“Shame grows in secrecy, silence and judgment, but it can’t survive surrounded by empathy.”
There are a few parenting topics which I realize people don’t talk much about. One of them is the incipient stage of adoption. It’s too emotional and uncertain. People can’t help themselves to not pass judgement, while dressing it up as advice or share generously their uninformed opinions.
The other one is miscarriage. I have heard of so many unkind responses to miscarriages, it makes me cringe. And it is never the right time for a miscarriage to be burdened with the education of others. It takes a lot out of the mother as well as the father to process their own pain while helping others to understand and consequently speak and act with more kindness, at least in the future, with others.
Our human tendency is to solve it, to explain it, to assign responsibility. That only proves our inability to cope with the brokenness of the world as is. Most new parents delay announcing their joyous news, out of fear that they will have to go back and let everyone know that their joy is now sorrow. And yet that deprives them of having others be sensitive, and mourn with them. And thus we slowly forget how to mourn together.
- Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
- Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.
- The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.
I’ve been meaning to write about this for a while. Just because it’s on my heart. Because my heart aches for many friends who had to ever suffer miscarriages. Because when I was told by Conrad’s oncologist that we can’t have kids, after five years of trying, I found myself bursting into tears at the grocery store, at the sight of a baby in a stroller, or at work, when a colleague entered in, with his newborn baby to show him off, or at church on Mother’s Day. A deep sadness would hit me unexpectedly, out of nowhere, as a reminder of something my heart desired but that door had been slammed in my face.
I didn’t reach out to many others to talk about it, to process. I wrote. I wrote poems, letters to Conrad, I wrote on my blog. I prayed. And in due time God gave me clarity and healing of heart. I haven’t lost the joy. I am giddy with hope and anticipation for any expectant mother. I don’t envy or compare. We have been given the gift of parenting in a slightly different way, and for us that is perfect. And we do the best we can every day. I often forget now that we are different, that our journeys half a decade ago were so widely different and peppered with tears of deep sorrow for some and deep joy for others.