The following post was written by Claire Gillenson whose mission is moving loss to possibility. Loss is a part of life, and miscarriage is all too common not to talk about. I admire her openness and am grateful that she creates space for the grieving process. Here is the wisdom she has shared.
Warning: This post is intensely personal, and my perspective may not resonate with everyone. This is just a humble perspective of loss from a party of one.
On 2/11/14, I had a miscarriage. For 6-7 brief weeks, he appeared, but suddenly he was gone. I even named him, spirit baby Michael.
For 2 weeks, I allowed myself to feel pain, anger, shame, denial, and unworthiness. I admitted to myself I wanted this so badly. I stopped getting mad at myself for allowing myself to get excited so soon. I questioned, then stopped questioning, wondering what I could have done differently. In my grief, one night, I even projected my pain onto my husband, because he said having another child would not be his first choice, then finally, I took responsibility for projecting my loss. Past losses came up again for healing “Hadn’t I been through enough already?—stage 4 cancer, my mother’s suicide, divorce, infertility , etc” until one morning I woke up to begin counting my blessings and gratitude instead of re-writing all of those stories. I stopped thinking I wasn’t good enough, worthy enough for this spirit baby to stay.
This week, I was reminded that:
Everything is energy.
What we focus on amplifies.
Energy doesn’t discern whether a loss is big or small.
It just knows it’s moving or it’s stuck.
There are 2 ways I could heal my loss.
I could continue to stay in my grief and give more to that stuck energy.
I could even build stories around my loss, an armor to protect my heart.
This is the way of the warrior.
Telling myself I’ve got to control it, manage it. Keep trying, going, going, don’t stop. Get the sword out to fight, (especially in the case of wanting to be pregnant) with no idea when and if I will get there (success) or how it is going to end.
This was the old me around secondary infertility. I would have continued to go through my to-do list, meditate, run energy, eat super healthy, exercise 3-4 times a day, etc. Do whatever it takes to “manifest” or “will” baby Michael to make another appearance. This way is exhausting.
And at what cost?
There is another way. A softer way.
Whatever your loss is, find your way to accept things as they are.
Miscarriage isn’t a good or bad
Death isn’t a good or bad
Divorce isn’t a good or bad
Cancer isn’t a good or bad
A breakup isn’t a good or bad
It just IS.
Instead of grasping at negative messages, learn to let negative emotions go. Neutralize self-judgments or negative thoughts. Stop sugarcoating loss with well meaning myths like “It’s God’s will” “Be strong”, or “Stay busy”. Put away the guilt, the “would haves” “should haves”. A loss is a loss is a loss. One loss isn’t more important than any other.
You are not less or more of a person because of any loss that’s happened.
You are wise, capable and a good person. Period.
No sugarcoating the past few weeks. I had a miscarriage. In the darkest moments, there was pain, darkness, suffering. I am far from perfect. I’ve been down the slippery slope of depressed and back.
The softer way. I remind myself all the “doing” is just an illusion of me trying to be in control. A month away from my 46th birthday, I accept pregnancy may never happen for me again, ever. Or it may. Either way, it doesn’t change who I am. I am no longer attached to the outcome in a way that can be paralyzing. I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t be over the moon in calling in a sibling for Kayman. In present time, I am accepting of what is.
What’s true today. I love being a mother (to both my 2 legged and the 4 legged “kids”) I am going to focus that goodness here right now versus the suffering. I am so so profoundly grateful for these learnings (and I continue to learn and uncover more gems each day), and ways to work through the ebbs and flow of loss. I am no different or more special than anyone else because of what happened.
Through these personal experiences, I’ve learned some new tools to transform loss. I’m grateful to be on other side of more possibilities, and am here to support you or anyone you know that is going through a rough patch. I am grateful for my coach and my community being a “container” for my loss. I took some time off to grief, knowing that in order to be there for others, I had to replenish first. It feels good to feel grounded, and back in my body. If you are grieving, this is my wish for you too.
– See more at: clairegillenson.com