Loss comes in all kinds of intensity and darkness that can be both fleeting and stagnant.
Many of us in our time of grief seek support from family and friends and perhaps other resources. But it astounds me that even in this day and age, parents who suffer miscarriage often feel like they have to mourn in silence. This speaks to what we refer to as disenfranchised grief. It translates to an experience of loss that is at best rarely acknowledged and at worst, dismissed. When there isn’t an actual person for others to know on the outside, it’s challenging for their loss to be acknowledged. Well-intentioned comments like “you’re healthy, you can try for another soon” don’t recognize and honor the individual whose life was cut short.
An additional loss for bereaved parents that others might not recognize is the vision and the promise of what they wanted for their baby, and ultimately for their family. The story has been rewritten for them in the harshest of ways by no fault of their own.
It’s critical for these parents to be buoyed by their loved ones, their communities and by society at large, and it’s high time we shift commentary and our own opinions to gestures of empathy. If you or someone you love is in need of support, please visit the National Council of Jewish Women’s Pregnancy Loss Support Program. Their programs are non-denominational and serve parents who are partnered and single.