A friend sent me an article recently called The Japanese Art of Grieving a Miscarriage (You can read it here.)
It’s a beautiful article. I wasn’t sold on it at first then was glad I kept reading because the whole concept turned out to be lovely.
I’ve long believed that the way we handle early pregnancy and miscarriage here is inhumane.
The not-at-all-unspoken rule is that you don’t announce a pregnancy until the second trimester, when it’s more likely to be viable.
Except that means that pregnancies that are known (and wanted) and end involuntarily are grieved in secrecy.
Aside maybe from an illicit sexual partner, there’s no other death that we grieve in secrecy. I don’t think those two things should be on equal footing.
Social media has made me aware of so many miscarriages that I wouldn’t have otherwise known about, not because women are bucking the secrecy trend but because of a day when awareness is brought to miscarriage and women talk about it. From their pasts.
We’re still not allowing it to be part of our presents. We’re not allowing our communities to help us through our losses.
There will be people who dismiss our pain. I don’t believe that’s a reason to conceal it. There are always people who dismiss our pain, regardless the cause.
Share your joy. Share your 6-week-old pregnancy with us. Let us help you grieve if it comes to that. If I had a miscarriage now, I would know half a dozen women who I could talk to about it, because now I know they’re carrying that. In secrecy, we can’t help each other because we don’t know.
I have the same philosophy on many of life’s struggles—we can’t be intentional helpers for each other if we don’t know. (Help frequently happens unintentionally, but we can’t bank on that.)
Shared joy is a double joy. Shared sorrow is half sorrow. (Swedish proverb)
Let your people share your joy and your sorrow. And check out the article at the beginning for one way to grieve this kind of loss.