“You are pregnant. You had a miscarriage.” Those are two sentences I never thought I would hear together. It was a surreal moment. Even though a miscarriage was the only thing I knew could account for my symptoms, I had been almost freakishly calm until the door closed behind the doctor who delivered the verdict. That’s when it hit me. The sobs came abruptly and caught me completely off guard. My husband covered me with his steady comforting embrace. After several minutes, I was able to regain my composure. I looked at my parents through tear clouded eyes and said something like “I’m sorry. I thought I would have handled that better.” I felt bad for causing such heightened emotions in the room. We had been laughing and making jokes just a few minutes earlier. It felt odd to switch gears so quickly. I didn’t realize how absurd that apology was until my parents told me that was to be expected.
Over the past month since we lost our baby, I’ve experienced grief in a totally different way than before. I cannot remember many moments where emotion has hit me in such an abrupt and powerful way. I’m more used to the gradual build that comes before a good cry. The little tug on my heart, the attempt to stop it, the recovery, then the gradual build up, then the I give up, and finally the sob. I’ve never been a big fan of crying. I do not like how awkward crying makes people feel and I don’t like the tiredness that tends to follow a flood of emotion. It is something I would rather do without, whenever possible. With this it has been so different. Almost every time I’ve cried it has been a sudden flood of emotion. No crazy build up. No chance to stop it. Just raw emotion in the blink of an eye. That is not something I would have asked for, but as I am living it, it seems oddly merciful. Like God knew I would try my hardest to stifle the emotion if given the chance, so He just did not give me the chance. By letting the emotions come quickly I have not had a chance to see who might notice. I have not had a chance to feel sorry for the awkwardness that might ensue. All I can do is cry. Just cry and be hugged by whoever happens to be the closest to me. Oddly enough I’ve found myself not feeling guilty at all. Since that day in the hospital, I have not cared who might see me cry or care that I made someone cry. In fact it has been really nice having people cry with me. Even seeing a single tear fall from someone else's eye has been comforting. I think it makes me feel like my tears are relevant. It makes me feel like my grief is legitimate. Like my baby really does matter even though I didn’t know he/she existed until that moment when I was told he/she was gone. At times I feel like I have less of a right to grieve because I did not know, but I am so grateful that God kept it a secret from me. I did not have seven weeks to get excited, seven weeks to share with our family and friends, seven weeks to get my other kids excited, or think about my youngest as a big brother. I was spared much.
I will probably experience random floods of emotion for years to come, but I’m okay with that. I have never found tears to be more healing than they have been in this last month. I am grateful to know so many people who have walked this path before me and have offered their comforting words. I am grateful for the willingness of so many to stand with the mess of a human that they call their friend. I love you all!