I shared this pic and post below in September 2018 on social media.
I want to share it with you here because since then I’ve learnt an even greater lesson.
And I wanted you to know about too.
But first, ‘that post’:
Today I feel strong, present, peaceful and clear.
This day exactly 1 year ago I had a miscarriage (my third over several years).
It was a sad, painful day.
Now 1 year on, only gratitude and her lessons are here.
Gratitude that the miscarriage:
– brought me closer to my husband and allowed us to be vulnerable with each other
– Helped me grieve my other miscarriages that I’d been unable to grieve at the time
– Carried other deep and buried childhood grief to the surface to be witnessed and cleansed
– Brought me closer to those who cared and helped me gave healthier boundaries with those who didn’t (or who were just ‘too busy’ to stop and ask RUok?)
– Introduced me to my beloved spiritual teacher Yantra
– Brought even more gratitude for our little family that will remain 3 (+2 fur babies).
They say nothing heals the past like time.
But I disagree.
I don’t think the passing of time is enough.
For me, nothing heals the past like the willingness to experience the depths of emotion and to meet it where it is, as it is.
Nothing heals the past like been witnessed by those who hold space for you without needing to fix anything.
I’ve found this much more healing than the passing of 1 year…..
Since I wrote this post, I received a lot of encouraging comments.
It seems like miscarriage is something so widely experienced yet so narrowly talked about.
Of course, we all deal with grief in our own ways and usually when something sad happens it’s not like we want to shout it from the rooftops like we would good news.
Which could be one explanation we don’t hear about miscarriage that often (and also because it often happens during the first trimester when a lot of people don’t share that they’re pregnant).
And yet there’s still this ‘silence’ around miscarriage that makes it almost like a ‘dirty little secret’.
In the midst of these ponderings, I listened to a Podcast between two of my heroines: Marie Forleo and Brene Brown (link here: https://www.marieforleo.com/2018/10/brene-brown-dare-to-lead-interview/).
It sent me reeling back to the time of the miscarriage and the well-intentioned comments I heard that – to be frank- didn’t quite hit the spot.
I don’t mean this to come across as a criticism of anyone–I’ve made the exact same comments when doing my best to comfort others and show empathy.
And as the comment-er rather than comment-ee I’ve felt intuitively like I fell short of the mark (which if my miscarriage experience of being on the receiving end is anything to go by, I most probably did).
The 2 key gems from the Podcast were:
1) When you hear sad news from a loved one and you don’t know what to say, try:
“Gosh I don’t know what to say right now, but I’m so glad/grateful/thankful you told me”.
The acknowledgement, vulnerability and honesty of this statement helps to connect and shows your care trumps your fears of ‘saying the wrong thing’.
2) When you want to offer help and support but aren’t sure how:
“What does support look like to you right now?”
When I shared my miscarriage with my friends and community, I heard a lot of “Let me know if there’s anything I can do to help”s.
Even though it’s been my standard go-to line in a crisis as well, and even though I know it’s well-intentioned and comes from a pure, caring place, at the time it didn’t seem to help at all.
Why could that be?
A few reasons:
According to Brene (we’re on a first name basis now!), when you say “What does support look like to you right now?” it helps the logical brain ask for what it specifically needs.
It also supports the person suffering loss/hardship/crisis to be responsible for their own needs and helps them feel safe to speak up.
My hope in sharing this is that if you’re like me and sometimes aren’t sure of what to say in sensitive moments, it’ll help you to help a loved one who needs support.
It’ll bolster connection and when we’re able to connect and be real, magic happens:-)
I’m curious what you think of these two gems?
Does it resonate for you like it did for me?
Let me know in the comments.