Processing Pregnancy Loss: Two Essential Ways to Find Healing
Experiencing and processing loss of any kind is a debilitating and exhausting journey. Pregnancy loss has so many added layers, and it’s not a widely discussed topic, so we often feel alone and isolated in our grief. I want you to know that your grief is real and valid, and however you are choosing to process this immense loss is okay as long as it isn’t causing harm to you or others. There’s no guidebook on the right way to grieve, but there are some things that can help give you the space to grieve.
Community and Connection
Leaning on your support network is essential during this time, but that can still leave us feeling alone when no one around us has been through the same experiences. Finding other women who understand and relate to you can be such a healing experience. You can do this by searching for support groups for loss, join Facebook groups, or talk to any friends you know who have also experienced pregnancy loss.
Gathering Hope is an organization in the Sarasota area that connects women to resources and community after pregnancy loss. They are a collection of people who have committed themselves to connect moms to the available resources and support structures to help bring about healing and comfort. Igniting hope is the foundation of their mission, by sharing hope in Christ with moms who have survived miscarriage and infant loss.
Gathering Hope is hosting their annual gathering for women who have experienced pregnancy loss to come together to hear a message of hope, be encouraged by others, and know that they're not alone, regardless of how far along they were in pregnancy or how long ago they lost a baby. This event will include uplifting music and phenomenal guest speakers. The evening wraps up with intentional time to talk with other women who have walked the same path, share their stories in an intimate setting, and honor their children together.
This year's event will be held at Grace Community Church in Lakewood Ranch, Florida from 11AM - 3:30PM. For more information, FAQs, or to secure a seat, head to their website.
Remembering Your Loss
Remembering what you lost and finding a way to commemorate that loss is so important in your healing journey. This is going to look different for everyone, and you may need to try out many different things until you find what feels right for you. Here are some things that you may find helpful. And remember, if you try something and it doesn’t feel good to you, don’t do it anymore. That doesn’t mean you’ve failed or you’re doing it wrong, it just means you need to try something different. Grieving is a long journey of trial and error to see what coping skills work best.
Talk to your support system: Let your friends and family know that it’s ok to talk about your loss and ask you how you are. They may feel like they can’t bring it up because it will remind you, but the reality is that you are thinking of it every day anyway. Let your support know that it’s ok to bring it up and it isn’t a taboo topic.
Find a physical comfort item: Having a tangible item that signifies your loss can help you ground yourself when you’re feeling overwhelmed. It also is a reminder to allow yourself to grieve without shame. Things like a piece of jewelry, a tattoo, or a memory box may be helpful.
Journaling: When you experience loss, especially a loss that feels unrelatable to others, your thoughts and emotions can easily get the best of you if you’re not expressing them. It may be helpful to journal about what you are feeling in moments you remember your loss or if you begin to reminisce on how you felt before your loss happened.
Approaching the anniversary: On the anniversary of your loss, it can be helpful to start traditions or rituals. The first anniversary will likely be very raw and you may not be ready to explore rituals, and that’s completely ok if you’re not ready. Some things that you may try on the anniversary of your loss are lighting a candle, releasing a balloon, planting a tree, or planning something with your partner or support system that will provide you with comfort and support.
Give yourself grace, allow your feelings to flow as they come, and don’t feel like there is a timeline for grief. Your loss and the feelings that come along with it is not something that will go away, it just transforms over time and you learn how to navigate life with it.
To learn more about Gathering Hope and their mission, you can check them out here.
Social Media: www.facebook.com/gatheringhopedfw