I was recently asked to pray for a mother who had miscarried her baby. My heart sank at the news and my mind took me back to those moments still so vivid in my memory of my own grief. Even though it has been years since I have had my last miscarriage there is a pain that wrenches at me every single time I hear of a woman having to carry this cross, experience the loss, and cope with the pain. Perhaps because so often I felt like I was suffering alone as if no one could understand.
I am not an expert, counselor or psychologist, but I speak from experience. From the experience of my own loss of five babies whose lives ended all too soon, and from the stories of heartache other women have poured out to me. As I reflect on my own story and those of countless other women, there are certain themes that run through our grief. Although not every woman’s journey is the same in how they process their loss and move towards healing, I write this to tell you: You are not alone.
You are not alone when you feel that no one understands your loss. You try to hide your grief and move on, not knowing how to process your feelings. You go back to work and to day to day activities as if nothing happened. Acting as if everything is okay you dare not bring it up in any conversation for fear of how others may or may not react.
You are not alone when you feel confused and continually ask: Why me? When the confusion wells into anger at your God. A feeling that scares you, as you have never felt this pit of anger before. Any prayer you can dare to muster simply turns into yelling as you cry out to God. At the same time you hold God responsible for not saving your baby’s life and feel as if you are completely abandoned.
You are not alone when tension arises in your marriage and your anger soon is directed at your husband, because it seems he’s already over it. You feel he has forsaken you in your need, because this was his baby too. Why does he not grieve the same way? Why doesn’t his heart feel completely shattered?
You are not alone when you begin to wonder if you will ever feel normal again, back to yourself and how life used to be. Questioning the grief and scared it will never leave, longing for the joy you used to have. Clinging to any sense of normalcy as it serves as a glimmer of hope that someday you may feel okay.
You are not alone when you find yourself on the brink of tears at any moment. Whether it’s seeing pregnancy announcements on social media; simply walking past the baby section in the store; or hearing a random song, phrase, or word that causes the tears to flow and seem to never stop.
You are not alone if you are scared in trying to conceive again. The mixed feelings of hope, yet fear and doubt. Thinking of seeing two pink lines met with excitement and at the same time overcome with anxiety considering the possibility of having to go through this all over again.
You are not alone; so many women are suffering through this together with you in spirit. Allow yourself time to grieve: This was your baby whom you already had dreams for. Take time off work or a break from your daily tasks to take care of yourself and process the loss. Have no shame in what you are feeling, for your feelings are real. Don’t be hard on your husband; he is grieving as well, but in a different way. He wants your joy back as much as you do, but sometimes struggles to express his hurt.
You are not alone; reach out and find community. Other women who have a similar experience can provide a safe haven when you don’t know where to turn. The ache in your heart will never completely go away. You will always remember the baby you never held, but it will get better and your joy will return. You may never understand why this happened and it’s okay to not have the answers. Just always remember when the tears begin to well and your heart aches, you are not alone. Turn to Our Blessed Mother, allow yourself to rest in her loving mantle. She knows your pain; remember, she lost a child once too.
Copyright 2018 Cassie Everts