Changing early pregnancy etiquette– I like this article because it keeps on the theme I”m seeing more and more of in mainstream media- let’s talk about our losses! espeically miscarriage- the hush hush secret.
THe healing power of animals. This is like my story, sort of. We got our puppy six months after Mabel died. I needed something to love and mother. It’s not a save-all. Getting my puppy doesnt undo the grief of burying my child, but I found comfort in it. Do you have an animal in your life that has helped you in your grief?
I hope that you never know. I love this article for addressing the grief olympics that sometimes comes in the bereaved world. I also love that it says “be there…even when you are pushed away.” to those who want to support us. I can’t say how important this one line is to me.
Couples who chose not to have children are selfish, Pope says. Not to bring in any debate about religion, but any thoughts on this? I think of couples who lost babies to due multiple miscarriages, due to life limiting conditions, due to stillbirth, due to reasonless reasons. What if they choose not to go through the pain of another pregnancy? What of the couples who struggle with infertility? There just feels likes there’s too much behind being childless for people (religious heads or not) to judge.
Healing. It’s a word we use frequently when talking about grief and I don’t particularly like it. My therapist pointed it out when she used the word and I stiffened. My issue with the word is that it connotes an end. We use it in medicine to talk about how someone gets better, and in a way this is applicable. As we move through our grief, we function better in society, we come to terms with the unchangeable fact that our babies are dead and we begin to find enjoyment and fulfillment in the world around us. But… and it’s a big but…in my medical world we declared someone healed- their uterus is back down to normal size, their stitches have dissolved and their milk has dried up- they are healed. In grief, there is no end. There aren’t even any concrete steps. Going back to work, holding babies, getting to the one year mark- these are things we do, but it’s not clean cut. When I went back to work, I shook, I cried, I took Ativan just to get through the door. Now I move fluidly through my day, rarely crying for my own situation. But there was no discrete time point when I went from being barely able to function to now. It was gradual and I still wouldn’t say I am in a great place. I recently came across this post and loved how he used the word adjusting to loss. A more apt term.
As Mabel’s one-year mark approaches, I think people have certain expectations. One year, I should be healed. I worry that expectations at work will change, that people will think somehow getting through the anniversary of my daughter’s birth and death somehow means something huge. That somehow the difference between February 15 and 16 will be significant, when really it’s just another day in the process. I remember reading early in my grieving this post (I can’t seem to link it directly. click on http://glowinthewoods.com/ –> at the kitchen table –> scroll down to the post entitled “Tick Tock”) and taking away the message that it can take up to two years to integrate babyloss into your life. (I like how they used the word integrate and not “healed”). Two years! I thought. How am I going to survive two years!?! I thought I wanted to be healed right away, but now I can see I really just simply wanted to stop feeling the pain so acutely. Those early days were rough, weren’t they?
I still stiffen at the word “heal.” I think when those within the babyloss community use it, there is subtext. We know we are never healed from our children’s deaths, but it signifies we are functioning in the new world, the one without our babies. When those outside of our community use it, I can’t help but feel a little resentment, believing they think there is a true endpoint in our grief.
Where are you in your loss timeline? What do you think- are you healed? How do you feel about that word?