October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness month. For some, it is a month charged with many memories, most of them painful and hard. No matter how long ago you experienced your loss, the grief of it can still feel very close to the surface with your emotions. That’s okay. This month we are going to take a deeper look at grief, specifically as it relates to pregnancy and infant loss, and how to help yourself through that experience.
From my own experience with pregnancy loss, I know there is an underground sisterhood among women who have this shared experience. Something about the depths of the grief that happen cause us to open up to each other, recount and remember the difficulty of the experience – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually working through it. Sometimes it is in our shared humanity that we catch one another in the midst of the grieving process and we just know.
Sometimes having your grief acknowledged is as much a part of the process as grieving itself. When we are in pain we just want the world to acknowledge it. We want the world to see our suffering. Wanting this on top of trying to process our own pain can compound the negative feelings we are having. When we think our grief is being ignored, we think things that make us feel invisible, invalidated, and insignificant.
But I promise you, your grief is real. It is yours to own and yours to process. The world will not always offer you up those moments of compassion and understanding about the baby you lost. It doesn’t know how. The difference is that you must always be willing to offer them to yourself when you need them.
It begins by understanding that you are the source of all your suffering. Your pain is being created by your mind and therefore your relief can also be created with your mind. Everything about grief starts and ends with you and what you choose to think.
Most of the time we make loss mean terrible things about us and our ability. I promise you they are not true. Pain, like joy, is part of life. It is part of the shared human experience we all go through.
There aren’t great words of advice to be given or support to be offered but a simple act of presence and empathy with yourself can make a world of difference. Listen to yourself. Acknowledge what you need and that you’re in the midst of processing your experience.
If you need help getting started, reach out to me to chat.