It's a heavy subject for any parent. And until recently, I never knew the depth and weight of this kind of loss. Back in May, I wrote about the loss of our fourth baby, whom I never got to meet. It was crushing to learn that I had miscarried. Most of us have all lost someone we've loved and know how heart-aching it can be. And even though I never met my sweet little one, this was no exception.
I expressed a little of my reaction in a blog shortly after we lost the baby:
"...an ultrasound confirmed our fears and worst nightmare. Our little one wasn't with us anymore. Jon and I were both devastated and my heart was breaking for my family. I have known other familes who have lost babies to miscarriage. I always knew it was a tragedy. I never understood, though, the depth of the hurt, pain, and the broken dream of a having a baby. I have been crying for the loss of my baby, for the loss of a little brother or sister for my other babies, and it has brought about fears of pain and suffering for my little baby as well as deep feelings of guilt. I know some of these emotions are normal and healthy and some not, but it's made me think about, struggle with, and question God and His reasons for letting things like this happen. It's been one of the most painful seasons of my life and leaving me with a desire for firm ground to stand on."
It sent me into a little bit of a depression. I had only experienced the loss of my grandmothers before this, and while those losses were very sad, losing a child... my sweet baby... there are just no words to describe.
Since that experience, my heart has healed a little and I also rest in the truth that someday I will meet my sweet child when I go home to be with Jesus. I've also realized I know countless women who have had miscarriages - some I would have never known this loss of theirs except we now share this bond of having lost a child - one we never got to meet.
My reaction was that of deep grief (that I had trouble with sharing with most everyone), but I know that others react and grieve differently than I did. It's hard to put emotion to someone, a baby, that they'd never seen or met. Their response, though in whatever form, is no less valid or real than how I responded.
Here is my point. If you are a parent who has lost your child, your sweet baby, you are not alone. There are so many of us who have shared in the loss that you have. If you know of parents that have lost a child to miscarriage, know that their hearts may be aching, they may be grieving deeply or just finding the determination to try again despite the pain and loss.
Give them that space to grieve even though it may be hard to understand.
Grieve with them.
The pain will never completely go away, even if you don't see it, it's there. And be sensitive to that.
And it never hurts, even after it's been 8 months or 8 years, to ask how they're doing. Ask how their heart is doing. I'm blessed to have friends who still ask and who still share in this journey with me. And I'm thankful for that.