Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Mourning Miscarriage

I've cried a lot in the past two days. Controlled crying. Not the really hard kind. The kind you do when you aren't in an acute stage of grief, but you reach inside and pull it out on purpose when you are alone and the kids are sleeping. A song plays that you cherished during that sad time, and you let the words and music fill your heart until the tears spill down your cheeks. The kind of crying that is quiet and short and gives a sense of relief afterwards. 

A sweet friend just lost her baby at 9 weeks. The past three years have brought with them so many friends experiencing this loss. So many. Too many. 

I grieve with her. I grieve for her and her family. It makes me think about my own experience. It makes me think about all the others. What can I do? What do we do for each other during times like this? I didn't really want people around me much. I appreciated the words from afar in the beginning, when it was so hard. Later was when hugs were ok; and even then hugs were draining because they brought tears and increased emotion. So I am trying to honor that part, thinking that she probably feels the same as I did. 

I haven't done enough in the past. I'm not even sure how to do enough now.

"I am praying for you."
Important words and actions, but I didn't follow up as I should. 

"Whatever you need, let me know." 
I meant it, but it's just such a shallow offering. It's hard to take someone up on that.

After a month goes by and then two, it seems like we are all just supposed to go back to normal. 

Don't let anyone tell you--even yourself--that you shouldn't still be sad. If someone hurts your feelings and you don't feel understood, just remember that not everyone is supposed to understand. Be happy for them that they don't. And even those who should may just grieve differently than you. If they don't seem to be hurting for as long, it's because they are not you. 

Even people who have miscarried have said insensitive things to me. It doesn't matter. They didn't mean it. If they did, that is another issue, but I bet 99% of people don't mean to be inconsiderate. Let's give them some grace and return to grief instead of resorting to anger.

Does it often seem like it would be weird to bring up the topic again after a few months, and say, "How are you really doing with that now"? A lot of times the weirdness even comes from the woman at the end of that question. She feels like she should not be suffering anymore like she was.

"Oh fine, I guess. It was hard, but I'm feeling better now." 

There's just a heaviness in the air that screams that's not enough.

I just wish there was more. I want more. Maybe not discussion all the time, but a hug, a card, something. I don't know. Things I have not done for my friends, but I wish I had. Just something more intimate. That's it. Intimacy. Connection.

I read an article recently that keeps coming back to me. How abortion has changed the discussion of miscarriage. It seems like we are just supposed to get over it. 

But I'm still not over it. 

I felt a great amount of healing when Jack was born. I would have had my babies in February, and he was born in June. He would not be here if they had survived. That is a bittersweet thought that is hard to wrap my mind around. I feel a little strange saying that he is my 4th child, so usually I just don't. But why? He is. 

Even discussions with others who have miscarried can often become a game of minimizing. I know I do it.

"Oh, yes I have miscarried, but mine was really early. So it wasn't as hard as so-and-so who lost a baby further along."

"Oh, I had to have a D&C, so it wasn't as hard as so-and-so who had to go through the physical pain of a natural miscarriage." 

Who wins the "least hard" miscarriage story? It's like we think we might hurt someone's feelings who seems to have a more difficult story. Maybe her story is harder, but that doesn't minimize yours. We have all lost here. Let's stop acting like we didn't. There was life, and then there wasn't. That is significant.

Fellow moms of sweet children lost: I love you. I am sad for you. Even years later. The grief changes, but it's still there. Just different. Friends, when you have a moment of quiet, I want you to listen to the words of this song by Selah. And be ok crying a little if you are a crier, like me. It's never been too long for you to give that notable loss a moment of attention. And it makes us all just a little bit closer to look back and feel, especially the next time we hear that a new mother has joined our ranks. We connect with her in our souls, because we remember.

There were photographs I wanted to take

Things I wanted to show you
Sing sweet lullabies, wipe your teary eyes
Who could love you like this?
People say that I am brave but I'm not
Truth is I'm barely hanging on
But there's a greater story
Written long before me
Because He loves you like this

So I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All my life
I will praise the One Who's chosen me
To carry you

Such a short time
Such a long road
All this madness

But I know
That the silence
Has brought me to His voice
And He says

I've shown her photographs of time beginning
Walked her through the parted seas
Angel lullabies, no more teary eyes
Who could love her like this?

I will carry you
While your heart beats here
Long beyond the empty cradle
Through the coming years
I will carry you
All your life
I will praise the One Who's chosen Me

To carry you

--I WIll Carry You--

Here is the link in case you are unable to view this video on your device.