Monday, June 17, 2013

The Loneliest Grief

I feel so strange writing this article. I'm not the kind of person who usually airs my personal struggles in a public forum, but I think in this case, it would be not only therapeutic for me, but for others who read this blog entry.

In April, I suffered a miscarriage. It was the second within the span of six months, third in my lifetime. When discussing the tragedy with a friend who had recently suffered the same loss, she said something that struck a chord: Mourning a miscarriage is the loneliest kind of grief. So aptly put.

There's nothing quite so intimate as growing a tiny person inside your body. After all, the wee one hasn't affected anyone else very much yet--except for the mom-to-be. We're the ones retching and crying about silly things and avoiding unpleasant smells and sneaking naps as often as possible and trying not to become a crazy woman with every hormonal swing. True, Dad has to walk on eggshells a little and weather the hormonal storm, but it's not really the same. It's not the profound and sweeping changes that occur inside a woman's body within days of conception.

Every time I've been pregnant, I knew prior to taking the EPT that I was. I was the person who'd known this new life the longest. And had he or she lived, I would share the pregnancy war stories with pride and glee.

While it is not my intention to get into a debate over when human life begins, I can say with all certainty it is a powerful force long before the date of delivery. So when that force suddenly and violently disappears, you're left with no physical manifestation of what you went through. Often you and your partner are the only folks in the world who knew this tiny being existed. And again, not to minimize the father's loss, but in general men aren't exposed to the bloody and painful way the loss occurs. Or the hormonal whirlpool that ensues as your body struggles to regain its equilibrium. Therein lies the loneliness. Long after the world has moved on, the sufferer of the miscarriage hasn't.

Each pregnant woman on the street is a knife in your heart--and they seem to be suddenly everywhere. Every tiny baby gurgling in a stroller reminds you of what could've been. Every monthly cycle makes you feel like a failure. At least, in my experience, that's the only purpose my period seems to serve these days. I know it's irrational, but there's no use applying logic to emotions. It doesn't work.

It's been two months since my loss and I'm only now beginning to feel sane. The depression is difficult to wrangle. It's been a struggle to push myself to write this blog entry. I've been considering it for weeks and only just this morning worked up the courage. While all sympathy is appreciated, what I hope to accomplish by publishing this very personal heartache is to help someone else feel less alone. So many women have gone through this and multiple times, but it's not something we often talk about. For those who have gone through this loneliest grief, please know you are in my thoughts and prayers.



Jambrea Gaff said...

I feel your pain. I have been there two times. Before PMan and let me tell you... I was SO scared with PMan. It is lonley and some people think you should get over it, but I, to this day, remember both times. Where I was, what happened. Thinking what could I have done different. So I will only say this to you... (((hugs)))

Cindy Jacks said...

Thanks so much, Brea. Hugs back atcha. I'm so sorry for your losses too. They really do stay with you forever. We at least have been blessed with beautiful kids :) I hope P Man and you are doing well. E has gotten so big. He should hit 5 feet tall this year and he just turned nine!

fiona maclean said...

oh I am so sorry. All my thoughts are with you

Cindy Jacks said...

Thank you so much, Fiona. I know there's something to be learned from every loss, but it's difficult nonetheless.