Apparently, I’m supposed to be comatose. I’m supposed to be paralysed with grief, sobbing into a pillow. I am not supposed to venture out of my house, I should greet concerned friends at the door in my pyjamas with straggled hair and dark circles under my eyes. Apparently, we cant talk about what has happened, for fear that I might feel sad, or angry, or heartbroken, or any other uncontrollable and seemingly uncomfortable emotion that will make you all shake your heads with the unfairness of my ordeal, or break down yourselves with tears of pity and your own sadness.
Apparently, making even the smallest of decisions is not advisable right now. As someone who thrives on plans and lists and thoughts of the future, it is not socially acceptable for me to do any of this for an undetermined amount of time. I get that; the day after I got home from the hospital, I stood in the meat aisle of my local IGA, looking for salad dressing and bananas and trying to decide what to take to our friends BBQ. I wouldn’t have been capable of deciding what pants to wear, let alone what I was going to do with my now uncertain future. But I’m OK now, I can decide what’s for dinner, where to go for coffee, what I might do with the time that had been allocated to someone who is now gone.
Apparently, it is abhorrent that I would even consider going out with my friends, that somehow my decision to celebrate a few Christmas drinks is any kind of reflection on what has happened to me and my family. My choice to down a few vodka’s and get my groove on has nothing to do with how my heart broke that day, I just want to let go and enjoy some freedom without squirming under a patronizing stare.
Apparently, there are guidelines and expectations on what happens now. My husband got confused because he had read somewhere how I should be feeling, but I wasn’t My mother over compensates as she waits for me to crack, as she has been told I will do. My son hugs me tighter now, for a split second longer than he used to, because Mum is supposed to be sad right now. But I’m not. Not sad, no cracks, I’m fine.
Apparently, I’m wrong and I’m heartless. I am heartbroken, but I am not crying uncontrollably, I am devastated but I manage to function. I find the positive in the negative, that my little one was not meant for this world and that if something was wrong, it was far better for it to end now than later. I’m copping flack because I’m not textbook, but then I never have been. I’m sad that this happened to me, to my family, it is unfair and I never thought it would happen to us. Yes, it was hard, the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but life is not over because my little one’s is. I have 3 beautiful, healthy kids to be grateful for, friends and family who love and support me, the only dark side is the guilt that’s being placed on me because I’m not acting/doing/behaving how I’m “supposed” to. Judgement and opinion has left me questioning everything from control over my own body to my own capacity to feel remorse.
Apparently, there are rules and I broke them. But I am not going to let others dictate how I should feel, how my children should feel, how we function now that this has rocked our family’s little world. And do I really care what these few people, who don’t really have any understanding of me, say about my own personal coping mechanism when it comes to the late term miscarriage of my unborn child?
In absolutely no way is this supposed to reflect on how woman should or shouldn’t behave after a miscarriage. A loss of a part of you, no matter how small, is significant and you deal with it the best you know how. This piece merely captures the frustration and guilt I felt after experiencing the opinions and judgements of others when I was struggling to deal with my own loss, in my own way, that worked for me.