Grief is a complicated and messy beast. It is something that each of us experiences in one form or another, for one reason or another at some point during our time here on earth.
No matter how different two people might be, they can find commonality in a shared grief. A shared grief can tear two people apart or unite them through the experience in a way that very few other things have the power to do.
Coming out of October, National Pregnancy and Infant Loss month, I am reminded just how sacred grief is and just how tightly we need to hold onto its sacredness sometimes. Over the last month I have read stories from women and men all over the world, pouring their hearts out and honoring their babies by telling their story. It has been a beautiful but all the while, gut wrenching month as I have been consumed with the topic of pregnancy loss even more than normal. Now that it is November and I can come up for air so to speak, I have been able to reflect and receive a whole new respect for just how sacred a person’s grief is.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the word sacred as an adjective, and it means: worthy of religious veneration: holy, entitled to reverence and respect; highly valued and important, a sacred responsibility.
As humans we confront grief for various reasons along the battlefield of life. However for the purpose of this post, I am speaking about grief specific to its impact after pregnancy loss. I said before, that grief is a complicated and messy beast. Pregnancy loss is just as complicated and just as messy. For mothers who have lost their child before they could even meet them or have held the lifeless body of a baby they will never watch grow up, grief can be the only thing left to cling to. We all want the people and experiences of our life to have purpose and give meaning to our tragedies. Losing a baby is one of the most tragic things that can happen to a person. When a mother loses a baby no one else knew but her, she often finds herself wanting to talk about that baby as much as possible. This can often feel like the only thing she has to give her child purpose.
October has been a long and emotional month for me, reading so many stories of individuals who have shouldered the same grief as Jeff and I, have left me both inspired and deflated all at once. It also made me wonder about the stories not being told. All month I couldn’t help thinking about the countless number of women and men whose grief is too sacred to even share. It has caused me to pause and reflect on how a person’s grief process is unique to them and the way they choose to tell their story is equally unique.
Since the creation of Love Surrounds I have found refuge in writing about different pieces of my story. It has given me a way to process my grief and help me discover how to honor my six heaven babies in way I couldn’t before. But just as my pregnancy loss story is unique to me, and my grief over each of those losses equally unique, so is the way I have chosen to share my story. Just because I am finding refuge in writing and sharing my story publicly, doesn’t mean I was always that way.
If you have not been able to utter the details of your own story aloud, I encourage you to find the best way for you to unleash them. No matter how privately or publicly you choose to do that. There is healing that happens through sharing. When we share, we release our own pain, sorrows, and insecurities. This release is a part of a healthy grief process. Our stories also have the power to help others. When we share, whether with just one person or more publicly, we touch people and affect their own struggles in way we may never know.
If you are reading this because you have unfortunately lost a baby of your own, I would love to hear how you have shared your story, or if you never have, why is that? The path through grief is a windy road that has many hills and valleys, and the way we reach healing is different for each of us.