I think about loss from time to time, as you probably know if you’re a regular reader over here. I’ve discussed recovery from loss of a baby and other people’s reactions. But, we don’t only struggle or grieve over the loss of a person – whether they were fully-formed or not. Sometimes loss is part of growing into the person we have become, sometimes it leaves us feeling like something’s fundamentally missing, sometimes we can’t remember what it was like before we lost whatever it was. In this series of posts, I’ve asked some of my favourite blogging colleagues to write about a loss that they’ve experienced and how it affected them. You can find the full list here.
Molly is one of my absolute favourite bloggers. Her blog is Lovely Local Indie, with a focus on food, days out and places to stay in and around Derbyshire, UK. She’s quite local to me so there’s always something for me to store away for use one day. The boys are particularly excited to visit the bookshop and cafe at Highpeak. Beyond the blog, Molly has been a lovely supporter and we certainly share some life experiences; that makes her feel like a real friend as well as a blog buddy. You can find Molly on Twitter @LovelyLocalIndi and on Instagram lovelylocalindie.
Miscarriage (Three Years On)
I was so honoured to asked to be part of Smell’s thoughtful series. Smell writes so beautifully about loss – and the other posts in the collection always strike a chord or make me stop and think.
The biggest losses in my life have been my miscarriages. The first is now six years ago and the last one was over two and a half years ago so I’ve had a bit of time of process… I doubt I will ever ‘get over’ what happened but time has softened the pain.
Maybe that’s not quite right. The pain is still deep. But it knocks me off balance far less frequently now. Grief no longer dominates my day.
Thankfully, in between the two losses we had our daughter who we adore and feel immensely grateful for.
I wish she had a sibling. I feel guilty that she doesn’t. I had her later in life and after the second miscarriage (by which time I was forty) I didn’t feel resilient enough to risk going through the pain again.
But I wish our daughter had a sibling. I feel I’ve let her down, because my body failed and because I wasn’t brave enough to try again.
Innocent, well meaning questions about “having another” are like arrows to my heart.
Here’s what I’ve learned about loss:
People say the wrong things. It hurts. It hurt so, so much. And then made me angry. And bitter. But ultimately loved ones don’t mean to hurt us. And gradually I’ve realised that the vast majority of my anger (pain) is about what happened rather than any thoughtless words.
But some people will blow you away with kindness and love. I still remember getting home from the hospital to find a bag containing a home cooked meal (including dessert!) on our doorstep. Feeling loved and cared for really did help, particularly in the very early days of grief.
Therapy works. It’s scandalous that counselling isn’t more readily available to everyone when they actually need it. I’m in the privileged position that I could afford some private sessions and I wouldn’t hesitate about going back if and when I feel I need to. Money well spent.
(Through therapy) I’ve learnt that it helps to express an emotion rather than let the thought rattle about my head twisting itself into something unhelpful.
I write things down. Often by hand or in notes on my phone. I rarely read it back. Often it gets deleted or ripped up. But it almost always helps to get it out.
It helps to have somewhere to go. My babies aren’t physically there. But I do sometimes go to the baby memorial garden at Chesterfield cemetery. It is the saddest place. My heart breaks for the families who lost much loved babies, particular for those whose circumstances far more tragic than mine. But I do sometimes feel the need to just go there and sit with my grief a while.
Initially I went on specific key dates (the due date and then the anniversary of) or just when I felt I needed to. Over time I have gone less.
But having somewhere to go was ultimately deeply comforting for me. It really helped me compartmentalise those big feelings. I go and have a cry. Sometimes I think about what I want to say to our babies who were too precious for this world.
The physical act of going somewhere specific to grieve – really feeling those feelings – but then leaving to return to normal life – has been one of the most cathartic parts of grieving for me.
It can still hurt. And sometimes the force or depth of those feelings take me by surprise, but they are manageable now.
These losses definitely changed me as a person. I wish with all my heart they hadn’t happened. There is no silver lining. But I have learned a lot about myself.
Thank you so much for sharing Molly.