Don’t Tell Me It’s ‘OK’ That I Lost My Baby
If you have experienced a miscarriage, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can find grieving resources at The Grief Toolbox.
Don’t tell me it’s “OK” that I lost my baby. After six miscarriages, I felt I had heard them all — all the awful things people say intending to help.
I know none of them meant to be cliche, trite, thoughtless. And, all the same, the words kept coming. And they hurt, some more than others. It seemed I couldn’t move fast enough to dodge them.
Our first loss came when I was 25, three years after the healthy birth of our son. Having had this perfect pregnancy and smooth delivery, the loss of our second baby stunned us into a state of shock.
That first lost baby died at four and a half months: I carried her for six months. And the thing I heard most often was, “It’ll be OK.” And it was not OK. It would never be “OK.”
Second in line were variations of, “there was probably something wrong with it.” And? And? That sentiment implied we wouldn’t want her if something was wrong! Judgment and a sense of invalidation of our feelings is evident in that one.
And how about, “don’t cry, don’t feel bad?” Again with the negation, minimizing what we were going through. And it does not acknowledge our grief. Let us mourn for goodness sake.
And here’s a real kicker: “You can always try again.” This one makes me livid to this day. It suggests one individual can replace another. That is unintentionally mean. I remember wanting to slap the person who said this.
There was so much more said to us that caused pain and added to our heartache. And we tried to weather it with a modicum of grace.
The best advice I can give to someone dealing with grieving parents, people knocked to their knees after a miscarriage, or indeed, any other heavy loss is just to be available. Try offering concrete help, like preparing a meal. Folks in deep grief often forget to do the most basic things.
And, if you feel you must say something, just be honest. Tell them you care. Otherwise, be quiet. Be a good listener. And, when the silence comes, let it be.
Getty image by nicoletaionescu