How Do You Even Grieve a Miscarriage
What is the normal way to grieve a miscarriage?
I drown my skin in Chanel 5. I light my grave dirt candle. I put off bathing for another day as I change out my fourth day of bloody pads. A neverending period. My least favorite part of being a woman is all the death that happens inside me as a matter of course. Now more literally than ever.
Why doesn't anyone talk about miscarriages?
Finding out in the days following my event, as I speak to friends & family how absurdly common it is. They reassure me & I wonder why I never knew. Nobody wants to talk about it but that is a gross disservice to a woman going through something alone in the black of night, engulfed in guilt & terror as waves of pain wash over her as she drowns, The Shining style, in a sea of the blood of a life that could have been.
Is there still a cultural shame with this?
A guilt that it is somehow our fault that nature rolls the dice & sometimes you get snake eyes?
I celebrate my freedom by eating sushi & drinking wine & monster rehab. What do you do when the life inside of you dies? I was planning the baby shower - torn between doing it at a Masonic Lodge (yes they rent them out!!) & an bygone era hotel in Saratoga Springs with a glass atrium dining room where they serve surprisingly decent steak tartare, a dish I fell in love with on my honeymoon (god that seems like AGES ago) in Paris.
I was ready to do it. All my fears had evaporated. I was ready to not repeat past trauma. I was ready to learn from my suffering to not carry that suffering onto my future child, who I knew would just be the coolest person I would ever meet. I was ready to turn my mystical parlor/spirits conjuring room into a nursery. I was ready to not be #1. I was looking forward actually, to having someone else to worry about besides myself. A life. A life beginning.
A life gone.
It happened a few nights ago. I felt a burning in my stomach the night before but chalked it up to weird pregnancy symptoms & zoned out while bingeing Emily in Paris, which only made me miss Paris more. The next night my cramps came back & did not subside. They increased in intensity for hours. Grinding became a churning. I googled miscarriage symptoms at least 10 times throughout the ordeal, each time checking off one more symptom as my hands shook & my temperature rose, as I made my 12th trip to the toilet to either bleed or vomit or both. I threw up the lobster mac & cheese I had devoured earlier that night as I watched the latest episode of WITCH TV where we made our spring predictions with Tarot cards.
I drew The Star, Death reversed & the 2 of Cups of the Thoth Crowley Tarot deck.
The irony is not lost on me.
After about 5 hours it was 4 am & I just wanted the pain to stop. I have always had pretty horrible periods but this was, like Paris Hilton says, BEYOND. That is the only way I can describe it. Pain radiating down my legs & up my back. Like my body was tearing itself apart. An involuntary exorcism. It was so late at night that I was alone. I did not want to wake my partner, since he really struggles with sleep & what would he do anyway? Just watch me suffer & get freaked out & want to call an ambulance. There was nothing to be done. My body made an executive order. Flush it out. It's not gonna work.
My body was breaking up with itself.
I felt total despair.
This is my pain but it is my partner's too. I was surprised how hard it hit him. It has made me love him even more than I already did, seeing how much he was invested, how excited he was to be a dad, to start a family with me. It makes me cry just thinking about it. The gift of being loved like that. I never though I would earn the trust of a good man who would be there for me like that. This has definitely brought us closer. I knew when I first talked to him on the phone, him in his apartment in the east village NYC & me in my parents house back in Chicago, that I would not be able to live with myself if I did not give it a shot & also that he would be an absolutely amazing dad & that I wanted him to indisputably be the father of my future child were I to have one.
His heart in his voice; brassy, rich, deep, emotive.
Like moss & blue lagoons & rock & roll.
Dark, real, mine.
But I need to own my pain because it is all I have right now. It is mine to share & mine to feel & mine to heal from. My tragedy to mourn, to grapple with the unfathomable mystery of death & loss. How do you feel a thing that is gone. When it is there you can hold it, plan for it, love it, expect it. But when it is gone there is nothing to hold, to love, to plan for, to anticipate. The train has left the station & you missed it. Yes there are other trains but that was YOUR train. That ride is gone. Who knows what would have happened on it.
But it doesn't matter anymore, because it is gone.
So, grieve with me. I invite you into my space. As I work my way through record amounts of toilet paper soaked in blood & tears, looking forward to getting my period again in about two weeks, after which I can try to conceive again. So basically looking at a month of interminable bleeding & the fun hormonal fluctuations that come with it. Join me as I light the grave dirt candle & let it all go. My body already did the easy part, now I have to do the hard part of letting that go in my heart, knowing that life is not over just because A LIFE is over.
MY life is not over.
The room that was once made for a ghost is still a potential nursery, but for now it is just mine. I have kicked the ghosts out. It was getting crowded. I need my own space & it will only become mine if I claim it. I claim it in the physical plane as well as on the page, giving my grief room to breathe & stretch out like a sad cat luxuriating in a midnight Savannah garden, surrounded by roses & roses & more roses sent by the best friends any sad girl could ever have.