My first meeting gave me all sorts of anxiety. I was holding onto (or should I say, traveling through) a lot of guilt from my miscarriage. There were a lot of things I wish I had done or known to do when we found out she didn’t have a heartbeat. But neither my OB or the hospital were helpful with providing me with options. The whole process felt rushed and it was like travelling at warp speed. So I went to my first meeting wondering if it was really the right place for me. What would people think that I didn’t hold my baby? What would they think when I told them she didn’t have a name? What would they think when I would say we didn’t bury her? I kept to myself for most of the meeting. I just took it all in. I knew once I started talking I would start to cry, so I stayed as quiet as I could. There was nothing but love in the room. We were surrounded by love, peace, and comfort. We were bonded the moment we stepped in that room... a quiet blessing from devastation. At the closing of the meeting, we were all asked to share one thing that we were thankful for during this time. Of course, I didn’t want to say anything and I honestly couldn’t come up with anything really. My mind went blank. But when it came to my turn, I knew exactly what to say, “I am thankful that she made me a mom.”
M.E.N.D has been a safe place where I can celebrate the life of our son without people feeling shocked about my story. No one feels bad for me or gives me “that” look. I don’t get to talk about our son who is waiting for us in Heaven very often. When I am with other people in this group, there is a sense of relief knowing I am surrounded with other people who have a similar story. It is a time to honor our babies who are not present in our daily life, but always present in our heart and mind.
When I first heard about M.E.N.D. support groups, I felt like I wouldn’t belong. I felt like my loss was going to be so much less than others’ and that I didn’t have the right to be there or be grieving. After attending my first meeting, I was surprised and overwhelmed with relief to learn just how wrong I was. After leaving my first meeting, I knew I had found a new tribe; one that gave no judgement on my thoughts and ideas, made me feel like I was no longer alone in my grief and experiences, gave me a place to discuss my feelings without any of the awkward and unknowing responses, and helped me to learn about how to grow through my loss.
... that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God... 2 Corinthians 1:4