Tara May, Ph.D.

Let Our Pain Be Heard

Let our pain be heard

My husband and I love to snuggle on the couch and watch movies at night when we can.
Last night, his “channel surfing” through online video offerings took longer than usual
( I got bored and started reading a book) so he finally settled on a movie called,
The Other Woman which starred Lisa Kudrow and Natalie Portman. He didn't bother to
read the summary, he just picked it for the actresses :-)

Shortly into the film, we are both surprised to find that it is a film about a couple struggling
with the sudden death of their newborn (among other issues). I thought the film
captured the sorrow and devastation of such a tragedy and we cried along with the couple
in thinking of our own loss and for all bereaved parents who have had to face this
tragedy. What I found particularly powerful was the destructiveness of the mother’s guilt
and how much that created a barrier to her healing and getting support. Instead,
she alienates those closest to her until she loses everyone and has to face her guilt. This
was ultimately the turning point for her and her subsequent healing.

You might be wondering why I am giving you a movie review. It is
because I am amazed how there’s never been a Hollywood movie that covers this subject
despite the popular cast within. You may have heard that there is another such movie
recently made called Return to Zero. It was inspired by the stillbirth experienced of
Sean Hanish, the writer and director of the film. The film is not guaranteed to make
it to the theaters for many reasons and mostly because Hollywood does not believe that
this is a subject of interest. So, I believe that this is our opportunity to help break the
silence on pregnancy loss and infant death, and show our support of this film. I hope you
will join me by filling out the pledge form to see this film if it comes out in theaters. You
only need include your name and email address. Like it or not, our society is influenced
by Hollywood and I think this is a great way to educate society so that bereaved parents
can get the support that is so crucially needed.

I know how many of you who have experienced the death of your precious babies have
suffered in silence, have heard insensitive comments about how to "get over it" and have
had trouble finding the help from trained, knowledgeable, and compassionate people
who can help you. Perhaps this is a way we can finally start to be heard and understood.

Film synopsis: RETURN TO ZERO is based on the true story of a successful couple who
are preparing for the arrival of their first child. Just weeks before their due date
they are devastated to discover that their baby son has died in the womb and will be
stillborn. Maggie and Aaron attempt to go on with their lives but cannot escape their
postpartum grief. Their lives and relationship have been forever altered by this loss.
They try to cope in a myriad of ways --through denial, escape, and alcohol -- but
when Maggie ultimately discovers that Aaron is having an affair with a co-worker,
she decides to end the marriage.

Just when Maggie believes she has started a new life, she discovers that she is pregnant
by Aaron (in a last ditch 'this will save the marriage' getaway to Vegas.) With the
help of her empathetic doctor who had experienced a similar loss years ago, Maggie
finally grieves for the loss of her son. Through a turbulent and terrifying pregnancy,
Maggie and Aaron reunite to see their child, a daughter, safely into the world.

I hope you will join me to pledge to see the film in theaters on the weekend it opens in
your community. Click on the following link to support the film.

Please support this film, so that it will come to theaters and it can be seen and our
pain can be heard. You can also watch a short video about the film: