, but the hole, the emptiness of that finger will always be there. Another thing is that you learn to live with that loss, that you can, you can enrich yourself as a person and bear fruit. In fact, this association is born of pain, with the aim of being able to help other mothers, other parents or families in this situation because the loss of children has helped them to experience pain in another way.

Where does this fear of mentioning almost death come from?

It is scary to suffer. If you love someone and you see them suffer, it scares you. However, when we approach it naturally it is positive. To think that it could touch us, that a child of yours could die, is scary. Added to that is the feeling of having failed due to the instinct to protect children, which is very strong and generates that guilt even though the abortion is natural.

Is trying to avoid that pain being experienced worse?

Of course, it is not good to prevent the mother from suffering, it is healthy for her to have that pain and express it. If you break the cocoon of a caterpillar because you think it is drowning, the butterfly will never be born, the same happens with pain, it helps you to be able to elaborate, to be able to live what you are feeling inside to be able to continue living, not to stay in survive, which is what you do when you’re torn inside.

Are there duels that, if they are closed badly, can lead people, in this case women, to acute depression or even death?

Yes, many mothers say they are dead while they lost their children. There are heartbreaking testimonies, some that they are unable or have not recovered yet and this can lead to mood disorders, such as depression, or more serious ones, such as schizophrenia. That is why it is so important to be trained, not just anyone can accompany the duel.

What are the accompanying techniques?

The basic ones are active listening, empathy, not judging, interpreting or over-interpreting, which involves the counseling method ”, which is what I use. Basically, it is listening, which seems easy, but it is difficult to find someone who wants to listen to the painful account of when you stopped noticing your baby’s kicks and went to the hospital, what happened …

Why does a woman who loses a child naturally feel judged?

Because they themselves are the first to judge themselves. If the rest of the mothers have their children without problems and you do not, the “why” arises. And not only do they feel judged by death, but by how they live it: if everyone tells them “you’ll have another one”, it means “you don’t have to suffer, you haven’t lost anything, you haven’t even seen it. So why are you suffering? Why are you not able to leave home? Why are you not able to have another child now? ”… Behind these phrases there is a judgment on how that person handles suffering , the duel, but, above all, the misunderstanding.

When the woman aborts voluntarily, many people think that it is an innocuous decision, but the tear exists, is the sense of guilt greater?

Yes, the trial is brutal. The feeling of guilt that society itself generates towards that woman is brutal. They have mixed feelings, an inner revolution in the sense of “how am I going to feel bad if I made the decision, I cannot suffer” and that of “perhaps I deserve to suffer for having made that decision”. If to that we add the difficulty of asking for help, of being accompanied to take all the steps you have to take before performing the abortion, it is a very, very complex issue.

Do women seek associations like yours?

Yes, and parents, although a few because the stigma is greater.

Should death be incorporated into life?

Yes, in order to live better it is necessary to learn to die, to live with death in mind, but not with anguish, “oh, I can die at any time”, but thinking “I have to take advantage of every minute.” We have a false sense of control, that nothing is going to happen to us and when death approaches us, it surprises us even though we live with it continuously. We will normalize it when we can talk to children about death without dramatizing, as something natural, part of life.


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