The Right to Grieve
I feel very stuck lately. I should be 30 weeks pregnant, but I’m not. I’m not pregnant at all. And here come the holidays, reminding me that instead of swollen ankles and heartburn, I have an empty uterus and a missing piece in my heart.
I’m a very dramatic person. Those of you who know me on a personal level have just laughed and thought, “Understatement of the year.” I come from a long line of dramatic people. When something small inconveniences us or upsets us, we take it to next level insanity.
Over the past few months, people have unintentionally acted like I am being overly dramatic in regards to the loss of this child. Some people have lost their child at the halfway point of their pregnancy, or even further along. I cannot even begin to fathom the type of pain that creates. I only knew my child for a week before I was in the ER with bleeding, and a total of 9 days before it was confirmed that he was gone.
It appears that some people think that because I was only 7 weeks along, I should be over it at this point. That my tendencies for being dramatic are carrying over into my grief. This isn’t the case. Everyone is entitled to their right to grieve the loss of a child at any time during their pregnancy. I don’t even know if my child was bigger than a grape at that time, but to me, he was a person. In my mind’s eye, he had a life ahead of him that he never got to lead.
I still have family members, whether blood or marriage, that still have not said anything to me. Not one word. They haven’t even acknowledged what happened. And that actually causes my grief to be deeper. Because now, I feel like I have to grieve for my lost child not only for myself, but for them. I want to give him the type of honor and memory so he knows he was loved and was never forgotten.
My well-meaning husband mentioned that we could go on our vacation at the end of May, beginning of June. I had to step back, realizing that he didn’t remember those dates had significance. May 31st was the confirmation of my miscarriage and June 2nd was the day I had my D&C. I was so taken aback that he didn’t remember every single detail of the worst three days of my life. I guess that goes to show the depth of a mother’s love for her child. In saying that, I don’t mean to take anything away from my husband. He is a wonderful, caring father to our spirited two year old.
Here’s my point to the drawn out post: You, as someone who has lost a child, at whatever point in your pregnancy, have the right to grieve. While we can’t expect anyone else to understand our grief unless we’ve gone through it, we have every right to process and feel it. No one can tell you how long, how strong, and how much to do so. It is your healing, no one else’s. And if someone simply doesn’t understand, tell them you’re grateful that they don’t understand. That you’re so happy they don’t have to experience that type of pain.