On Miscarriage, Sharing your Grief, and your Right to Remember

Sweet little flower of heavenly birth, you were too fair to bloom on earth. ~ Author Unknown

 

Miscarriage is quite a unique type of death experience. It haunts your mind and heart in ways that are difficult to put aside. Not only are you losing a child and the dream of that little person, but you often never know what went wrong to cause the child’s life to end so soon. The grief process after a miscarriage can be a lonely, arduous time.

Although you might feel like hiding away, try to share the truth of your pain with those closest to you. Reach out and be honest, raw, and open about what it is like to lose a child so suddenly. What I have learned over the years is that no one truly understands what you are going through—especially the incredible strength miscarriage and baby loss asks and takes from you—unless the person has experienced the same type of trauma, themselves. You can still try, though. It is worthwhile to include your loved ones in your grieving process, if only to honor the life of the child you grieve for so desperately.

At first, the well-meaning friends and family you open up to might be uncomfortable with the level and intensity of your sadness as you grieve for the child you will never see, hold, nurse, nor raise. They may try to comfort you with what feels like unsympathetic comments such as:

“Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.” (Sorry, but this life I carried inside, actually did mean something to us. It was our child.)

“It wasn’t really a baby yet, anyway.” (As if a pregnancy test and a beating heart on a screen one day, but gone the next, can be denied.)

“Don’t worry, you’ll get pregnant again soon!” (As if they know this for certain—they don’t. And even if you do become pregnant soon after your loss, the next child will never replace the love and dream you had for the child that never lived.)

Feel free to tell your loved ones the truth—that you are grieving because you just lost a child. Explain that the heartache you feel is over all the hope and dreams you had, but have gone away. Gently inform that just because the baby hadn’t been born at an age when they had a fighting chance to live, his life still had meaning.

Invite your family and friends to join you on your grievous journey so they can reach a clearer understanding of miscarriage and baby loss. Allowing these loved ones to hold your hand along the way will open up their eyes and minds to the right and privilege that is yours alone to honor and cherish your miscarried babies in any compelling way, and how you’ll forever carry their memory imprinted on your heart.

 

How have your family and friends helped or hindered your ability to grieve a miscarriage? 

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