Pain is temporary. Yet, in that moment of pain, it effects everything in you. Moments when heart break can’t be washed away. Those moments when hurt pushes its way deep into your gut and forces its way back up to your heart. That doubled over, gut wrenching pain. Emotional pain. The kind of pain that medicine can’t fix. I wish those times didn’t exist. But they do.
Looking back, my pain was miscarried. I never allowed those close to me to help carry the weight of my pain. The instance it arrived I began to mourn deep inside my soul. But I mourned in secret. I was holding a secret funeral in my heart that I never allowed anyone to attend.
In 2014, I miscarried two babies.
To help bring a frame of mind, think of it this way….
Picture in your mind the person in life that is your best friend. You connect with them. You talk to them. You share secrets. They provide laughter. They make you feel comfortable. There’s no way you could go weeks without talking to them. You do life with them. They know you. They love you for who you are.
Now take all those feel good thoughts and feelings…. and stomp on them. Tell yourself that they no longer exist and all those connections you have with that person are gone. You can’t talk to them anymore. They are gone.
THAT IS A TINY GLIMPSE INTO THE PAIN OF MISCARRIAGE.
Forget that this little person never spoke a word to you. It was life. Their life mattered.
Anger. Bitterness. Fear. Loss of hope. Broken. Confused. You once had this person you loved so much only to unexpectedly lose them.
Miscarriages can be what I like to call “a secret funeral.”
Depending on how far along the baby has developed, most of the time there is not a funeral held. I know some hospitals provide that, no matter how far along the baby has grown. Some funeral homes provide that care as well.
In my case, with all the shock that consumed our hearts, there was no plan for a funeral. At the time, we didn’t even know we had the option to do a funeral. So we returned home with broken hearts that needed so much healing.
Like so many women, I chose to suffer alone. I mourned for my babies that I would never get to hold. I wondered who they would look like. Would they have loved sports like mommy and daddy? I thought about how my heart would feel when my arms were wrapped around them. How soft their cheeks would feel when I gave them night-night kisses. What would they be when they grew up? They would have had so much fun with their big sister. Even the dog would have learned to love them. Most importantly, how they would have learned how much Jesus loves them.
All these thoughts washed over me as I mourned in secret. I never invited anyone to the end of my baby’s existence, I just held this secret funeral inside my heart.
My wonderful husband stood by my side to talk to and to cry with. I did the same for him. I also talked/yelled/listened, more times than I can count, to God about it. But as all men and women know, we are very different from each other. For me, I am a private person. So in turn, I suffered privately.
In the short time I had with my unborn children I claimed them as my own. I connected with them as they grew inside me. They were a gift from God that I cherished. So when that loss happened, the suffering ran deep.
As time passed though, my suffering slowly began to release its grip on me. God’s love began to seep into the deep ravines that had formed in my heart. In time, His peace surrounded me. It held me. My heart was finding freedom in Jesus.
I held tight to Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”
I knew in my mind that my life was in Christ’s hands. I just needed my heart to catch up. And it did.
Looking back, there was one important thing that I learned from this time in my life….
Life isn’t meant to suffer alone.
I wish I had acknowledged that.
So if I were to go back and write a letter to myself, this is what it would say:
From the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry for your loss. I know the pain you are walking through. I know the thoughts you had about your baby. Wondering what that child would have been like as a 2 year old. What would be their first word? Who would they look like the most? When they were 10 years old, would they be a baseball player or a lover of music? What would their dreams look like? What would captivate their attention? What would it feel like with their arms wrapped around you? I know the feeling of your heart being shattered into tiny little pieces and wondering how it will ever come back together. It is a deep hurt like none other.
I understand that pain. I also understand the feelings of trying for so long to have a child but not being able to conceive. You already have a child but that doesn’t mean the pain of not having another one is of lesser value.
Here is what I know is true… I learned that the only remedy I had to heal me from my pain was to give it all to Christ. He gave His life for me so that I could have eternal life with Him. I had invited Him into my heart a long time ago, to love me in all my pain. So I knew He could repair my broken pieces. It has only been Jesus that has brought healing and restoration to my broken heart. You don’t have to hurt alone. I wish I had talked more with my trusted friends and family. They are here to love you through this. Just because they haven’t all been in your shoes doesn’t mean they can’t help in the healing process. They are your closest family and friends for a reason.
As for that secret funeral, don’t let it happen that way. I am here to let you know, you are not alone. You may not know it at the time, but I now know there are friends out there who have been through that same experience. More than likely, the woman sitting next to you has been through a miscarriage. It’s more common than you think. Don’t suffer alone. Reach out to people. It’s amazing how many friendships run deeper over suffering.
One more thing.
To my friends out there who have suffered quietly through a miscarriage.
If I had been at your secret funeral, I would stand beside you, cry with you and mourn with you.
I would have spoken the same words I felt when we came to the end of my precious babies’ existence.
With my arms wrapped around you I would say to you:
“To the baby you never got to hold…. he was beautiful. To those that knew of him, he changed their lives. He brought so much joy into their hearts. He would have had so much fun with Mommy and Daddy. He wouldn’t even know what to do with all the love you poured out on him.
His grandparents would have spoiled him rotten. His big sister or brother would have been the best playmate for which he could have asked. I know you would have done everything in your power to give him a great life. You would have prayed over him each night and tucked him in to bed with a goodnight story. One day he would learn how good Jesus is and how much He loves him, in hopes that one day he would fall in love with Jesus and ask Him into his heart. But now, he has received something even greater. He is now in Heaven, closer to Jesus then we’ll ever be here on earth. I know you are so proud of him and will always, always love him.
Also, it’s ok for the brokenness to heal. It’s ok for it to take time. Don’t rush the healing process. It will hurt, but your heart will thank you for it. You are strong. You are brave for enduring this pain. So, so brave. It’s ok to feel like giving up. You will have those moments when you want to throw in the towel and quit, but do me a favor. Don’t quit. You are stronger than that. God is near. Just call out His name and He will give you strength where you are weak. He will hold you.
Thank you for the time you poured into your child. Thank you for the love you freely gave. You are a good momma. Never forget that.”