Like many young kids, my 8 and under crowd are still jumping around singing ‘Let it Go.’ I’ll be honest… it’s adorable. Especially when my four year old son sings it. I can’t stand the movie, but it’s cute with kids.
But if you stop and think, the same applies from a loss perspective. As moms, we try to keep it all together and paint this perfect picture for the world. We try to always make everyone think we are just fine. It’s okay to let go. Grieving is normal. Why do we think we have to hide our emotions? Why is it that it’s socially acceptable to say that you’ve lost a mother/father/sibling/pet, but mention a miscarriage and you hear crickets. No one knows how to respond. Why is that? With the miscarriage rate as high as it is (one in four at least, though some believe it’s closer to one in three), it’s not like it’s something rare. Everyone knows someone affected. So why is it still taboo?
I know why; because it makes others uncomfortable. Because God forbid our lives offend someone else. No one wants to think of a cruel reality of losing a baby. It’s an ugly thing to think about, so we’ll just not think about it. Don’t speak about it. What good does that do anyone? Besides shaming loss parents, of course. Here, go grieve in a corner. That’s helpful.
So isn’t it time to let it go? To normalize our feelings too? Friends and family rejoice with us over the birth of a new baby; shouldn’t they be able to grieve alongside us when our pregnancy doesn’t go the way that we planned? I don’t understand that double standard.
Maybe it’s that our perspective changes after loss. Beforehand, pregnancy is sunshine and roses. Afterwards… someone announces a pregnancy and you hope they never know the pain of saying goodbye. Scenes like in the Disney movie UP, where it seems Carl and Ellie are dealing with infertility or loss resonate. When someone opens up about a loss, you nod, knowing the realm of their pain. Our perception of the world is forever altered. The rose colored glasses are broken. After you’ve lost a baby or child…. really, what is more cruel than that? We’ve experienced one of the worst things that can happen… and we are stil standing.