The Random Writings of Rachel: Is it Better?

Is it Better?

Some weeks after our loss, my mom asked me, "Remember that old saying: 'Tis better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all. What do you think now? Is it better to have loved and lost?"

I've come to the conclusion that I must agree with the old cliche. Yes, it is better to have loved and lost.

But it's oh, so, so much harder.


In my own mind and in my own prayers, of years past, I've thought, if I had to pick one battle, I'd pick not being able to get pregnant in the first place over having a baby and losing one. I even prayed that if I wasn't going to get a live baby to hold, that I never get the promise of one to begin with. Infertility seemed like an option I could live with, I could deal with, I could understand. Miscarriage, I could not.

Different experiences impact people in different ways. Finding out that babies are not as easily come by as 'they', whoever they are, always seem to claim that babies are, was a shock. I was frustrated, even a bit crazy at times. But I could still live, it didn't have to take over my life. I could learn and I could strategize. I could take little actions of faith, of hope for the baby that would someday come. I had my moments of sadness, but mostly I felt, deep down, even in the unlikely possibility that I never got a baby, that I'd be okay. I could have other dreams and plans not related to a baby at all. I had moments of being upset but, overall, I was content.

But I'm not at all okay with losing a baby I did have. There's no strategy my analytical brain can think of for fixing this situation. There's no amount of faith I can have that will give me that baby back. After two months, I'm able to have hours of happiness again--but the best I can say is that once or twice I've made it to 48 hours without crying, and that's a big improvement. I can get my housework and my teaching done, and that's a big improvement. Various other non-baby-related dreams and plans seem crushed or have lost their allure because most of life doesn't seem as shiny as it did before.

This is ever so much harder, but still, I must agree, at the level of reality instead of at the level of mere feelings, it is better. Because death is not powerful enough to cancel out the goodness of life. October does not negate September. There is something 'better' that remains even though every part of me feels worse.

I have often felt in the past two months that I'm not good at handling this. That other people seem to be able to handle it more calmly and simply accept medical realities, find the silver linings and all that sort of optimistic stuff. Angel's much better at it. I don't know why I'm not better at it. I don't know why I can be having a perfectly fine day and then wrap Christmas presents for my sisters and find myself crying for an hour over how I'll never get to wrap Christmas presents for my first baby. For someone that's always been a straight-A student, I feel like I'd give myself a solid C- in grief. I do not fault anyone around me for this--so many people have been impossibly kind. It's just me, and my stubborn refusal to learn anything valuable from the loss of my child or to see anything good in death--God's enemy and mine, too.

To me, miscarriage was/is both better and more agonizing than the threat of infertility was...however, though I know my future isn't under my control, I can't help but desperately hope I won't have to face it again.

20 comments:

  1. I'm so sorry to read about your miscarriage. I can't even imagine how difficult that must be...both of my sisters-in-law have suffered multiple miscarriages, and I know it's been so hard on both of them. Keeping you in my prayers that God keeps you strong!

    -Vicki
    Basically Beautiful

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  2. You're dealing with it the best you can, so don't feel bad about not being "good" at it. Grief is hard, especially when your body is going through the physical/hormonal backlash. Hugs.

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  3. Everyone copes in their own way with loss. Your ability to accept yourself and let your feelings come is part of healing. In your own time and own way.

    Hugs
    Suzanne

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  4. Everything you said makes perfect sense to me. This is just the cruelest ordeal to be put through. I'm praying for comfort, hope, and healing for you and your family.

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  5. I wouldn't give you a C. I think everyone deals with grief differently. Also, I think women not only suffer a huge loss but then they have all the hormones and those take time to even out too. I'm glad you can write about your loss and share openly. I can't imagine holding all that in.

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  6. So sad for you and your loss. Don't give yourself a grade for grief. You are doing the best you can in a bad situation. I think what you say abut death being God's enemy as well as yours is so true, and it's okay to just be sad without finding the lesson in it. I pray that your mourning soon turns to dancing.

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  7. Yes, yes, yes! I'm 11 months out...the crying does slow down, but I remember 2 months. Ugh. Praying and praying.

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  8. I'm right there with you on this - just about a month ahead of you. The day to day pain does get easier, but it is still so so so hard. I do try to look at the positive side though for me at least - getting pregnant in the first place was something I was told might not even happen. So while I don't know if I could handle it happening again, I do want to try because even having the pregnancy for a little while is a good sign or step in the right direction. And while the pain is awful, there is something to be said about how I've changed and grown from the experience. And it's really cemented in my head that I'm meant to be a mother. Now just needing time to heal and figure out how exactly to make that happen. Sending love and good luck your way!

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  9. I understand this completely. I probably won't have kids, but I've also never had a miscarriage, and it really would make it a lot harder to deal with. Sometimes life just stinks, right? But I try to just count the good things. We may not have kids, but we're not alone in the world, and we can still make a difference to the world.

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  10. I wouldn't grade you at a C - first, because everyone deals with things differently, and second, because I don't think there's such a thing as "too sad" in this type of situation. I'm glad you're able to talk/write out all your feelings and hopefully know that you have a LOT of support, and it's okay to take as long as you need to grieve.

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  11. Grief is hard, and everyone processes it in their own way. Don't feel badly that you haven't progressed "enough." <3

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  12. I'm really glad that you've been able to have some moments of happiness :) Prayers coming your way, especially as you celebrate Christmas with your family.

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  13. I'm so sorry for your loss. I 100% agree that it is better to have loved and lost than never have loved at all. I recently had my heartbroken and it has brought me to such an incredible place of understanding God's love and grace. I'm not sorry that it happened even though it was so difficult to go through.

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  14. Better doesn't always mean easier must be one of the hardest life truths to navigate. I don't think you should be too hard on yourself for not being a good griever, I'm not even sure that there is such a thing as a good (or bad method of dealing with grief). In most aspects of life I commit myself to 'the everything happens for a reason' side of things, but when death is involved I just can't wrap my head or heart around where the good comes from. I'm praying that you are able to give yourself permission to deal with this grief in your own way for as long as you need. That you feel God's love and are surrounded by family and friends who show kindness and help you through.

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  15. There's something precious and valuable in that the child you carried was so loved and is now grieved. Not every child gets that. That little one was loved, desired, and hoped for.

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  16. I am, again, so sorry for your loss, Rachel! I cannot fathom what you are going through and, to be honest, I don't think I would handle it any "better" than you. We all deal with grief in our own way and your way is no better or worse than anybody's.

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  17. Oh sweet Rachel, I hope you never face this again as well. I'm so sorry that you are having to walk through this loss and I am definitely mindful of you this holiday season. *hugs*

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  18. I had a friend who suffered from infertility and said the same thing you did on rather wanting to have never had a baby than to lose one...grief is mysterious, tricky, and confusing thing. And certainly cannot begin to understand what that must feel like to lose a child. Praying for you and Angel! <3

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  19. I am so sorry. Don't give yourself a C-. I think you're doing beautifully. You're honest with yourself about how you feel so you'll find a way through this. It's when you pretend to be okay when you're not that's a problem.

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  20. Everyone's journey is different. Hugs. And prayers. And be easy on yourself, mama.

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