My Miscarriage (Part 1)

Startled out of sleep by the sound of his wailing, slumped-over wife, my husband ran to wrap his bare-skinned body around me. Me: a pile of limbs; of bone and flesh. Not fully a body anymore, I was sure of that. 
He didn’t know why he was holding me (trembling) on our tiny bathroom floor at 7 o’clock in the morning, but there he was, faithful as forever, telling me through morning breath that it was all going to be okay.
I remember how cold the tile was on my thighs.

Somewhere between grief and shock I managed to spill, “I’m… broken sobs… having… staccato breaths…. a miscarriage.”
Somehow, I said the words. I heard them leave my throat and then my mouth before I found the courage to say them. 
Clutched in my right hand was the underdeveloped placenta that cradled my underdeveloped child.

Unsayable sounds gushed from me, and then a long, repetitive string of, “I don’t know what to do with it. Matt, I don’t know what to do with it.” “I guess you flush it? My mom flushed hers, I think. My mom had a miscarriage and I think she flushed it down the toilet, so I think that’s what you do?” I was talking in hysterics. “It’s not right though, it’s not waste. It’s not right. I can’t flush it like a dead goldfish, like waste expelled from my body. It was going to be a child.”

We buried it in the backyard instead, under the big tree at the far end of the left side of the fence. He shoveled and I buried. The sun was part up and part down, and there was a slight frost on the grass beneath my knees. The earth was wet and cold under my fingernails.
7:44am. October 22, 2015. A Thursday morning. 

The day droned on in a haze, and my emotions turned like flashcards. A flip-book display of the range of human experience thumbed by Time herself and the memory of what it felt like to press my fingers against the tissue of what would have been my kid.

We left for the Blue Ridge Mountains to steal time. To process what it all meant. The drive was spectacular, and the beauty of autumn suddenly felt so inappropriate to me.
How can death be so lovely when it happens to the trees?

Matt came and went for work; and I didn’t leave the cabin except to lay on the back porch to sleep in the sun. The mountains were coated by thick layers of leaves dressed in dark rainbow. The coffee was stale but I drank it anyway, and I smoked two cigarettes from the half-emptied pack I had lying around for the last three years or so. I don’t like to smoke; It gives me a headache and the smell lingers too long, and cancer, but what the hell. I wasn’t pregnant anymore, and it made me feel close to family. Like my dad was there; like my grandpa was there, both sitting with me one chilled October day, telling each other about the stories we’ve lived. 
I thought, “three years ago in this very spot, Matt asked me to marry him.”
Life is circular.

I opened my journal to grieve on Thursday, and wrote until Wednesday.

I grieved because I needed to. I didn't want to suck it up and soldier on. I wanted to let myself break over the loss of a little life. To scream, and weep, and rage, and laugh. To hurl angry questions at god (or whoever was or wasn’t in charge when, without my permission, by body took it upon itself to terminate my pregnancy). To feel what I felt, to say what I thought, and to yell at the open sky. 

Because healing, in times of sorrow, begins with honest grief.

I wrote a lot.

About how research says that 20% of pregnancies will end in miscarriage, yet there is virtually nothing out there written by women who have experienced this loss.
It seems like such a secret thing, like it’s something we aren’t supposed to talk about, or like it’s no big deal because it happens all the time.
I can’t understand this. It’s a very real trauma, both physically and emotionally, and women should feel brave and empowered to share their stories. 

I wrote about the shocking tendency of some who invalidate miscarriage as somehow “less painful” than other deaths. 
I understand. Losing an unborn child isn't the same as losing a child you’ve known for 15 years, or losing a father, or losing a spouse. But it is not less. It is a monstrous loss. It is not the same kind of grief, but it is grief, and you cannot quantify grief. It is the loss of a child, and the psychological trauma is incomprehensible no matter what stage of life they’re in. 
With time, in a healthy state, I would have grown a baby, a toddler, a person with dreams, fears and personality. That is what I lost. Not a ball of tissue. 

I wrote my pain, and I wrote this line. over and over: 
“Longing to be reunited with the spirit which my body denied.”

I read it in a book called An image darkly forming by a jungian analyst named Bani Shorter, and it stung me down to the bone. Yes. It is exactly it.

“Longing to be reunited with the spirit which my body denied.”

My Miscarriage (Part 2)

The Color of Light + Time