I’ve watched enough depressing movies about loss to know that one of the stages of grief is “anger.” I’m naturally an aggressively edgy person so it doesn’t take much to really piss me off (ex: people who count out their change at the cash register, people who litter, not being able to open cans or bottles without the help of a man, etc.). I suppose a miscarriage is a justified reason to be angry.
In a world of instant sharing and false perceptions of happiness, my Facebook and Instagram was like a cruel slap in the face.It wasn’t as if I was envious of people, I was just bitter that they were carrying on with their lives while my life feels so incredibly sad. I’m self-aware enough to know that time marches on and one person’s hidden tragedy isn’t enough to spread worldwide sadness. I just couldn’t stand the duplicity: how could you extend your sympathies and then post a picture of your pet, post commentary about a TV show or upload videos of your workout. Misery loves company and I just really wanted a crowd.
My best friend came over with her baby after much convincing on my part. She wanted to leave the baby at home, understandably worried that it would deepen and aggravate my emotions. But here’s the thing: right now, I’m not spiteful of her happy, healthy baby. That is her baby. Not mine. Never mine. I’m mad that my baby didn’t make it. It gets me nowhere to be mad at a great mom for having and loving her own. I want to love my own baby and I don’t get to.
What does anger me are the people who have vanished. Perhaps, they’re at a loss for words or trying to avoid uncomfortable situations, but I’m not looking for the perfect words or even a shoulder to cry on from everyone. I’m looking for acknowledgment from those closest to me.
Miscarriages are common, but it’s not common to me. Both of my grandparents are still alive. My blind, diabetic senior dog is still here. I’ve been lucky enough not to experience deep and powerful loss so this cuts like a knife. To someone on the outside, I can see how it could be minimized.
It wasn’t meant to be.
Something was obviously wrong.
You can try again.
You already have two perfect, healthy children.
You weren’t that far along.
Some people have it much worse.
All correct. But while reading someone else’s story, she asked why pregnancy loss is treated so much differently. She said, “you would never go up to a widow at a funeral and say ‘you can just get remarried,’ ‘you weren’t married that long,’ etc.” That would be wildly inappropriate and you’d probably be punched right in the face and labeled as cold hearted, but people’s trivialization and dismissal of pregnancy loss is just as painful.
I get that the right words are impossible in situations like these. I’m not asking for an explanation, a solution or even a well-thought out response, but I am asking for a sign of love from people that I love and from people that I thought loved me. If we share DNA or even a history of meaningful friendship then how can you go missing/ I feel alone as it is.
I’m not angry by people that are happy right now, but I do detest people that ignore hard situations in favor of not making it awkward.
Tough times show who the good people are.
- A best friend and coworker who appeared at our doorstep with dinner.
- A cousin, who experienced her own tremendous loss, delivering a handmade card and beauty products as a reminder to take care of myself.
- A new group of running friends sneakily leaving gourmet donuts on my porch.
- A friend bringing over her kids to keep my own kids distracted and busy while we swapped our pregnancy loss stories over cupcakes.
- Coworkers who I barely speak to, going out of their way to plan my class lessons, make copies and write up sub plans so I wouldn’t have to worry.
- Our former babysitter and now family friend, bringing a cookie cake and potted flower over to brighten our day
- Friends and acquaintances reaching out through text, calls, messages to let them know they’re there and care.
People are good. People are really good. They’ve surprised me and restored my faith in humanity.
I’m trying not to focus on the few that have disappointed me. The ones that I thought would be there, but aren’t. Those are the ones that make me angry. I resent them for thinking that we’re okay, that we’re strong enough without their support.
It turns out we are strong enough, but it still stings..