From the beginning of this miscarriage, I just wanted it to be over and past me. I can handle anything if I can just move on. I kept trying to push it past me. Everyday I woke up and said, this is the end; today I’m going to put it behind me. But everyday, my body would say, no, not today. It took a full month before my body was quiet and there were no more signs of miscarriage. So I said, this is behind me and I felt better. I think all the pushing it away maybe has caught up with me.
A few weeks later, I began my period and the experience sent me into worry and flashbacks of the trauma of my loss. I also sent in all my insurance claims. It was a hard week mentally.
The week after that, friends were continuing to announce new pregnancies. It was upsetting, but these were Facebook posts, so they were distant. I could lovingly “hide” those posts.
Recently, a close friend announced her pregnancy via email. I felt a new weight set upon me. She was one of the first friends I told about my loss. My heart was angry. I was angry because I knew the JOY her family was experiencing over this pregnancy. We had lost that joy.
We had lost 1,000 laughs and kisses, 1,000 sleepless nights, 1,000 hugs. That was/is my grief. We lost a person who would bring us joy and unimaginable blessings. I get it, Mom. I get why you mourn 30 years later. I didn’t before, but I do now.
I was going to see my friend the next day after reading her email, but I was planning to respond to her email and congratulate her and explain I could not say it to her in person just yet. But, I was still upset and angry, so I decided to sleep on it and text her in the morning.
My sleep was a tempest. I had nightmares all night about my friend. Over and over, I dreamt congratulating her and every scenario ended up a mess. I woke up and affirmed in my mind that I was going to be a big girl and overcome my pettiness. I was going to look her in the eye and congratulate her. I could be happy for others.
As I drove to our meeting, with a car full of kids, I became overcome with grief. I almost pulled the car over. But, told myself to stay alert and keep driving. I was going to suck it up. Then I saw her and did not make eye contact. I thought to myself to calm down. Then a quiet opportunity arose to say the words I so desperately wanted to say. I wanted to rejoice with her. Instead I felt the ground drop out from under me and my vision go white. “Oh! Am I passing out?!” I took a deep breath. “Not today, I would not congratulate her today,” more breathing deeply. Then it was just a struggle all the rest of the morning to keep from crying.
I cried at home. I wrote the email explaining that I had wanted to be congratulatory; and genuinely, I am happy for their family. But I was a mess the rest of the day. It’s no one’s fault but my own.
I cried and cried and cried and tried to push it down. It seemed there was something evil about it. I felt I should be able to stop it. I told myself I could choose to stop it. I would stop it. Many times I stopped it, only to have it return. It was just so painful. It was probably the most painful day yet. Every thought hurt.
I had a little vent session with my husband. He listened patiently and I felt calmer.
Later I prepared the presentation for my daughter’s Little Flowers Club and the answer came to me in the reading for the club. There was a snippet about jealousy. It was about how jealousy interferes with friendship and the health of one’s soul. It seemed to hardly fit the piece at all, but it came as the perfect message, sign from God, and answer to my problem of how to make the pain stop.
I was jealous. I was insanely jealous of someone else being full of life. I said that should be me. I was sinfully jealous. I did not mean to be jealous, but I wanted what my friend had. All day long I had tried to find the root of my problem. I hated myself all day for feeling that way and for not just being able to be happy—anger—why me? I just wanted to fix myself. When I read the excerpt on jealousy, I could see myself in it.
So I decided to look up more information on jealousy and more information on grief. After reading further, everything I was experiencing sounded more like grief than jealousy. But, I decided maybe grief and jealousy are not so far apart. While experiencing grief there is deep longing for that someone/something one can never have again, and as a result one experiences a deep sadness. One desires to have something that is forever lost. Jealousy is similar in many ways.
It was in identifying the roots of my problem—it was grief wrapped in jealous feelings that someone has what I lost—then I began to feel better. When I knew what it was that I was experiencing, I was able to address it. It was this moment of self-understanding that made all the emotions go quiet again.
As one Little Flower told me today, “If you ever feel jealous of others, you should look at what you have a see the good things that you have.” Yes, I see the good things I have. I certainly do not take them for granted. There’s just one little, good thing that I am longing to hold.
Maybe this is not the end of grief, but this is the end of jealousy. I cleared away jealousy, and I cleared away anger. I’m truly happy for my friends. I might even be able to say it to them now. I hope they cherish the joy of their new little lives. Now, when I feel sad about our loss, I know its just grief.