By Megan Cardwell
You know one of the worst things I heard after finally working up the courage to confide in someone that I had had a miscarriage? Something to the tune of, ”Well, at least you know it happened for a reason.”, or “There was probably something wrong with the baby.”, or “It’s better it’s happening now than later on.” As if any of that is supposed to actually bring me comfort while I am mourning the loss of my child.
What it does instead is makes me feel as though my grief is unwarranted. It makes me feel like the heartbreak that I feel right now is not legitimate. Like the fact that I can’t breathe without thinking of my lost child is inexcusable. Because I should be grateful it happened now, right? I should find solace in the fact that it happened for a reason, right?
I know that the words are said with the best intentions, and my head mostly knows that the message behind the words is probably true. But why is this the autopilot response to someone who has experienced a miscarriage? Would you say the same thing to a parent whose child walked, talked and lived out in the world? A parent who lost their child after knowing their face? “Well they might be gone, but at least you know it happened for a reason.”
I can’t imagine anyone would. So why is it okay to say it to someone miscarrying? Because, I too, have lost a child. I never got to hold them. I never got to snuggle them. Name them. See their eye color. Sing them lullabies. Kiss their boo boos. Teach them to ride a bike. Or be a good person. Send them off to school, meet their friends. So, what is it? Is it because I never got to do these things, that these responses then become okay?
I might be alone in feeling so hurt when I hear something along these lines. Maybe it’s because my wound is still so fresh. Or maybe it’s because I’m still so fragile and broken. Or, maybe, it’s because it actually is a crap thing to say to someone who’s grieving the loss of their child.
I certainly don’t have the perfect combination of words that would make someone who has miscarried magically feel better without diminishing how they’re feeling in the least bit. But I do have some of the other things that people have said since finding out that I have found a little comfort in:
“I’m so sorry.”
“You didn’t do this.”
“I will hold your heart and come sit in the dark with you, whenever you need.”
“I will not pry. But please know that I am here for you, whatever you need.”
If anyone else going through a miscarriage happens to be anything like me, it takes a LOT of courage to tell someone about the most vulnerable, darkest pieces of your heart. And the thing that helps the most is just knowing that they’re going to safeguard it. That they’re going to be there for you, as best they can, as you try to find your way through this.
Miscarriage is ugly and it is uncomfortable. It is uncomfortable for you, for the world, but mostly, for the people going through it. If someone confides in you, please don’t turn them away, it took a lot for them to do that. If someone falls apart in your arms, please just let them, they need it. If someone shows you their heartbreak, please don’t tell them that at least it’s happening now. And “oh, four the love“ guys, when all else fails, telling someone, “I’m so sorry. I want to be here for you, and I will. I just don’t have the right words.” IS ENOUGH.