Healing the scars of a grieving heart is never easy. Even more difficult, is attempting to heal the scars that have been hidden and buried deep over time. How can you fix what you cannot see or recognise as broken?
It’s been too many years since I lost my first child… one of 5 miscarried children. My emotions from those experiences has been suppressed for decades, and now I find myself being confronted with memories of loss but having no memories of grief.
I wasn’t allowed to grieve…and this is the scar that remains etched on my heart…I wasn’t allowed to grieve for my babies. Why? In the eyes of the world, of my spouse and other “well-meaning” family members, there was no ‘baby’ in a miscarriage, only discarded blood clots and tissue.
Often their words of consolation and comfort, although more painful than consoling, were intended to encourage me to forget and to look forward to the “next time”. Yes, they were well-meaning, but informed? Definitely ‘no’…not at all.
So, here I am, at 60 years of age, pondering and grieving the loss of 5 children for whom my tears were mocked and ridiculed as being ‘overly sensitive’ at the time.
Why can’t I remember the dates of these events? This is the question I ask myself repeatedly, reluctant to seek an answer for fear of opening wounds that may never heal. At least if they remain hidden, I won’t have to address those wounds or make attempts to soothe the pain they may cause. That’s what I thought anyway, until now.
How do I begin sharing this part of me that has been hiding for over 37 years? It’s easier when I allow the Holy Spirit to speak for me, in sighs too deep for words, and He does speak for me.
Miscarriage is not simply a medical condition that has passed. Miscarriage is the simultaneous birth and death of your baby in one single instant. I like to think of this as “God’s shortcut to Heaven” for my children. This thought makes me smile. It’s good to smile…I need to smile.
I trust that God is Good. There are some lessons that help us to grow in wisdom but only by way of the cross, and this wisdom will be used in life as we continue to grow and help others do the same. Our babies are now in the place where we are all destined to be, from the beginning of Creation. I repeat: ‘miscarriage is simply a shortcut to Heaven’ for our children.
The tears I cry today are being shed for those past years I wasn’t able to grieve, hoping they will soothe my wounds as a cooling balm soothes burning flesh. As any parent, my single desire for my living children is the salvation of their souls into eternal joy.
God is healing my wounded heart by reminding me that my babies who did not survive until full-term birth, have been reborn in Heaven and have reached that place where I want the living to attain. One day I will know for sure, but now I am confident enough to say that I have a team of ‘saints’ praying for me from Heaven, that were once flesh of my flesh.
All couples who have experienced the miscarriage of a baby (or more) should take comfort in knowing that they have a child who was taken on a ‘shortcut’ to Heaven and is praying for them. Remember that you became a ‘father’ and a ‘mother’ at the moment of conception – it is not a live-birth that determines this fact of life.
Miscarriage is a topic that has rarely, if ever, been spoken about openly. All I recall from my miscarriages in the 1980’s were the whispers and the silencing of any emotions. You cannot cry because “it was just a blob; why are you crying?” Crying over a “discharge” is simply unjustified and unnecessary – you are considered weak or unfit if you give in to grief of any sort. God forbid that you should ever speak of this again! “Forget it…it’s over…move on”. I heard it all…and each word, each comment, cut further into my bleeding heart, pushing me along the path of exile, solitude, and unwarranted self-shaming.
(to be continued in Part Two….)
Salwa recently did a podcast on this topic too! Click below to listen