I, like most people around, have been rushing around like crazy getting ready for the holidays, neglecting a variety of things (including my blog). I find it funny that often when I get busy and I am rushing around, life finds a way to slow me down and helps me regain my perspective.
We set up our tree on the weekend. As we finish putting on the last of the decoration, and the kids are sick of my nagging (“no, that doesn’t go so close to the other red one”), I grab myself a moment of silence to hang a special ornament on the tree. The first Christmas after we lost our daughter to anencephaly, I made an ornament for her, because of her, to remember her. Every year since then I have stolen a moment for myself to hang her ornament on the tree, alone. To honour her memory, to recognize the spot she holds inside of me, to let myself know that it is okay to remember her.
With that moment fresh in my mind, I returned to work today to find out that a coworker of mine had miscarried last week, after trying for five long years to get pregnant. Having struggled with infertility myself, I think I can understand the grief that she is going through. I was so glad that she told me, and like with many other women that I have spoken to, I told her the things that I wished someone had said to me.
- Don’t listen to the people who say “it happened for a reason, and someday you will understand”. It isn’t true, and it isn’t helpful, and it will always suck.
- Grief will come in waves. One moment you will be a pillar of strength, and the next you will be a basket case. This is normal and okay. Go with it. Make people make you dinner and bring you kleenex.
- Tell people. Don’t be ashamed. Why is this a silent death? So many suffer this loss alone, afraid to tell others. Share your stories and experiences, breed some compassion.
So today, my heart is tender. I grieve for this amazing woman who wants nothing more than to be a mother, and is dealing with loss. I grieve for every mother who has lost a child they never held or kissed, and I grieve for myself. Because once again, even though the years have created distance, the pain seems closet than it should.
Merry Christmas Baby Girl, I wish there were presents for you under the tree, I wish you were here to help us celebrate and to complete our family. I ache for you today.