We are not alone – it is God’s design for us to be in relationship. And our relationships with others are constantly changing. New relationships regularly come into our lives (marriage, family, childbirth, friendship), while others are taken from us or fail to materialize (miscarriages, infertility, divorce, widowhood, illness). As we walk through these seasons of life, God is very clear that he is Emmanuel, or “God with us,” and that we are to be there for one another.
But what happens to you when your pain is unknown to others? When you find yourself in that all-too-common group of parents who have rejoiced in getting pregnant only to lose their babies through miscarriage or stillbirth? Although miscarriage happens in 10% to 20% of pregnancies, its frequency does nothing to quiet the loneliness, confusion, shame, guilt and depression that are common to grieving parents.
So how do you deal with the pain and numbness that come with the loss of your baby? Everyone grieves differently, but you need to take the time to grieve well. Your spouse may grieve in a different way than you do; keep the communication open and honestly share your feelings without judging his grief style. Together find a way to acknowledge the significance of your baby’s life – a way to honor and remember this child.
You were not meant to walk this road alone. Call out to God and reach out to others. Join a church grief-support group or connect with an online bereavement-support community or pregnancy-loss ministry. Many episodes of Women of Hope discuss miscarriage and infertility, helping to walk families through this difficult time. God sees your pain and “is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Ps. 34:18).
As the body of Christ, we need to come alongside those who grieve, validating their loss, attending to both the mother and father and giving them permission to grieve well and express their honest emotions. Pray with them, showing both compassion and hope. Rally support around them even as time goes by.
God can comfort us through the example of Jesus’ suffering. He was denied and abandoned – and then went to the cross alone to die. Jesus understands our pain and wilderness experiences. We are not praying to a dead Savior but to one who lives and intercedes for us on high!