Let it Go… and grieve

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.

Let it go… crying doesn’t mean you’re broken, or that you’re less than. Grief is normal. It’s time the world has to come to grips with that. istillmissyou-default-926729825


Finding Joy after Acceptance

istillloveyou-default-425870000Science recognizes five stages of grief, according to the Kübler-Ross model that we’ve all heard of; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.   I accept a lot of things about life without really embracing them. I accept that the cashier at Starbucks didn’t give me correct change; that doesn’t mean I am okay with it. I accept that it is raining, but that doesn’t mean I like it. From a religious standpoint, I accept the world… but that doesn’t mean I embrace it.

Pregnancy loss requires going through the grieving process. It’s denying that this is really happening, anger that it’s happening (the ‘why me?’), bargaining for a second chance, depression over what could have been, and then acceptance. Acceptance that this particular dream is over. That this hope was fleeting. It seems that every so often, we repeat the process again…. and again.

But what if there comes a time where you move beyond just accepting?

Shortly after my first trimester loss, we found out we were expecting. It was exciting, albeit nerve wrecking. Thankfully my pregnancy was uneventful, and we welcomed  healthy baby.

At some point, probably during a late night nursing session that is oh so common in those early days, I realized I had found my joy in the grieving. Without the loss, I wouldn’t have been holding my sweet newborn. Well, I suppose I would have been, but not that newborn.  And I was quite partial to this particular little human.  It was at that moment that I realized there’s more to acceptance than just saying okay.

I was grateful. Grateful that the pain had blossomed into joy. Grateful that my sorrow had only lasted for a (hypothetical) night.  I was thankful for every moment I had with the baby we said goodbye to too soon.  I didn’t have to pour over every second and be tearful.  Instead I could chose to rejoice for the time that I did have.  I found comfort in knowing I had held that baby his or her whole life, and all they had ever known was love. I was grateful that our sorrowful goodbye would be followed by a joyous hello.

I accept my loss, though it hurts. Acceptance and joy do not mean the hurt is done. I don’t think that’s every truly a closed book. I’ve moved past that stage of grief, though. It’s my journey beyond the grief that has brought me to this point. It’s knowing there’s so much more than goodbye.

For Such a Time as This…

Esther 4:14.

This verse had never stood out to me before. Until I woke up one morning, it was just another verse that I’d heard a thousand times over. Yet when I opened my eyes, and knew exactly where my passion was taking me, every time I prayed I heard this. For such a time as this… Maybe this was God’s way of saying hey, let’s get on this. Let’s do this… You in or what?

Considering here I am, I’d say I’m all in.