Personal Essays

Don’t Bring Me No Flowers 

Hey Internet.

It’s been a rough several weeks here at the Homestead. 

And because of that roughness and the utter isolation it has caused me at times, I turn to what helps me work through my emotions best. Writing and rewriting and rewriting and editing an essay piece for the blog.

So, as the ubiquitous Samuel L. Jackson said in “Jurassic Park,” “Hold onto your butts!”

There are times when I don’t know if my mindset is one of a frigid, jaded woman or if I’ve developed a mindset more like Spock….logical, direct, blunt. But what I do know is that I am wholly unsentimental and am naturally turned off by the cheesy. I feel in times of grief many turn to words of cheese, greasy nacho cheesy cheese.

I was pregnant for awhile. Now I’m not.

Hold your cheese please.

When we go through experiences that are isolating and somewhat taboo, like miscarriage, todays women can often turn to strange places for support. (PS why does nobody TALK about this? It is terribly common and I felt like the only woman in my circle dealing with it-which, I have since learned, was completely unfounded).

Besides my mom, my mother-in-law and my best friend, I turned to the Internet for guidance, (a rather stupid and yet predictable decision on my part) and I was bombarded by the cheesiness of strangers.

Message boards filled with grieving “mamas” about the tragedy and sadness of losing a pregnancy. Internet “hugs” and “prayers” and “your in my thoughts” from anonymous posters.

If I hadn’t already been nauseous from my hormones, I might have vomitted from the cheese factor alone. Like I said, I’m entirely unsentimental.

It may be my day job. I spend a large part of my day with people who are dying. I don’t see death as something to pity or fawn over. Death is an incredibly large part of life. It deserves dignity and respect and to be free of all dairy based byproducts.

I have just wanted to feel some support, but in so many areas that support seems falsified, forced or faked. What happened to being real?

The message boards that sent me reeling mean so little because of how impersonal they really are. Grief is a very personal emotion and it has hit us all in different forms and at different times. But these idle expressions of sentiment are the very things a grieving woman like myself finds unhelpful.

If you have never hugged me in real life, if you have never prayed for me or my husband in the time you’ve known us, if you’ve never kept my uterus in your thoughts up until this point ….I sure as hell don’t want it now.

Furthermore, please consider removing me from any prayers and thoughts if you are praying to an inconsiderate god who is homophobic, misogynistic, or sends non-believers to hell. If prayers are where you find your comfort, do me a favor and pull a Matthew 6:6;

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.”

Don’t tell me you are praying, I don’t want to know.

If you want to keep me in your thoughts, and you support Trump….I would prefer not to be associated with any thoughts you may have that could possibly share a space with that racist, Islamophobic, xenophobic, egotistical bastard of a human being.

Uhh……Did I just diverge into a Trump rant? Hmmm…the hormones must not all quite be gone. I usually have more self control than that…😉

My Spock like tendencies mean that, though I may at times feel moments of sadness and share that sadness with those that I am closest to, I much prefer some direct and logical responses to loss from my wider circle. I want to hear truth. I want to connect to you in an honest way, and if you aren’t sure how to do that, don’t feel obligated to say anything at all. I don’t fault silence.

The few weeks that I was carrying a little embryo that grew into a tiny fetal pole (seriously guys, it’s called a fetal pole and I feel rather stupid I never knew about this stage) were a terrible experience. The bone crushing pelvis and hip pain, the feeling of my ribs separating, the cramping and pinching and pulling, the fatigue and nausea that resulted in a ten pound weight loss, the hormonal changes that had me confessing to my husband that I may need an antidepressant bc of how out of control my mind felt. A constant state of discomfort that meant I could rarely go on my daily walk. And the panic when the rush of blood finally happened.

Pregnancy certainly didn’t feel like a hallmark commercial. It was the least cheesy and sentimental experience I have ever gone through.

And so, it should come as no surprise, that I don’t want the end of the pregnancy to slide into a sentimental wallowing of loss of life and could be’s and should be’s and would be’s. That’s just not how I operate.

I believe in God. Death is not God’s plan, and life isn’t either. I don’t need a Deity to explain away the events of my life that cause joy or sorrow or frustration. Using a supernatural power to bring meaning into one’s life is a concept that has always struck me as juvenile; an excuse to not do the work of moving through your emotions and acknowledging the psychological aspects of simply being alive. Explaining away grief and loss as “God’s plan” is a disrespectful way of dishonoring God’s complicated creation and the ability She gave us to grow and evolve from our experiences. I know that shit happens, and no god has anything to do with it. And there is no greater purpose or reason for pain. We all walk through struggles, and this is just one path Tyler and I ended up walking down.

So do me a favor. If you want to express your sympathy, leave the cheese for the nachos. Tell me something real, “That sucks” or “It happened to me too” or “I’m sorry you’ve had to go through this” or text me a really stupid joke that borders on being inappropriately morbid. I only ask that you not fall into the trappings of expected expressed sentiment.

The beauty of this world, to me, lies in the exquisite agony and mystery of how we learn, as a community of people, to share in the trials of our lives.

And so I’ve decided to share one of my trials….but I’d like to keep that trial lactose free if you don’t mind.


1 thought on “Don’t Bring Me No Flowers ”

  1. It happened to us also, twice, prior to the birth of our son. Nothing like what you describe. Felt great, began to show a little bit, then crash, the cramps and the bleeding, then the D & C. For too many years the grief was stopping by all too often. Then our son was born and life got too busy to think about it until some doctor asked if I’d had any miscarriages. Then it sorta slammed into me again. I hated it most when people told me there must have been some reason that the pregnancy terminated naturally. How could there be something wrong with a tiny sprout created in love? I’ll be thinking of you and Tyler and hoping that life will keep you both busy enough so that grief won’t cloud each day. Love to you both!

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