Saturday, October 27, 2012

Lighting a Candle

*Note: I intended to post this on October 15 for Pregnancy and Infant Loss Rememberance Day. Better late than never, right?

Last night I heard a friend is pregnant. My first thought was to wish her a long and boring pregnancy, but I wasn't sure she'd get what I meant. Another friend is in her 41st week. She might consider my blessing more of a curse at this point. :) But anyone who has known the heartbreak of a non-boring pregnancy that ended too soon can relate. Being 41+3 weeks pregnant and miserable sounds pretty good to me!

Speaking in general terms, it seems our society doesn't handle death very well. We expect the bereaved to keep a stiff upper lip, put on a brave face, and get on with their lives. We definitely don't want to be reminded of our own mortality or be made uncomfortable in any way. This is bad enough when someone has lost an adult friend or family member, but it's even worse when a child dies. Children aren't supposed to die.

As for losing a child before birth, well, for too long that just wasn't talked about. Things have started to change, but pregnancy loss is still taboo for a lot of people.

I want to tread carefully here. Some women (like me) choose to be very open about their pregnancy losses and grief. Others choose to grieve privately. Still others don't feel much grief at all, especially if the loss was very early. All of these responses are okay. There is no one right way to grieve, and I would never presume to tell a woman how to feel. I expect the same consideration. I fear there are many women who suffer in silence not because that's how they prefer to grieve but because it's what is expected of them.

On October 15, I lit two candles for my angels, Grace and Ian. I wish peace to all mothers (and fathers, too) who are missing babies.

No comments:

Post a Comment