Miscarriage grief is something that so many of us carry. Alone. The emotions of infertility are difficult enough but miscarriage grief is a world unto itself. A silent, lonely world, very often, that seemingly doesn't deserve the rituals or ceremonies that any other life in the community is granted.
Because the meaning of miscarriage has been defined by men - none of whom have had the felt experience of a baby dying inside. Or can sense fully the deeper impact it has on a woman and her relationship with her body and life.
This is not to take away from the very real miscarriage grief that men encounter about which I will write in the future. But women experience baby loss and our female fertility in patriarchy which has unique implications for us (like guilt, worthlessness, shame, self-blame etc.). Yes, men deal with these too but from an entirely different perspective.
Being aware of this can really help us to process miscarriage grief and discern what belongs to us personally and what belongs to the patriarchal expectations of and ideas about women.
This audio and article below were inspired by Heather's comment on a post I wrote about insensitive infertility comments and how to support yourself through them. Here’s what Heather had to say:
“Thank you for writing me back about my miscarriage last summer. You are right that I have been letting it affect me and hurt me deeply, I’ve been super sensitive to others’ negative comments.
I wish I knew how to let the pain go and just move forward. All your uplifting posts and personal stories really help".
Thank you Heather for your very honest share. The way I am guided to support you in this article is to remind you that not all losses are the same. Not all miscarriage are the same either. Allow me to expand a bit...
I'm not referring to the outer differences like twin loss or what it feels like when one embryo died as opposed to a more developed pregnancy ending. It's the internal process I am commenting on in addition to the impact it has on your life.
What I am hearing in your comment, Heather, is that this loss is of huge importance in your life. And I’m reminded of a loss I experienced myself, the impact of which was so big that even months later - whenever I thought about it - I broke down in tears. As if I was hearing it for the first time.
I just felt so much sorrow for so long. I understand that your journey is unique to you, but I just want to honour that I know what that deep hurt and loss feel like.
I am also perceiving your super sensitivity now and what I am hearing, at a deeper level, is you asking for protection around this, Heather. I sense a request for feminine holding and a special space for you to process your very deep miscarriage grief. Does that resonate?
I invite you to consider bereavement counselling around your miscarriage grief, Heather, and around your baby. Because this deep sorrow is your feminine wisdom letting you know that there is something here that needs to be detangled so the tight knot of miscarriage grief can loosen....
You are being invited to give yourself that space now - to invest time and energy into allowing yourself to be held in this, to feel safe in this, to just be in your process. This will help you to let go of the pain.
Another aspect of this miscarriage grief that I am detecting is a sense of aloneness and my feeling is that your feminine wisdom is guiding you towards processing this in connection. With a bereavement counselor, for example, by giving yourself a safe, feminine space just to explore and be with what has happened.
You ask how to move forward. In our patriarchal world, there is so much pressure to deal with negative fertility emotions, get over it and get on with it. But you are being called to connect first Heather - with your deep feminine wisdom initially and then with others.
Because it is not about moving forward alone. You are being invited to move on in connection, in sisterhood and with support. That feels very important as I read your comment and the previous communications we have had. Sit with this idea and give yourself permission to open up to the possibility that the journey ahead could even be lovely for you - as a woman and a mother.
This baby is very important in your life and there are gifts to be received from your miscarriage. But companionship and company are required in order for that to happen now. Sometimes it takes another person to know what to say after miscarriage so that peace can embrace your heart, your life and your motherhood again.
If you have experienced miscarriage grief let us know what helped you most. Please share below because your feminine contribution here really matters!
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