Can you grieve the loss of something you never had?
The answer, simply, is yes.
A young friend of mine has just shared some sad news. She was pregnant for the first time but had a miscarriage a few days ago. She and her husband looked forward to this special event with a guarded optimism. They had kept their special secret until the first trimester had passed and for all intents and purposes my friend should have moved into the dreamy second trimester.
My heart goes out to her at such a difficult time, as I personally know the devastation she is feeling, not just from the physical pain, but the emotional pain that will unfortunately stay with her for a very long time. Unless you have gone through such a traumatic experience it can be incomprehensible.
In my case I realized something was terribly wrong. I knew what was happening and there was nothing I could do about it. I prayed it was just a scare and not a miscarriage but it was too late. I will never forget how I felt and what a severe sense of loss I experienced. It was so profound and it stayed with me for a long time. I managed to be rational, and realized I would recover eventually, but the miscarriage was hard to accept. Naturally there is an emotional connection between a mother and her baby in the womb, so the sense of loss was real. There is also the loss of future. Hopes and dreams dashed through no fault of anyone. It’s also possible to feel guilt at this time because you think of all the other expectant mothers who experience not one but multiple miscarriages and they manage to go on, never giving up on their dream.
My young friend will experience all of these confusing thoughts. Her physical pain will pass quickly but her emotional pain will stay with her for a long time. She is brave and has youth on her side so I am certain she will have every opportunity to experience life’s miracle and have the family future she longs for and rightly deserves.
The following poem came to me quickly perhaps because it came from a personal experience. I hope you enjoy it.
My heart is full with news to share
We learn we will no longer be a just a pair
An addition to our family will come in June
Such excitement all around, it can’t come too soon
Things to consider and people to tell
Names thrown around like Anna and Rafael
I am so full of joy my mind is racing
Things to buy and bargains for chasing
A room to decorate and fill with love
A precious gift as if sent from above
But the black cloud came and darkened our lives
Stripped us of happiness and cut like a knife
Swift was its blow that knocked us down
The pain hurts so much I think we will drown
The loss is difficult and hard to comprehend
What did we do wrong for our joy to end?
The sunshine has disappeared and the skies are gray
Try again, we are told, it is going to be okay
It happens frequently or so it appears
But it’s hard to accept what has happened right here
We will cross the bridge that lies up ahead
Confident that our future will not hang by a thread
To lose something you never had is somehow surreal
But with love and understanding we will begin to heal
The creation we lost will stay in our hearts forever
One day soon another will come, so never say never