The Silent Treatment

Hi. My name is Kati, and I should be 25 weeks pregnant… but I’m not. My uterus is empty. My grief is real. My sighs are heavy.

Most days, I am fine. Other days, the waves of grief hit me over and over and over again until I am washed up on the shore, exhausted, standing over the stove, cooking dinner, and counting down the moments until bedtime — just hanging on so I do not have another breakdown in front of my kids. I know it’s ok for them to see me cry. Trust me, they have.

Do you want to know the worst part about grief? Most people just ignore it. Our society does not talk about what makes us sad. It’s too hard. It’s too painful. It hurts too much. But in this season of too hard and too painful, those grieving, at least myself, often feel like we are being given the silent treatment in regards to our pain.

I can count on one hand the number of people who continue to check in on me and how I am handling the loss of our baby. It’s no one’s fault. Truly. I don’t blame anyone. Our society has failed us and taught us that we don’t talk about such things. I’m honestly fortunate to have people that still do ask me about my pain. Heck, apparently radio stations are banning “Baby It’s Cold Outside” in fear of it lending its hand to date rape culture. That’s what we do. If its hard to messy or has the potential to cause pain or sadness, we cut it out of our lives completely.

But I just want to say, that is not the way to handle things. That is not the way to grieve. That is not the way to walk through grief with someone. Because grief cannot be ignored, at least not by the person grieving. It rears its painful head in the most random and bizarre of times, and people need to know they aren’t left to deal with it alone.

People need to know they can come to you with their sad, their mad, their glad, and every emotion in between, and that you won’t shy away from it. That you will be there for them, no matter the emotion. They need you to ask hard questions like, “How are you feeling about the loss of your baby today?” “How did that pregnancy announcement make you feel?” “What are you doing to help yourself grieve during this time?” They need the chance to talk about it, even when they don’t feel like it. They need you to acknowledge their pain without excluding you from your joy.

So let’s try to do better. All of us. I know I have fallen short in this category an infinite number of times. Let’s remember that we are all just walking each other home, and that the walk contains lions and tigers and bears (oh my!), and that together, we can face them head on.

 

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