Grief: 2.0

After my post yesterday, I was thinking some more about how lonely this all this.

How many times I’ve said to myself, to Eric, to other women that I network with that it’s unfair that, while anyone else who is grieving any other loss is allowed to share, we are supposed to suffer silently and mourn within ourselves while pretending to the outside world that nothing has happened.

Well, fuck that.

I finally got angry enough and decided that, especially with today being the start of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month, I might as well make the announcement. Acknowledge my child to the world, so that she no longer has to be hidden.
It’s what Lily deserves.

I posted this, on facebook:

I’m angry with the state of grief and I feel it’s time to let everyone know.

On July 31st, Eric and I found out that we were expecting a new addition to our lives. On August 29th we went for our first ultrasound and were told that the baby that we were dreaming of had stopped developing before we could even hear her tiny heart beat. We’re going through the physical and very much emotional process of miscarriage right now and, although we never formally announced our pregnancy to many people, it feels right to announce our loss in the way any person acknowledges the loss of a loved one.

Tomorrow is the beginning of Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Month.
In experiencing this first hand, I’ve realized how many women suffer in silence, how much miscarriages are taboo in a culture that refuses to acknowledge our “failures,” even in terms of something as uncontrollable as early pregnancy loss.
1 in 5 pregnancies ends in miscarriage prior to 12 weeks gestation.
There’s no reason for women to feel ashamed and embarrassed.
We are experiencing a pain that no one else feels. A loss of someone that no one else bonded with.

I’m sharing this not for your pity or admiration, but because it’s infuriating to think that I have to grieve alone and that so many others are sentenced to the same fate.
We are all allowed to share our mourning with those who can support us.

A life, no matter how short, deserves to be celebrated, not hidden.”

The support that has followed is tremendous and humbling.
It really demonstrates what great people I have in my life.
So many comments from people thanking me for bringing this to light, for being honest about my experience and hopefully encouraging other women to do the same and not feel so alone.
I also received an influx of private messages from people sharing their condolences and telling me how much they respect my decision.

Several people also agreed and acknowledged that her life was precious and deserves to be recognized and that it is perfectly natural to mourn and, no matter how many children we go on to have, Lily will always be a part of us.

After the post, I left to go pick up Eric.
I let out the biggest, noisiest, ugliest cry I have ever allowed myself to have.
Thus far in the miscarriage I have only had silent cries.
This one was filled with the sounds of anguish that have been a part of me for far to long.
It startled me, honestly.

But, as the tears came, I felt better. I admitted to myself this sense of emptiness. The feeling that, no matter what I do, I will never quite be whole again. And then it stopped.

Some of the supportive and beautiful comments made me tear up, but since then, I have not cried. I have not felt miserable and unable to live.
I’ve felt some sort of peace again.

I can’t believe that after all this time I finally figured it out.
What I needed to do was act on my feelings. The feeling that Lily was very real and deserved to be recognized instead of a secret hidden deep in our hearts.
Having others know about and share our feelings of loss for Lily makes me feel less alone.
So many people out there who love and truly support myself and Eric in this have been left in the dark.
Yes, people are still mostly sad for us, but now they can be aware of what it is exactly that we lost and share in that emptiness.

I never dreamed of the support I could receive from the people in my life.

Never be afraid to be honest.

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