Anatomy of a Miscarriage Empathy Note
By Stacy Sinclair and Shannon Golletz
As a result of recurrent pregnancy loss bad luck and heartbreak were an all too familiar part of our lives. Thankfully we had some good luck along the way too. Meet our neighbours Stacy and Dan Sinclair. Stacy has been with me through eight of our nine losses. She is one of my dearest friends. We laugh together about all the crazy, wonderful, and disgusting aspects of parenthood. We've talked for years about the pain of loss and the lifelong journey of grieving for a loved one.
And guess what? Stacy is an award winning author. Below is the letter of condolence I received from her following the loss of our eighth pregnancy in January 2016. Yes, written by a pro... just the kind of honest and warm letter that gets right to the heart of the matter. The kind of letter that can make the early days and weeks of pregnancy loss a shade brighter.
If you are wondering what to say to a loved one or friend who has lost a pregnancy perhaps Stacy’s letter may bring you some inspiration…
So, I'm reading your email now. I feel bad that you took the time to write it - bloodletting from a still fresh wound - and yet you still had to tell us. Sorry. And hey: F--- you, universe, for piling it on.
You seem to stand up to all this quite well. You face it with strength and fortitude and a kind of warm humour that is necessary when an absurd amount of tragedy has befallen your uterus, and by extension, your life.
I know you're okay. You're strong. You're experienced. I'm sad that you are such a veteran of this kind of hurt. You and Jeff, both.
I can't know what it's like to have been stuck in the cycle of hope and devastation, what toll that must take. But I know loss; I am familiar with that hole and the darkness it contains.
I worry yours is getting so deep, Shannon. And saying "I'm so sorry"...is that enough? I want you to know that I see you, and I'm here for you, and that I'm holding you in my thoughts and hope like hell that all these sad, tender things will not become too much for you to bear. If they ever even come close, I just want you to reach out, okay? To me, Jen, The Dalia Lama, Ronald McDonald. Anyone. Just reach. Don't be in that hole alone.
I'm so sorry.
Bold, straightford, and honest. No cliches here. She's ready to take on the universe on my behalf. Yes please! And Thank you. While I'm dedicating myself to full-time crying on the couch it's good to know a friend can take over the universe-cursing for a little while. That's friendship.
Yep, she gets it. I may be strong (sniff) but this is getting to be just that...an absurd amount of tradegy! enough already!
She's quoting my own words back to me here. She has heard me refer to our journey as a cycle of "hope and devastation". She's been listening....
And yes, I know she knows all too well the pain of love and loss...a dark hole indeed!
Enough? You bet. At this point it is all that can be said.
Ok. Now I'm done. Laughter, tears, all of it. I'm considering taking a short break from full-time crying on the couch to go out for tea with my dear friend .
Words can go a long way.