Moving Forward After Miscarriage
Madison was team girl. Scarlett and MatthewRyan were team boy. MatthewRyan cried because she kept telling him the baby was a girl! He wanted a brother so bad.
One week later he left us. The baby was a boy. And we named him Benjamin James.
A lot of what you've seen on my page this summer is REAL. Smiling on the set of my show, or with the kids, friends, or family.
But then there are the things you see, but during a bad moment. I may be upset but I put on a smile anyway. Type pictures. (Struggle does not always have a look) OR the things you don't see. Like me crying. At random times. And sometimes, a lot.
Miscarriage is a taboo subject, right? It makes some people feel uncomfortable, I suppose. Some people may stop reading right now simply because it isn't a birth announcement. I said the word, "miscarriage", which brings on a negative connotation. Is it because they don't understand, they don't know what to say, or is it because society, as a whole, values some lives more than others.
Perhaps it's a little bit of all that and more.
I can tell you that my son matters, too. And he always will. His life, no matter how brief, changed our lives forever.
This summer felt like a conveyor-belt-like-roller-coaster. My emotions fluctuated from highs to lows. But one thing was certain. There was no getting off.
That is grief.
It feels intense. It is draining. It is taxing. Even people like myself who usually have the brilliant ability to cope with hardships may find that they are brought to their knees (and sometimes face down crying in the grass) when experiencing such a significant loss.
But there is hope in moving forward.
I don't mean "moving on."
I am moving forward. Every single day.
Typically, it feels like what those around us mean by “moving on” is for us to stop hurting, stop talking about it, stop remembering, stop crying, and just stop grieving. They talk about wishing we would stop dwelling on the hurt and encourage us to just let go and accept what happened.
The truth is, what they actually want is for us to stop making them uncomfortable about our pain. Let’s face it—being with someone who is in pain and grieving isn’t the easiest of experiences. It’s difficult to watch someone we love hurting so deeply.
But other people’s discomfort with your grief is their business, not yours. You are not responsible for making them feel more comfortable.
Grief and loss are complex. Full of layers. Loss and our experience of grief are integrated into our lives, not things we get rid of.
"Moving forward" is different. It doesn't mean forgetting.
It means learning to live a full and happy life even as you miss and long for what you have lost. It’s about remembering the one you loved while also embracing the beauty and messy life you still get to live. And for me, sometimes that includes crying for my baby.
This is grief.
And grief can continue to remind us of our loss throughout our life, in different ways and at different times. I've cried on a bike ride. At the grocery store. I even cried at my son MatthewRyan's kindergarten orientation. I was reminded that I will never experience that moment with his younger brother.
But then those moments pass. And we move forward with life, embracing the fullness of it, even as our loss becomes part of who we now are.
A friend of mine once said, "Pain doesn't go away. It just changes." Dara Sawyer, is right.
Ride the waves, my friends.