Friday, December 16, 2011

Loss

There are some things people just don’t talk about. Social norms dictate they are too personal to discuss widely. This proscription is arbitrary, for while people may believe the issues to be divided on personal lines, they are not so clearly delineated. We talk about “personal” things all the time; some personal things are freely thrown about (much to some people’s chagrin) while other areas are banned precisely because they are personal. And so, I am led to believe that people don’t broach the topics because they are uncomfortable, either for themselves or supposedly for the person on the other end of the conversation.

But the silence on these issues can be devastating for a person experiencing something “too personal” to be discussed. Certainly, people have different ways of dealing with life’s events, but many – given the chance – would gladly benefit from a conversation about these personal issues. I do not deny their personal nature; I defy the idea that their personal nature precludes discussion.

Often, the simple act of discussing something difficult with another person reduces the burden we carry. Countless times while in conversation, I have discovered that what I viewed as a personal crisis was in fact a collectively experienced one. Knowing that my experience was shared with others quelled supposed insurmountable concerns and sadness. There is something in the telling, something in the receiving and relating that heals. How many times I’ve been soothed by those unassuming words, “Me too!” The shared identity: now I can relax. What I’m feeling is normal, or at least shared by enough people that it doesn’t spell disaster for me if I’m experiencing it.

Just one year ago, I had never heard of a single person who’d had a bad honeymoon. Honeymoons were a glorious time for a new couple. Right? Right? I remember lying in bed in Honduras so sick I could hardly move. (Why in the world did we go to Honduras on our honeymoon? Nobody will ever know.) I was convinced I was the only person who’d ever had a less than stellar honeymoon. Oh, but out of the woodworks came numberless honeymoon horrors… once I started to tell my story. Why hadn’t anybody told me before my honeymoon? I wouldn’t have felt so worried and distressed if I’d known somebody else had experienced what I was going through.

And so, I feel the need to share an experience, both for my own healing and hopefully for others’. A couple weeks ago, I had a miscarriage at 8 weeks. From the beginning, I had felt a very strong connection to this little child, and my worst fear was that I would miscarry. I had seen the fetus, the heartbeat; we had chosen a name. There was life, and suddenly, it was gone. The emptiness that prevails is overwhelming; incompleteness consumes the soul. Emotions destabilize, and I find myself abruptly transitioning from laughter to tears and back to mirth. Then creeps in the deadened heaviness – no longer weepy, just hollow – and I wish I could return to the freedom of tears, with their sweet release of emotion. They say that one in eight women have post-partum depression, and I wonder what the figures are for women who miscarry. All those rapid changes in hormones and no life to show for it.

Truly, a miscarriage has been one of my keenest trials, exacerbated by my worries about my upwardly mobile age. But through it all, I have oddly felt at peace. I was able to say with meaning, “Thy will be done” before I started to miscarry. While it does not lessen the acuity of the pain, or make restitution for the loss, it brings peace and calmness. I have been sustained through this process and feel I can trust that the Lord will indeed take care of me. Just today I read the scripture, “Know ye not that ye are in the hands of God?” I am in His hands, and I can trust not only that these experiences will be for my good, but that there is a reason in all things.

14 comments:

Erin said...

so sorry heather. i'm lucky and have not miscarried but it seems the majority of women that i know have and it also seems hardest when it's a first pregnancy. hope the hormones get stabilized (HATE hormones) and that you get feeling normal soon.

Becky said...

HEATHER! I don't know how I missed your previous post but I have to say congratulations! Your husby is so handsome and you both look SO happy. I can only guess that he is AMAZING, just like you!

Love your current post. SO much TRUTH! We had a not so pleasant honeymoon...we were both sick the whole time. Booo! But, our marriage is stellar and I'm sure yours is going well! That's the most important thing. But, it was SO nice to hear that someone else had a not so blissful honeymoon.

I am so sorry to hear about your miscarriage. My sister has had 6, making her two miracles 10 years apart. Miscarriages are so heartbreaking and yet so often kept so private. I really agree with you, and my sister would to, talking about it helps so much. And when you do, you really do find solace in sharing and listening.

Love you Heather!

(if you can...you should post MORE! I love the way you write and express yourself. LOVE your vocabulary. I always leave your blog with at least three new words to learn and implement.)

Amber said...

Oh, Heather, I'm so sorry.

Irene said...

Heather, I'm sorry. Lo siento de verdad. Espero que te encuentres mejor pronto. Kisses from Spain

The Eatons said...

Heather, you are brave to share your experience. I think sharing will always bring people closer- we all should do it more.

Jecca Lee Ivie Johnson said...

Sorry I'm just reading this post, but i still feel sad in my heart for you. I've never had a miscarriage, but I did have postpartum depression with my first baby and I didn't talk about it. It's always better to talk. Even if someone's experiences are a bit different than yours, there is always some common ground and we can all help each other get through rough things. I miss you and think of you often.

chelsea mckell said...

So I'm only like 8 months late reading this post...
But I really think it was inspired that I randomly checked up on your blog. A good friend of mine just miscarried - I'm forwarding a link to this post to her.
Thank you for being brave enough to share!

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Heather Beisly said...

I know this blog has long-ago fallen into disuse, but Lynn just directed me here after I posted my own experiences a few months ago and asked for recommended reading (http://mrandmrsbeisly.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/on-miscarriage.html). And I'm sorry to dredge it back up for you! I'm only a few months removed from my miscarriage and already don't want to talk about it much anymore.

I loved this- and I feel for you about the shared experience. especially loved the bit about feeling hollow-sad instead of weepy-sad. I definitely felt that way for a while! Thanks for sharing!