I wrote the previous post thinking the miscarriage grief had passed. To my great surprise, I was mistaken. Without warning, waves of sadness came out of nowhere: a movie with a newborn baby, looking at newborn baby clothes, realizing that we wouldn't have a baby in November...these little things just added up. Thankfully, a couple girlfriends who have had miscarriages assured me my feelings were normal. No need to call in the men in the white coats! Ha.
As Providence would have it, a recently published book has helped me tremendously: it's called After Miscarriage: A Catholic Woman's Companion to Healing and Hope.
Karen Edmisten's book strikes a very good balance for grieving mothers: she doesn't dwell on the sorrow to the point of despair, yet she also doesn't linger on the "your baby is in heaven" to the point of forced giddyness. A very difficult balance to obtain. My grief feels very raw, very real. Through Karen's stories (she endured 5 miscarriages) and the stories shared by others (moms, a father, a single mom...) I find affirmation in my grief yet also some hope to which to hold fast. The book also offers practical advice about burying the remains, holding a memorial Mass, grieving, etc.
I'm a huge fan of my Kind.le, but this book works best in its natural, hard copy form. The pages need highlighting and folded corners. I hope to purchase copies for some priest friends of mine, so they have an idea of what to say to a couple after miscarriage or a failed adoption.
The passage that struck me the most:
"And eventually a picture came to my mind. I was weeping, and Jesus approached me, held me, a bloody, wounded hand on my hair, a strong arm around me. He said that he would not tell me why but that he knew what I felt."
I can very much relate to that image, and I think it also relates to the struggle with infertility/miscarriage. Wanting something/someone good. Watching pregnant teens who didn't want to be pregnant. Surrounded by families. Walking by the baby clothes, knowing what you had hoped will be there in 9 months will not.
Jesus will not tell us why, but He will comfort us. And many times, His comfort comes in the forms of family, friends, bloggers, a kind word, cupcakes, or a book published at exactly the right time.
By the way, after all of these heavy posts, a lighter one is in order. Stay tuned.