In the past week, I have received more emails and comments from readers than I have in the last year and a half as a regular contributor at Catholic Exchange and in my years as a blogger. People from all over the world have written to me about their experiences with miscarriage. More often than not, these families have suffered grief in silence and not even shared it with family members. Most of them felt like they had to keep their pain to themselves. A good many of these people are Catholics; members of the Church that tells us to be open to life and to celebrate each life, and yet, so many suffer in private.
I am not entirely sure why this miscarriage unleashed a fury of writing inside of me. I have barely been able to stop since I learned that I lost my baby, Andrew, two weeks ago. If I am not blogging or writing articles for other websites, then I am writing pages upon pages in my journal. It’s as if the pressure of so much loss and pain has been released and it is coming out at an astounding rate. In sharing my own agony, I have been able to share in yours. Thank you for your courage to write to me or even to write public comments in an arena that is often unjust, uncivil, and insensitive.
What all of this has revealed to me is that there is a serious disconnect going on in our culture, and at times, within the Church when it comes to miscarriage. As I wrote at The Federalist today, abortion has a major part to play in this problem. Since unborn life has been dehumanized and discarded within our culture, miscarriage is not recognized as the loss of a human being. The families who have experienced miscarriage, and who have not been blinded by the ideology of abortion, know they have lost a child. The problem is, that when the loss occurs, they feel that they have no one to turn to, not even the Church.
I don’t have all of the answers to this complex issue, but I am trying to find as many of them as I can. I, and a few other brave writers, have identified this issue and are trying to bring it to light. It will be a process. In sharing the pain of miscarriage, we are automatically stepping onto the battlefield within our culture over the dignity of the human person. In sharing our own stories, we will be attacked by those who hold abortion to be sacred, and it is a religion for some. It is this assault that I fear has kept so many people silent. No more.
The lives of our babies are precious, unique, and beautiful. We have every right to mourn their passing and the loss of motherhood and fatherhood here on earth. We will live the rest of our lives wondering who our sons and daughters would have become, while hoping to meet them someday before the Beatific Vision. The hope of eternity does not mean we do not suffer and ache because of the death of our unborn children. Death is a product of the Fall and not a part of God’s original design and desires for us. That means death is painful. It is painful in losing someone and it is painful in that it will come to each one of us eventually.
I will continue to write on this issue and to clarify the abortion-miscarriage connection. I also want to advocate for those who have experienced miscarriage and recurrent miscarriage in any way I possibly can. I want families to know that they are not alone and grieving over a lost child to miscarriage is completely natural and warranted. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. This is a journey. I don’t know where it will lead. That is up to God. I am still in the throes of grief myself, but I am trying, granted imperfectly, to use my pain for good.
Thank you to all of you who have shared your stories with me. I am sorry that I haven’t been able to respond to all of you individually. Part of that is because my own grief makes it difficult for me to write everyone back at this time, but I do hope to respond in time. All of your emails and comments are read. I briefly engaged a few naysayers at The Federalist today and was able to maintain a good sense of humor and a level head in the face of great ignorance and insensitivity. That must be God’s grace, because my grief should have warranted a different response. I guess I realize that in my walking onto the battlefield, I have to learn to deflect such attacks without emotion. The problem is that our culture cannot engage in reasoned discourse, so all arguments are seen as emotional. Engaging while grieving is definitely a test of mettle and patience. It is the perfect learning ground. I study philosophy and theology regularly and as a formal graduate student. I have the tools at my disposal to focus on reason over emotion and I want to keep it that way, even when truly hateful things are leveled my way. Above all, prayer for conversion is key. God bless all of you.
2 Replies to “Thank YOU for Sharing Your Stories”
You are doing so well! I’m aware of how your grief is continuing, as it must, but I truly believe your writing is helping you and others. I’m continuing to pray for you and your family. I’d like to share with you another story of the lack of concern for the parents of miscarried children that the medical establishment and others have had since at least the 1940’s! My mom, God rest her soul, lost three babies between 1949 & 1951. I was born in 1953. The first two miscarriages the doctor told her were “just lumps of tissue” but the third was a five month old baby who died in utero. She carried that dead baby over Christmas and New Years until the doctor brought on labor in January!
Her doctor was so matter of fact that Mom informed me she never asked the sex of the baby! This could have been her own way of dealing with the loss. Well, my mom was a Protestant, (I am a Catholic convert of 22 years, praise God!) With my background I believed, and still do, that she would meet her babies in heaven (Lord willing) She was just eight months from her death, was ill, and needed comfort. She became sicker after that and in a month she could not speak to us again. Long story. But all to say that for many years now the establishment has tried to make moms feel “better” (HA) about losing a child. It has been, and IS cruel, thoughtless, and insensitive! I don’t believe it has ever been any other way. My hubby and were entirely unable to conceive, but my doctor was very compassionate with us. One of a few, I believe. I have always grieved for all the children we were never able to even conceive, especially when my sister and brother had no problems having their families. We eventually were blessed to adopt a daughter and a son. A long way to say I can’t really know how you feel, but I can imagine! And things have not changed in general in at least most of the medical establishment. And sometimes people with the best of intentions can be insensitive without really knowing it! Please keep writing, Constance, I like all your thoughts on paper! May God bless you always! Believe it or not, He is!
Deb, Thank you for your sharing your mom’s story and yours. I can only imagine how difficult it was in her generation given that nothing was ever talked about publicly, or even within families most of the time.
What a blessing that you were able to adopt two children! My husband and I have been looking into adoption for about a year. We need to get through the grief of our most recent loss before we submit all of our paperwork to Catholic Charities. Say a prayer for us! We have four adopted nephews and we already know the process is long and difficult. Take care and God bless you.