Miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility are often left out of the grief conversation. Here are 3 ways to reclaim your right to grieve.
The loss of a child is understood to be one of the most traumatic and harrowing experiences a parent can have, and the loss of a baby through miscarriage or stillbirth presents an entirely different world of challenges.
Loss by miscarriage is commonly minimized in our culture. There is a prevailing assumption that grief cannot touch you because the baby “was never here”. As a grieving parent, you know this couldn’t be further from the truth. But societal commentary like this can leave you feeling isolated, and confused about your own grief.
Your Loss Is Valid
No one can define the relationship you had with your child except you. The moment you receive a positive pregnancy test is the moment a relationship can start with your baby. In the precious time that you shared with your baby, developed hopes and dreams for your baby—it had personhood. It was a life that mattered to you, and many others. A miscarriage is a loss. A stillbirth is a loss. Mothers dealing with ongoing infertility likewise experience tremendous feelings of grief. Parents carry the full weight of each life they never get to meet. There is no time limit or requirement to qualify for a parental grieving experience, and you should never fall into comparison. There is no grief that outranks another—each grief experience is unique and individual.
3 Ways To Reclaim Your Right To Grieve
Society places a chokehold on grief as a private event to be hidden from view, but grief is normal, necessary, and demands your attention. Here are three ways to reclaim your grieving experience, and honor the new journey you are embarking on.
- Take your time to grieve. Your heart, body, and mind are on overload when you are grieving. Give yourself the time and space to grieve as long as you need to, whenever you need to. You are exactly where you are supposed to be. How you feel today is valid, and the person you are today is valid. If today’s not a good day—that’s OK.
- Talk about your baby. Your baby may have had a name. You may have imagined the first few milestones you would experience with your baby. If you can, talk about your baby. Refer to them by their name. They were real, and it will help you tremendously to talk about them as they were.
- Seek grief support. We can rarely move through experiences like this by ourselves. It’s important to find support. Groups for bereaved parents, therapy, or grief specialists can all help play a hand in your emotional recovery.
Grief is hard enough on its own to navigate. If you are suffering grief around child loss or infertility, we see you, we know you’re hurting, and want to offer you a safe place to share your story and feel supported in your healing journey. Contact us today to set up a free discovery call and spend some time with us – we’re here for you.
Sharon Brubaker is a certified Life Coach and credentialed Grief Specialist who, along with her team, teaches women who are grieving how to process their thoughts and emotions. To learn more about navigating grief within the family, listen to the full podcast episode here or download my free e-Book, The Griever’s Guide, which equips you with the tools to live life after grief; because no griever should have to navigate a broken heart on their own.