I have racked my brain trying to figure out how to ease your immeasurable pain. I could send food, but maybe having to cook every day is a distraction you need. I could send flowers, but they are sometimes more of a burden than a blessing. I could text you every day, but it would only serve as one more reminder of what you’ve been through.
And you’ve been through too much.
So I will give you this letter instead. The grief you and I have experienced, or are experiencing, are different. I lost my pregnancies early on, when I was full of hope but had not planned anything yet. You on the other hand had seen your baby’s heartbeat, picked out names, and envisioned your new future. I can’t pretend these are the same thing, but I’ve recently learned that they don’t need to be. I learned that comparing losses and comparing grief, serves only to isolate. And you don’t need more isolation right now. I would imagine you already feel alone with your feelings.
I know that you’re wondering if you did anything to cause this. You didn’t. I know you’re wondering if you could have done anything to prevent this. You couldn’t have. You did nothing wrong. Sometimes, terrible things happen. For lack of a better word, it sucks. It sucks so bad. It sucks so all-consumingly that it feels like you will never move on, that you will always feel grief the way you feel it today.
You won’t, move on, that is. And you won’t experience grief the same way every day.
What I mean by you won’t move on is that you don’t have to. I’ve written a few times in my blog posts about how you don’t move on, you move forward. This is what it means to me: what you’ve lost and what you’re experiencing is shattering. So shattering that you can’t put yourself back together in the same way. Some pieces will be missing, some put back in the wrong places.
But that doesn’t mean you don’t keep waking up each morning, putting one foot in front of the other, and walking forward. You’re not the same person as you were before your loss, and you’ll carry that change with you forever. But you can still move forward in the new skin you’re wearing — when enough time has passed, when you’re ready, when you can — when enough time has passed, when you’re ready, when you can.
But here’s the thing – you’re not going to wake up in a few months and feel completely better.
But you will feel different. Changed. You will see the world through different eyes — ones that notice pregnant people more, ones that sometimes find it hard to be supportive or happy for others some days, and on other days you will see through eyes that give you a deeper sense of empathy and compassion. It doesn’t “get better” but it gets “something else.” It becomes grief you can hide better, that only gets triggered sometimes. It stays beneath the surface so you can live your life again, but it’s there now, forever.
And the last thing I want to tell you is the hardest thing to accept: you are a mother now. I’m so so sorry you don’t have your baby in your arms, but you have her in your heart. You are her mama, forever. She was so lucky to have you, even for a short time. And you were lucky to have her, even for a short time.
It’s the worst club to be in.
The club of mothers who lost their babies too soon… in the first, second, or third trimesters, or after they’ve had the chance to spend years and years with them. There is no good time to lose your baby.
But the clock will keep ticking, days will pass, and you really will experience joy again, with her in your heart the whole time.
I am always here for you.
By Vidya Ledsham