Wednesday, February 27, 2013

What I want to say to her

When he was 19, my husband served a mission for my church for 2 years.  While on his mission he got compared with other young men as a "companionship." This would change every 6 weeks to a few months, depending.  As you can imagine, he developed some lasting friendships and is still in contact with several of his old companions.

Today he found out that the wife of one of them just lost twins (I don't know what gestation).  I told him to tell David to let his wife know I'm here if she needs someone to talk to.  And there are some things that I definitely want to say.

~It's okay to be devastated.  It doesn't matter when it happens, having a baby or babies die is one of the most horrible things that can happen to a woman.  It shatters your very sense of self.  It doesn't matter when it happens, either.  The moment you know you are pregnant you start having hopes and dreams and plans for that child.  And having those stolen from you hurts, whether it's the day after your positive test, or years after the child is born.

~It's okay to not want to think about it.  Sometimes, the pain hurts so much you can't breathe, and the only way to KEEP breathing is to turn it all off.  That doesn't mean that you don't love those babies.  Do what you need to get you from one moment to the next.

~You don't have to accept hurtful statements.  Very well-meaning people will try to say things to make you feel better.  Only, the idea that you can be made to feel better about it undermines and invalidates your feelings.  It's okay to tell people that what they've said is actually painful for you.  Hopefully, because they love you, they will try to understand what you need from them at that moment.

~It's okay to ask for help.  If someone says "If there's anything I can do...," ask them to do your dishes.  It's okay to allow someone to serve you.  It will help you both.

~It DOES get better.  That doesn't mean that the pain ever completely goes away, because I don't think it does really.  You love your child, and therefore you will always miss them and wish they were there with you.  But you will be able to smile and laugh again.  It is possible to find joy in life again.  It is possible to find joy in the child that you lost, even though you don't have them with you.  Smiles will one day come with the tears, and the tears will no longer be constant or even every day.  And sometimes the smile will come without the tears.  It does get better.

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