I remember being on the other side of grief, looking in from the outside and secretly thanking God it wasn’t me. I remember not knowing what to say, feeling awkward, not wanting to cause more hurt. I always wondered what the best thing to say was. Now I’m here, on the other side of grief. Grief has joined me in my life and will walk with me, hand in hand, from this point on until the day I die. I know I will feel joy again one day, but I will always grieve the loss of my daughter. It’s strange now to be the person everyone is glad they are not. I hate it more than anything, but I am thankful for the things I have learned, the compassion that is now so ready for the person who is hurting.
I also now know what I would like people to say to me in my darkest time of pain. I just want them to say something. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it just has to be something. (Ok, to the person who said, “At least you won’t have to be pregnant during the summer!” Maybe I would have preferred if you had said nothing.) But it means a lot when they at least try. The worst thing to say to someone who is grieving is nothing. To say nothing is to pretend like it didn’t happen, this thing that stopped my world and changed it forever. This thing that has broken me, the hardest thing I have ever had to walk through. I want people to acknowledge my pain. I want people to acknowledge my sweet daughter. To not say anything is to act like Lucy never was, but she WAS. She was growing so wonderfully in me. She was kicking me everyday. She was going to be chubby with fat baby legs and jowly cheeks. She was going to be Liam and Asher’s baby sister to protect for a lifetime. She was going to have a first kiss, to be her Daddy’s girl, to go to college, to pick out a wedding dress, to name a baby of her own. But everything is lost and I want people to acknowledge that. I always wonder, if it had been my husband that died, would people acknowledge it more? Would they say, “I’m so sorry. How are you doing?” What if it had been Liam or Asher? Would they acknowledge it then? Is it because it’s was a “miscarriage” or “stillbirth” that it seems so hush hush? Sometimes I am baffled when I see a person for the first time since I lost her and they say nothing. Do they not remember that I was round and pregnant the last time they saw me? Did they forget that my daughter died?
And then I remember how I felt on the other side of grief. I didn’t know what to say, even when my heart ached for that person. I looked in their eyes and I said nothing because words couldn’t capture the grief or the healing that I wanted to give them. I remember that time and my racing heart slows and I understand how that feels. I know this is a personal opinion, and maybe there are a lot of people out there who would prefer that others say nothing. For me, a good thing to say to anyone who has suffered a huge loss is, “I’m so sorry about _____________ or about your loss. How are you doing?” I think a surprising amount of people actually want to talk about their suffering, they just want you to ask. I am so thankful for my many amazing friends and family, the ones who have cried with me, sent me cards, brought me food, given gifts, prayed for me again and again and even the ones who have said nothing. You have truly kept me afloat during this time of grief and you have taught me so much. I know your hearts, and I love them deeply, whether you have said the perfect thing or nothing.
Job 4:4 Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, and you have made firm the feeble knees.
Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.