YOU CAN SURVIVE THIS LOSS
the death of a dream
Whether your loss was due to a miscarriage, stillbirth, an embryo transfer that didn't take, or termination - the loss of your baby and the dreams you had for your life together are emotionally devastating. The death of your dream baby can leave you feeling alone in a world of grief, like your entire world has fallen apart. Sadness is just one piece of the puzzle. There is also shock, numbness, anger, shame, guilt, confusion, envy, longing, anxiety and of course, the fear of trying again.
You can't imagine ever feeling happy again.
We don't talk enough about pregnancy/baby loss. Understandably, it's something most people don't want to and (thankfully) don't have to think about...but you do.
The loss of any pregnancy is often an invisible loss. It's the only thing you can think about but many, or even most people in your life, may not even know what has happened. You carry the burden of this loss so heavily throughout your day but few people actually bear witness to this complete upending of your world. This can add to an unbearable sense of feeling very, very alone.
Even if you have a loving and supportive network of friends and family - people who care very much about you, don't always know how to offer you the kind of support that you need. Well-intended people don't know what to say or how to say it. They are doing their best but you still feel alone in your world.
Even your nearest and dearest loved ones don't always know how to support you. When you need each other most, it is common for couples to grieve differently and feel disconnected in their grief process. Pregnancy/baby loss can strain even the most solid partnership. What feels comforting to one partner may feel very uncomfortable for the other. It's difficult to support someone else when you are in so much pain yourself. The natural instinct is to "hunker down" and just try to survive.
Our modern culture isn't much help either. There are no rituals or religious services designed to honor this kind of loss. We are again, without community, struggling to make meaning of our pain and find a sense of closure or at least a transition to the the next phase of grief.
There is life after loss.
You may not be able to see the light at the end of the tunnel right now but it's there. Just being able to express the range of emotions that come with your particular loss, in a safe, non-judgemental environment can do wonders.
Therapy can help you understand, on a deep level, what this loss means to you. With that in mind, you can go on to create your own ritual or way of saying "goodbye" to your baby and this particular dream in a way that honors him/her.
Taking the time needed as a couple to understand each others "grieving style" and be more available in ways that feel comforting to each other is invaluable. Learning to talk through this experience so you can deepen your compassion and understanding of each other unique way of coping, can strengthen your partnership going forward.
You don't have to go it alone.
I know the value of getting good help wherever you are in your grieving process. There's no "wrong time" and it's never "too late" to grieve this loss. You will never forget but you can move forward. You can survive this loss.