It’s been four months since the miscarriage. Some days grief shows up, more intensely for me and more subtly for Aaron, and we continue to practise what we’ve learnt on how to love and help each other better.
For couples going through grief from miscarriage, here are some things we’ve learned that we’d like to share with you:
1. REACH OUT AND GET THE SUPPORT YOU NEED
Two weeks after our miscarriage, we joined a five-week grief support group at church, which gave us a safe place to process our experiences with the counsellors and other participants.
You might feel like you’re all alone and no one understands your grief, but there are professionals who specialise in helping people through pregnancy and child loss. There is no shame in having a miscarriage and in going for counselling.
To husbands: help your wife and help yourself. Help her in ways that she needs and get help yourself so that you can be in a position to help her.
Secondary trauma is very real, so making sure you have help is key. Help for you starts with opening up to your wife and to those you trust, who can encourage and support you in the reality you face.
2. UNDERSTAND THAT GRIEF WORK TAKES TIME
The process might not go the way you want it, and the experience and timing will be different for husbands and wives.
Don’t be hard on yourself, and try to be okay with not being okay.
Lean into what God is teaching you and trust that He has the perfect plan and timing for your family.
3. INVEST IN RELATIONSHIPS WITH THOSE WHO CAN GRIEVE WITH YOU
People you usually go to for comfort and support might not understand or be able to empathise with your miscarriage experience and grief.
You will receive many surface-level condolences (possibly insensitive comments and unsolicited advice as well) from people who don’t know what to say or do.
However, you will also find people who relate to the deeply intimate and unique experience of death passing through your body. When you begin to share, you’ll be surprised by the number of women in your life who will say, “I also had a miscarriage.”
They might be someone you don’t know very well yet, but you should get to know them and invest your time in building a relationship with them.
4. CREATE NEW SHARED EXPERIENCES WITH YOUR SPOUSE
Think about what you both enjoy, a dream/goal that you’ve always wanted to pursue. Setting a goal and taking steps to accomplish it will instill confidence and command over parts of your life.
For us, it was running a half marathon together. We followed a training plan for 10 weeks and ran together 3-4 times a week, chatting and reconnecting along the way. Not only were our bodies strengthened, but our marriage as well.
After completing the half marathon in March, we decided to keep running as part of our routine.
This has helped us grieve well and stay focused on what we can control (unlike getting pregnant again, or getting out of COVID-19 and travelling to see family in other countries) and what God has planned for us in this season of our lives.
In the midst of grieving, you might feel like your life is out of control, but finding and working toward a common goal could help move you forward and see a brighter tomorrow.
This article was first published on YMI and has been republished with permission.
- Reflect on the first half of the year. Has there been anything that you’ve not allowed yourself to grieve about?
- Psalm 147:3 says that God heals heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. What else does the Bible say about grief?
- Who can you open up to or seek support from?
- What goals can you aim for in the next half of the year?