It hit me like a ton of bricks. It was one of those “AHA” moments that immediately made me cry. I had been listening to an interview by David Kessler, the co-author of “On Grief and Grieving” and the author of “Finding Meaning, The Sixth Stage of Grief” when this “AHA” moment struck me. Kessler was being interviewed about grief and loss and was discussing the interviewer’s loss. Before continuing the conversation, Kessler asked the interviewer the name of the person that had passed away. He explained that he did this because it is so important to name the person instead of just referring to him or her as a loss. This is when it hit me. This is the difference between the loss of a human that had lived a life and the loss of a baby that had never been born. There wasn’t a name. My six losses never had a name or a face. Because there wasn’t a name, other people had not made a connection to this life. And because other people had not formed that connection, they tended to have interesting reactions and responses to the pain of a miscarriage. This gave people the permission to say things like “well, it wasn’t meant to be” or “be grateful for what you have” or “just try again”. People don’t say those things to someone after a death. No one says at a funeral “well, it just wasn’t meant to be”. I knew this, I’ve known it for 5 years. I knew that people responded weirdly to miscarriages, but I couldn’t figure out why. The life, the baby, didn’t have a name. We hadn’t put that significance on the life yet. We hadn’t experienced or created memories yet. Except we had, hadn’t we? For those that have been through the pain, you know this to be true. You know that you had named it, you had made memories with it. Maybe those weren’t official names, but you had immediately started thinking of names, you had immediately put an identity on the life. And maybe you hadn’t experienced memories with the baby, but you had imagined a life and the memories you would make together. You had the memory of learning you were pregnant. You had the memory of your body changing from a life growing in you, but you didn’t have the memories created once the life was born. To others, there wasn’t a name. Those memories weren’t imagined by anyone else. So, they say things like “it wasn’t meant to be”, or “just try again”. These people don’t realize the pain they are inflicting with their words, they really are just trying to be supportive and helpful, but they didn’t see the imagined life that we saw.
Where do we go with this information? We learn, we grow ,and we teach. If you know someone who is going through a miscarriage or has been through a miscarriage (because that loss and pain is never gone), talk to them. Keep in mind that this baby DID have a name. I think about some of my friends who made me felt heard when going through my miscarriages and the one thing they had in common was that they acknowledged that they didn’t know what to say but that they were so sorry for the pain I was in and were there to listen. Please DO NOT discount their pain because it is a pain you do not understand. That life and baby had a name in their momma’s heart.
I'm an average girl who has discovered her passion for self-development after warrioring (yes, it's a word) through 6 miscarriages. I took that passion and applied it to helping others find their passions through High Performance Coaching. Boy mom to two "energetic boys" and navigating the art of being a step mom to a teenage girl, all while working daily on maintaining an authentic relationship with the best husband around. Sometimes mindful. Sometimes a runner. Always a little crazy!