Oh my dearly beloved.
So did I.
But I can’t say “I know how you feel.” I don’t, and no one can. Your experience, your body, your circumstances, and your emotions are all unique to you, making it impossible for any one person to fully and completely understand the monster you’re having to fight.
There are so many emotions you could be feeling. Despair. Guilt. Relief. Anger. Satisfaction. Envy. Brokenness. Love. Hate. In fact, even reading this emotional assortment may have triggered more or the opposite of one you read. This is my second heartbreak and I can say for the most part, they are completely and entirely different. Me from three years ago wouldn’t know what to say to me right now. Heck, even me right now doesn’t know what to say to me from three years ago. But there is one commonality that is the same.
And I’m not talking about simply being alone. I’m talking about the loneliness that engulfs your heart, swallows it whole. Of feeling the same by yourself or in the midst of friends and family. Of wanting someone to understand what you’re going through, but not wishing it on even your worst enemy. Of trying to explain and not being able to find the words. Of explaining and not being understood. Of not even understanding yourself.
I just want to say that you’re strong. It may not feel like it, but you are.
I just want to say that you’re not crazy. People’s responses to you might make you doubt.
I just want to say that whatever you’re feeling is understandable. There’s a good chance it makes you feel wretched. I cannot list the ways I’ve felt when I see a tiny tot out with their family, but I can tell you that 80% of the time it makes me wonder if I’m the worst human on Earth.
I desperately want to tell you that you’re not a statistic. Everyone LOVES statistics, but they DON’T HELP. When a doctor told me the chances of an ectopic were 1-2% I didn’t feel helped. When I read that one in four pregnancies end in miscarriage I didn’t feel helped. Great, there may or may not be other people going through a similar horrific experience.
I want you to know that there is no one way to grieve. You may throw yourself back into work, like I did the first time. You may cancel all your social obligations like I did this time. You may buy flowers, have a memorial, buy remembrance jewelry, mark the date, name your baby…or you may do none of the above. There is no “right” way to process your feelings, and you shouldn’t feel guilt in doing or NOT doing something.
I want you to know that you may be able to talk about it without crying today, or you might never be able to talk about it without crying. And you shouldn’t feel ashamed of either.
I want you to know that feeling scared is okay. You may have complete trust in your doctor and body. You may have the opposite feeling. You may be worried you’ll never stop bleeding. That there are more terrifying medical procedures in your future. That you’ll never have a normal pregnancy. The only way I’ve found to stop these fears from running wild is a long, hard hug with someone I love deeply.
I want you to know that you can say no. To your family, friends, doctors. It doesn’t make you a jerk. It doesn’t make you insane. You are the one who gets to decide. Don’t let anyone rob you of your autonomy. And if someone has, it is your prerogative to handle that as you wish.
I want you to know that you are loved, and though it may not be able to slip into your heart right now, love still exists. It can be clumsy. It often doesn’t know how to respond to such immense pain. But it is there, and you will feel it once again. In fact, when it happens, you may feel it even more powerfully than you ever have before. This experience, it amplifies. It amplifies everything, but while you’re potentially only feeling the most intense pain you have ever known, it works on both extremes of the emotional scale. Hold out for the good days. I promise, they can come again.
You are strong. You are loved. You are a gift to those of us who feel alone. We will overcome the pain together.