A Mother Mourning A Child
Mourning: an expression of, or time of grieving that follows a loved one's death or other serious loss.
I describe my miscarriage as the death of my first child because that is what it was to me and that is what I felt.
I felt death.
Following my miscarriage I expected that my time of mourning would end.
When it didn't I was confused -I didn't understand why.
I was struggling so much to "get over it" and unfortunately I became deeply depressed at the start of my current pregnancy because of that. I wanted so badly to "move on," and when I didn't -I became disappointed in myself.
I felt weak.
I wasn't myself -I was a shell of who I truly am. Connecting to my second child was slow.
...I was scared to love my own child again.
A friend questioned me about my distant presence and I was embarrassed to admit I was still mourning my first child.
Maybe it was her way of encouragement, but what I felt was judgement for still mourning.
Maybe she didn't get it.
Maybe -in fact, a lot of people don't get it.
There were even those who shut me out because I was different now.
Infertility and miscarriage changed me deeply, and starting over as a new person was different -and scary.
After spending an afternoon calling different counselors and therapists and explaining my current emotional struggles, I received the same message "you haven't taken time to mourn your first child."
What did that mean? Had I not cried enough? Had I not been sad enough?
Had I not loved them enough?
-You don't have to stop loving them...
That was the first time I'd ever had that thought. Something felt lighter -as if that was a message I had been waiting to hear.
For so long, I thought mourning would put an end to my pain -I was waiting for a moment of relief from the sadness.
But that moment came not in the form of an end to my suffering -there's no such thing, I will carry that with me forever -instead it came in the form of realizing that death does not end love though it may end life.
Finally, I felt peace.
A few weeks later I realized that the day I received that message closely surrounded my first child's due date -July 28, 2019.
Months after my miscarriage, the soul of my first child came to me in a dream and left me a message then too. They told me they were still with me.
I believe that soul stayed with me to get me through the remainder of this year and perhaps gently said goodbye as they whispered that message in my ear.
My days feel lighter. I finally feel fully dedicated and able to wholly love the child I carry now.
- To anyone who has lost a child, the end goal is not moving on, it's how to live with what happened.
- You may never reach a point where you feel over the trauma -that's okay.
- The feelings of trauma may never leave but remain open to love and connection.
- People may expect you to be over it already -that's okay. They haven't been through what you've been through.
- People may miss the version of you they remember. That version is forever changed and you never have to justify or explain that to anyone.
- You have permission to keep loving your child.
- Talk to those who listen without judgment.
- Seek support groups and/or professional help to work through your grief and trauma (links below).
Coping With Loss
Pregnancy and Infant Loss
Coping With Grief and Loss
Infant Loss Organizations