I am going to be very blunt and real today. If you have never experienced a miscarriage or loss of a baby…..never say that “you understand.” You don’t.
All the people that tried to give me words of “encouragement.” Such as: “It just wasn’t your time.” “I know this has to be hard.” “Oh, you’re young, it’ll happen.” “I hear ______ is why things like that happen.” “Ya know, I hear you might have to have more body fat on you to carry a baby.” “Have you heard the term, God’s abortion? Sometimes that’s just what’s best.” And many many many others…SHUT UP! Shut up, shut up, shut up. I understand people stumble over things to say to try to “help” but coming from the other side…you’re not helping. For those who have not personally been through it, do not put yourself in my shoes. Do not try to tell me how I should feel, what I should do, or why this happened. Don’t try to give me advice, don’t tell me it’s in God’s time, don’t tell me your opinions on my story. None of your opinions will ease my pain. None.
This was one side of the spectrum. Want to know the other side of it? Those who knew I had just lost my baby and said nothing. Talked to me and acted as if NOTHING happened. They wanted to ignore the uncomfortable situation all together and not address it. I understand that some people didn’t know what to say. I get it. Understandable. But out of all honesty, I would rather have someone say the wrong thing than to say NOTHING. Miscarriage and infant loss is SO confusing. To have people not acknowledge your baby like it never even existed is heartbreaking. It’s heartbreakingly confusing. Did my baby exist? Should I be this tore up over this? Am I going crazy in my mind? Why are people acting like they never knew I was pregnant? I was pregnant! My baby existed! I SAW my baby! These are questions that consume your mind. These are questions that will truly make you go crazy.
So, what should be said in these situations? Simple is best. Acknowledge her and her baby and offer prayers, that’s it. Hug on her, love on her, sympathize with your emotions, not your words. Just like when someone loses a parent, a sibling, a grandparent, etc, you don’t try to give good advice for why this happened, and you certainly don’t write it off like it didn’t. For those who have not been there, women and men – prayers and acknowledgement is really the best and only answer.
For the one in four, my advice is to CLING! Cling to the other “one’s!” There is no better support than sitting down with another woman who has been down that same road and being an encouragement to one another. These are the people that can give you advice, from their point of view. I can’t tell you how many conversations I have had with other women where we have cried together, prayed together, and linked arms with one another on this journey. It has truly been an incredible thing and has helped with the healing process. If you are a woman who goes through this very early, before you’ve spread the word about being pregnant…STILL CLING! Find women who have been there. Talk out your emotions, your confusion, the questions you have with your body, the aftermath, your joys, your sadness, your fear, your doubt, all of it! We are sisters in Christ and we are called to lift one another up, especially during these dry seasons.
I am forever grateful for women who reached out to me, who took me to lunch, coffee, on walks, all to just talk to me. It wasn’t just healing for me but it was also healing for them. I think right after these tragic events take place, we want to shut down, become a recluse like I did. But as time passes, our longing to remember and our longing to feel, even if it doesn’t feel good, resurfaces. Don’t push the longing away, don’t ignore it. I truly believe that sharing is also a healing process and if we, one in four come together, we can heal together too.
Before I end today’s writing, I want to touch on a realization I just had while typing this post. I remember being so angry, upset, and hurt when people didn’t acknowledge the fact that I lost. These people know? Why are they completely ignoring the existence of my child?
I can’t help but to think this is how God feels about us, as Christians throughout our lives. “Why is my daughter denying the name of Jesus to her friends right now? Why is she acting as though He didn’t exist? Her actions and her heart are not in His image, why does she choose to reject me?” This breaks my heart to know that there have been many times in my life where I do not acknowledge Christ, where I have opportune moments to speak His name and I say NOTHING. Not only did God “lose” His son that we don’t acknowledge…. But he gave Him to DIE FOR US! How ashamed we should be when we choose not to speak His name, when we act like the Son of Man is too uncomfortable or awkward to talk about. Oh, how our God must be so disappointed when we do this!
I remember coming home on several occasions, crying to Anthony because people that I thought were my good friends, said not a word about what had happened. Not one word? Some would just ask “how are you?” I would respond “okay.” Or “getting there.” And they would halfheartedly smile and awkwardly walk away. How many times do we awkwardly walk away from God, from acknowledging his son and what He did for us, like He didn’t even exist! Oh God, I am sorry. I know I have been in these moments where I chose not to be bold in my faith, where I chose not to demonstrate Christ or even declare Him.
As Christians (and honestly just human beings) we need to get our head out of places they don’t belong and truly say and declare what we need to. We hide behind our phones, tablets, facebook, and social media, we’ve forgotten how to actually communicate with others. We get uncomfortable because it’s not just a “comment” being left on a FB post or a text that you can send and not have to worry about looking that person in the eye. We need to be bold in our faith, defend His name always, reach out and HUG those who need hugged, and be the image of Christ in this world. I’m pretty sure Christ never ignored or downplayed the hurting. He loved on them, He knew them by name, He went TO them. So, let’s all start going.