There was a post from a blogger going around the blogosphere for a while about what not to say to someone who miscarries and I’ve touched on the subject before. This particular list was fantastic and I wish I could link to it right now (if anyone knows which one I’m talking about, please list it in the comments). Obviously, if you have read this blog or any of the posts from other women who have miscarried, you know that this is one of the hardest things to deal with in a pregnancy loss. Even the people you trust with your life, even your partner, will not say the right thing. It’s not their fault of course. They have no idea what to say because they have no idea what it feels like. You have to remind yourself that they’re saying it from a good place and they just want to make your pain go away. Hell, they want their pain of being faced with the pressure of saying the right thing to go away. It just all around sucks to not be able to get what you need from the people you love (and don’t love), and is a large part why I’ve spent the last 7 months in my house. Honestly, my trip to North Carolina last week was the first time I had been out of my little bubble for a long time. It was a difficult adjustment. I was faced with my social insecurities at the beginning of the week when there was a possibility of spending an evening in a small house with a 2-month old. It caused me to panic – I broke down at the thought of having to be so close to such a young baby. The awful part of that was I wanted to so badly to see her parents, but I didn’t think I had it in me to be around their child and had to request that we find something else to do instead. Fortunately, they ended up not being able to come, so it worked out. But the guilt and sadness and fear and pain I felt all wrapped into one was sheer hell. I broke down into a mess of tears and sadness, and ended up pouring my sad little guts out to my friends. I think that up until that point, Sara hadn’t realized the pain I was still in because she hadn’t seen me since the last miscarriage in February. (Also, I think I’ve gotten a lot better at covering it up.) But when I was faced with my fear like that, I couldn’t hide it any longer. A few days later another friend was with us and asked me flat out what she should say to someone in the future if she is ever faced with that situation. I honestly think there is only one thing I have ever wanted to hear: “I am so sorry you’re going through this.” 8 simple words and nothing more. Even if for some evil reason you’re really not feeling sorry for her, say it anyway. Even if you think that they should be over it by now, or if you think they’re being over-dramatic, say it anyway. Nothing you say will take the pain away, but acknowledging that their pain is real, will make all the difference.
The day before I left, Sara told me that her boyfriend’s friend had called earlier in the day and told him she had had a miscarriage. Sara asked her what he said to her, and he replied, “I said what Courtney said to say, ‘I’m sorry.'” My heart leapt when I heard this. I can’t tell you what this meant to me. Throughout these last months, I have wanted nothing more but to help other women that are going through this — to somehow let them know they’re not alone, even if they’re strangers. I felt like I accomplished a little bit of that for this woman. He was one person that gave her exactly what she needed. She may still very well feel alone in all this, but someone acknowledged her pain, and that simple gesture is helping her heal, little by little.