This week I'll be over at Today's Christian Woman, talking about miscarriage, grief and open conversation. Here's a small excerpt from the article. Continue reading here.
(Brief excerpt taken from Church, Let's Talk About Miscarriage)
Clinical psychologist Dr. Janet Jaffe notes that because miscarriage is a common source of pain, “the impact of miscarriage is often underestimated.” She describes it as “a traumatic loss, not only of the pregnancy, but of a woman’s sense of self and her hopes and dreams of the future. She has lost her ‘reproductive story,’” says Dr. Jaffe, “and it needs to be grieved.”
While her observations are certainly accurate, I would suggest that they are incomplete.
The cultural language surrounding miscarriage is careful and politically correct, and despite its best intentions, it leaves many parents conflicted about the appropriateness of their feelings and without words to process their experience. Words like “fetus” and “pregnancy loss” do not validate their grief over a baby who existed and is now gone.
The language we use creates a framework for explaining what has happened. So, when that framework implies that the loss was anything less than a living human being, parents may try to reason away their tears or at least hurry past them, because culture is telling them that this is the loss of a dream rather than the loss of a child. (continue reading here)