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Friday, July 17, 2009

Life & Death Before Birth: The Grief Process


Photo by kudomomo

I once read that “grief is a lifelong process ; that it is not the passage of time alone that heals but what you do with that time that heals.” The agonizing pain that you feel will gradually diminish as time passes and you work through it but it will never completely go away. At least it hasn’t for me.

The Grief Process

There are various stages and emotions that one goes through after experiencing a loss. For some, they will experience them all in and for others, they may only experience a few. The key is to remember that there is no right and wrong; there is no normal. It’s just what works for you!

Shock & Denial. At first I couldn’t believe it was happening to me! Then despite everything that was happening, I refused to believe that our baby was gone until the ultrasound confirmed it. I kept thinking everything will be fine.

Preoccupation with the Miscarriage. I became obsessed. Whenever I had the opportunity I read blogs, books, websites, stories about miscarriage and then about pregnancy after miscarriage. It was consumed with the desire to get pregnant again as quickly as possible. This is normal and it will pass in time. It’s also normal if you don’t feel that way.

Symptoms of Distress. Sleeplessness, feelings of emptiness, hollow feeling in the stomach, lack of energy, poor appetite. I experienced bad dreams and had a really hard time sleeping. Thankfully my benefits covered massage and that really helped me, as did having a warm bath before bed. You may also have feelings of panic, unreality, emotional distance from others or thinking that no one else understands.

Anger, Guilt,  Depression & Withdrawal. All very normal parts of grief. Maybe you are angry at yourself, the doctor, or God. For me, it was God. I didn’t understand why He would give me a baby only to take it away again. But there is a time for everything, He gives and He takes away, and He is in control! Guilt is also completely normal no matter what or whom you are grieving. I could have done more, I shouldn’t have done that. In most cases it is false guilt and will pass in time. Depression and withdrawal are normal for a time too but if you find that you have overwhelming or prolonged depression, talk to you doctor. Take your anger, guilt and other feelings to the Lord! Let Him help you make it through.

Acceptance: It will come gradually. For some it could be days, others weeks or months and sometimes maybe a year or more. Each person is so different and each experience is different too. It’s been three years and two healthy children later that I write this. I can honestly say that thought it wasn’t what I would have chosen to go through had I been writing the story of my life, God has used it to His glory in my life and for that I am thankful.

The above is based on the information at Hospice North Shore

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