An often silent grief is starting to be acknowledged out loud.
1 year ago
There’s grief that we talk about — the grief that follows the loss of a spouse, a parent, a sibling — and then there’s a grief that we rarely mention. We downplay it, sweep it under the rug, forget it even exists. That’s the grief that follows a miscarriage or stillbirth, and it’s a grief that hasn’t much been talked about in Western society until recently.
Miscarriage and infant death are heartbreakingly common. In the U.S., one out of every five or six confirmed pregnancies ends in miscarriage. One in about 200 pregnancies ends in stillbirth. More infants die within their first 24 hours of life: about 11,300 every year. Miscarriage or infant death has almost certainly happened to someone you know — but they may not have even told you about it.
Especially in the case of a miscarriage — and even more so in the case of an early miscarriage — those who lose a baby are expected by society to move on quickly. They never got to know a living, breathing human being, never got to love their personality and quirks, so what’s to mourn, we reason. But the reality couldn’t be more different. Miscarriage can be emotionally devastating, and it can take a long time to heal from the grief it causes.