Today was a brighter day than others have been recently. Like an unwanted shadow, Grief is never far from my side, but today I found it easier to bear his presence. I’m not sure why, but I suspect a variety of reasons.
I woke up to an incredible email from someone who reads this blog. Her words were so kind and she shared her experience of her miscarriage. This woman — who I’ve never met — reached out to me and let me know we were walking this path together. Her email was loving, filled with sadness, and encouraged me to keep writing. Thanks to her, when I got out of bed I had hope for the day.
And I did get out of bed (as I have every day) but this time I felt like I had been hugged. DH and I decided to take our dog to the beach. We drove along a winding hillside road through lush California vegetation, and I thought of an old friend of mine who I recently reconnected with. She has had 9 pregnancies, 7 of which ended in miscarriage. She is bright and bubbly, fun and silly, sweet and positive. I hope that if she can be like that then so can I. And I think I can (in my own way, of course!).
When we got to the beach, my dog pranced along the shore and reminded me to live in the moment. How could I be sad when there’s a creature with shining eyes and a lolling tongue trotting joyfully towards me?
This past week has been difficult, filled with near panic attacks, disappointment, and generally feeling blue. But I am proud of myself for allowing myself to experience the pain in all its glory instead of berating myself for doing so and adding to my suffering. Looking back, there have been some wonderful moments.
Like being able to return to school and being so warmly welcomed back by classmates.
Like being busy again, and not having time to immediately respond to all the wonderfully kind messages of support from my friends all over the world, which means being buoyed again when I re-read their messages before finally responding.
Like receiving a beautiful set of Buddhist prayer beads from O., the woman I sent the Jizō necklace to.
Like connecting with strangers on Twitter, email, Facebook, this blog, and their blogs, and learning that the path is lonely but there are others out there walking with you or cheering you on from the sides.
Like seeing good friends for the first time in a long time and being allowed to be myself with them; not dwelling on things, but being allowed to talk about how I’m feeling and giving me hugs.
Like sharing sorrows — being reminded that just because others haven’t had a miscarriage doesn’t mean they aren’t having a tough time in other ways.
Like being moved to write individual thank you cards to all the doctors, nurses, and medical staff who took care of me, because they advocated for me, listened to me, and made my physical experience of miscarriage easier.
Like learning I inspired a friend to start blogging again. This time, she is tackling another ‘taboo’ subject of Things People Don’t Talk About — in her case, suicidal thoughts and feelings. Do check out her post, Living with Secret Grief and Anger. It’s powerful and raw, and a stark reminder of why it is so important for us to be kind to ourselves when we feel sad, depressed, anxious, or angry.
All these connections came together today, and now I know why today was a little brighter. I even think I learned a good life lesson:
There is strength in vulnerability: open your heart to others and you will receive love, strength, and comfort tenfold.