I've been talking a lot about the m&m recently. Immediately after the miscarriage, I felt like this wall of silence was put between me and the people around me--I was grieving harder than I'd ever grieved in my life but I felt like I couldn't tell the people I interacted with on a daily basis--not my students, not my classmates, not my teachers, not my Junior League committee members.
That was probably smart. I found it hard to even think about the baby without sobbing--talking about him or her was probably beyond my ability at that point.
Now, however, I've been telling people about the miscarriage frequently (though I hope not indiscriminately and not in detail--merely the fact that it happened). And with each person I tell, it's like a little weight is lifted off my chest. I hate the burden of secrecy. I hated not only feeling loss and sadness but having to hide the source of those feelings.
I know why others choose to keep their emotions private and conceal their pain. But I've learned how healing it is for me to share my experience, and so I refuse to feel guilty for talking about this. I'm also lucky that none of the colleagues and friends I've told have given me the crappy, standard post-miscarriage responses. They've all responded with compassion and understanding.
I've learned that my former Junior League chair had a miscarriage two years before her toddler daughter was born. I've had a fellow grad student, the mommy to two little girls, tell me that the mommy part of my life has started now, even though I don't have a baby yet. I've had lots of hugs. And even when all I hear is, "I'm so sorry," it feels nice to be open and honest, nice to acknowledge that there was a baby, a baby who is gone now, a baby who left a sadness behind that will always endure.
So for my gals out there starting that long walk back to recovery after a miscarriage, I don't suggest you do things my way. But sometimes it's good to give people the opportunity to surprise you with their kindness and sympathy.