I’ve been blessed with an exceptionally wonderful family. My parents are kind, considerate, loving people who raised my siblings and me to have strong morals, values and work-ethics. My siblings, although all wildly different from one another and me, are my favorite people, any of them would drop everything they were doing in a heartbeat and fly to me if I said I needed them. There’s a security in that type of relationship that is hard to describe. My extended family is closer than most, I grew up going to my great-grandparents house every Sunday for dinner. I do not think a day has ever passed in the past year when at least one member of my family hasn’t called just to ‘check in’. I have a remarkably strong support system…and that’s just the ones related to me by blood. My friends, co-workers, and 1 earth-angel of a sister-in-law have been extraordinarily good to me. I cannot put into words how tremendously blessed I am to have such a wonderful network of people supporting Dan and me.
Which is why I’ve been trying to write this post for few weeks… it’s been an endless cycle of typing…deleting…crying…typing…deleting…crying… BUT I need to write it… because I’ve been feeling like a pretty garbage person lately…
I was disappointed with every single person in my life.
Now before you turn away from this blog, curse my name and write me off. Let me explain.
After the miscarriage I just wanted to feel better. The physical pain was unbearable, but it passed… the emotional warfare that still rages in my head and heart is indescribable. All I wanted/want is for it to not hurt so much.
Now those wonderful people I described at the beginning of this post tried, my God they tried. I have a stack of cards, countless texts/phone calls and e-mails from loved ones sending their love, sympathies and support. I have never been hugged as fiercely as I was in those first few days after the miscarriage. People cried with me, they cried for me, they cried for themselves. My support system stepped up to the challenge and were wonderful.
And I let those wonderful people down. Every card I read, e-mail I opened or phone call I picked up I kept wishing this time, this person, was going to get it right. They were going to magically have the perfect combination of words that ‘fixed me’. They were going to take my pain away…
…And then they didn’t. Their words fell short (as words do), they helped me, but they didn’t ‘heal me’. And it made me sad. It made me feel like I was alone. I resented people for not being able to do or say the right thing. It made me feel like no one understood what I was going through. And I felt bitter that I was alone in my suffering. I became a sad, bitter person who was resenting the people around me for trying to help… Miscarriage Meghan was the worst version yet!
And then I read something in a blog that clicked… this woman wrote how after her miscarriage a friend said to her “No one is going to say the ‘right’ thing to you.” And I realized I was setting myself up for disappointment…no one was going to say the right thing-because there is no ‘right thing’. There are no words that can take my pain away. I’m suffering because a truly horrible thing has happened. But by expecting too much from the people around me I started to close myself off from that wonderful, kind support system. I built walls around myself, walls made of resentment, anger and disappointment, to keep the people who wanted to help away. I became my own enemy. And I imagine I hurt the people who were trying so hard to help me.
I wasted so much time being disappointed and causing myself more grief when I should have spent my time being thankful people cared. If you ever find yourself in a similar situation (I pray you won’t) – Don’t be like me. Don’t expect too much from the people in your life. Accept that they want to help you. Accept that wanting to help you is actually enough to help you.
So this is my advice: (Because remember there is going to be a lot of advice in this blog now)
- If you’re the 1 (of the 1 in 5) who is suffering through this terribly tragic moment in your life, please do not expect too much from the people around you. They love you. They want to help you. Accept that this is hard for them too. Stop expecting people to know what to say, what to do and how to act. This is a very tough situation for everyone involved. And NO ONE, I repeat, NO ONE is going to get it right…many will be close to right, some will even get it wrong. Forgive them. Appreciate them for trying. Accept that there is no ‘right’ thing to say. But remember, you have enough negatives in your life right now… do not become one.
- If you’re the other 4 (of the 1 in 5) stop worrying you’re going to say or do the wrong thing… just do something. Send the card, even if all you write is “I don’t know what to say.” Make the phone call. Deliver the flowers, wine, fruit, candy… whatever it is that will make your 1 feel better. Be willing to get it wrong in order to support the person you love. The only wrong move here (in my opinion) is to pretend like it did not happen. Acknowledge that the person you love is in pain, feel free to acknowledge that you’re also in pain…then love them.
That’s my advice, but also my apology…for the people who I didn’t let in, who I was disappointed with, who tried really hard when I wasn’t trying at all. Know that every word was appreciated and I’m sorry if I fell short in acknowledging them. I’m sorry if bitter, sad, angry Miscarriage Meghan failed you when you were trying so diligently to support me. I have enough to be disappointed with right now, it was a terrible waste of time and energy being disappointed with the people who love me… and hopefully (after acknowledging my crap behavior) I can now stop being disappointed with myself.