Thursday, May 5, 2011

The One About Silent Grief

It's called silent grief. It's the type of grief that you keep bottled up inside and mostly pertains to infant or pregnancy loss. There seems to be no time limit on how long you hold onto that grief. I've spoken to women who had an early pregnancy loss and still teared up thinking about it 20 years later. It's the type of grief you don't know what to do with. One one hand it seems that it shouldn't be such a big deal. The pregnancy only lasted 6, 10, 12 weeks.... you weren't even showing yet and barely felt pregnant.

But let me tell you about that moment a woman finds out she's expecting. When it's a wanted pregnancy it's exciting. You start dreaming from the moment you see that positive. You wonder if it's a boy or a girl. You wonder what name you will choose... or you already have them chosen & can't wait to see if it fits the baby. You think about the nursing and snuggling. The wonderful newborn smell and all the amazing things that come along with a baby. From the moment you get a positive on a test that baby exists. She's your daughter or he's your son. So when you hear from the Dr that the baby you are carrying inside has died or when you start to loose the baby it's heartwrenching. The hopes and dreams you carried with you for that child dies and a little part inside of you dies.

It doesn't matter if you already had children or have more children after the loss. There's a hole that's empty and can never be filled by another pregnancy or child. But you feel guilty. "Why am I still sad? I have these beautiful children around me. I should feel happy & blessed." Yet you still feel sad. And you carry that sadness in silence because you don't want other people to know how sad you feel.

Then the day comes... a year, 3 years, 5 years down the road and it's the anniversary of your loss. You STILL feel sad about it on that day. The rest of the year you are fine... it's not constantly in your head. You think of it from time to time, but you don't think of it daily anymore... not even weekly. But the anniversary hits and you remember. You remember all the hopes and dreams that were dashed & you remember all the details of your loss and you feel sadness.

How do you grieve? If you bring it up people who don't understand think you're being over dramatic. If you light a candle people will ask... at least my kids always ask & I hate talking about it and explaining it.

So you grieve in silence. Silent grief...

Tomorrow marks 6 years since I had my first loss. And August 4th marks 6 years since my second loss. I've had Erich & Katie since and they fill my life with so much joy. But on May 6th & August 4th I remember. And grieve in silence.


Rita said...

Thank you. I have a ten month old daughter, but I should have a two and a half year old son running around as well. It is just like you described. I am never sure how to answer the is that you only one question.

Staci said...

Beautifully written. Thank you for this post! It's been almost 5 years for me, but I still have overly emotional days thinking about it.

The Doula said...

Thank you SO MUCH for the courage to write this post. I JUST had a miscarriage on April 19. I am now creating a new, easily accessible website to help with the actual process of miscarriage. I'd be blessed if you'd read my story:
Praying for a Happy Mother's Day to you.
For His Glory, Heidi