For as many steps as I’ve taken toward moving on, there are still days where I feel like I’m caught in quicksand.
No matter how much I work, or how many weekend trips I plan, or how many runs I do in the morning, no matter how much I fill my day planner, I cannot escape the miscarriage. I’ve tried my best to fill my life with work, and friends, and church, and books, and magazines, and exercise. I’ve tried not to leave any room for grief. But somehow, it keeps finding its way in.
If I’m quiet for one moment, I slip into a daydream where I imagine myself six months pregnant or decorating a nursery. I catch myself imagining my husband rolling over in the morning and kissing my big belly, whispering to our son or daughter.
I fall into pockets of sadness in the mundane moments of my life – just today, in the simplest act of wiping down the sink after rinsing dishes. I had to turn away from my husband because I didn’t want him to see the tears in my eyes. I know he could sense something was wrong but there’s nothing I can say that will help him, or anyone understand.
I’ve been feeling much better lately. Really, I have.
I’ve been thinking about what I learned from this whole experience and I’ve come up with a few things:
Grief is like a tsunami. It comes suddenly and in huge waves. It completely drowns the heart and mind and then it recedes, slowly. Eventually, things get back to normal but it takes time and you can’t rush it. And that takes me to my next learn.
Time really does heal. Yeah. It’s cliché and I wouldn’t have believed you two months ago if you would have said I would feel like myself in just eight short weeks. But I do. I think the catch here is that you have to be willing to heal and, for me that meant finding out that you have to…
Trust the process. I’m still working on this one. Pregnancy is a forty-week process. Miscarriage is a process. The monthly menstrual cycle is a process. Grief is a process. Healing is a process. I’ve learned I can’t rush any of it. I’ve tried and it just leads to more anxiety. Anxiety leads to suffering and here’s what I’ve learned about suffering…
Suffering is a choice. After this experience, I can distinguish between grief and suffering. Grief is what you feel when you lose something that meant a lot. Suffering is becoming a prisoner to grief. I can grieve my loss but I will not suffer from it or because of it because I deserve more.
If a woman in my life ever experiences a miscarriage, these are the things I would tell her. She wouldn’t believe me, of course, because it’s not something you can believe until you go through the process yourself. But I would tell her anyway because when you go through a miscarriage, you want to know that it will get better even when you simply can’t imagine anything but the pain of the loss.
While I’m sad I had to learn these lessons in this way, I’m grateful that I’ve been able to come away with something and I’m proud to say that I survived.