7.3 Editor's Pick
December 30, 2019

I Never Met You—but I Will Carry You with Me, Forever.

She isn’t religious, but lately, she prays.

Nearly every night this month, she’s been praying—praying for guidance, for knowledge, for purpose, for absolution.

Though her spiritual requests are always silent, she waits till her husband falls asleep to begin. Then, she begs an unknown God to help her start over.

2019—if nothing else—gave her information. It gave her material. Because the year brought her a new type of pain—one that was unfamiliar, yet more concrete. The year presented obstacles she hadn’t ever thought about, let alone prepared for. And it whispered darkness into her ears, blaming her for it all. 

The year almost defeated her. It certainly surprised her. Of course, it scared her. But the year told her what she needed to know. And now she must take what she learned and use it, run with it, carry it with her as she chases a new self. 

Today, she is fearful, yet hopeful. Hesitant, but ready.

She, like many others this time of year, has intentions to begin her transformation come January. While she plans to diet, exercise, and limit her drinking, this is about something else for her. It’s not about one declared resolution.

Sure, part of it is about looking better, about being bathing suit-ready for her Caribbean vacation come spring. But it’s more about feeling better. Feeling healthy and confident. It’s about feeling free from guilt. And it’s about letting things go, and moving forward.

Mostly, though, it’s about forgiveness. She must learn to forgive. She must learn to forgive herself.

In October, she had already begun to crave the fresh start the new year would bring. She wanted to put what had happened behind her. She wanted to hurt less and become whole again. She knew that she had to grieve, though. And she deserved to grieve. At least that’s what she was told. Because regardless of how common it is, what she experienced was painful and traumatic, and she needed time to process it.

She started processing by reading about it, beginning with the definition. As if she didn’t fully understand what had happened, she embarked on a journey to learn. Her Google search brought 38,700,000 results in .89 seconds. Weaved between the medical articles were personal essays, which helped her more than the scientific explanations of what occurred. While she knew she wasn’t an anomaly, reading the essays reassured her that she wasn’t alone. She was surrounded by other women who had gone through the same thing—countless women. But as much as she wanted it to, it wasn’t helping ease the ache running through her body.

She read tons of powerful stories on the topic, some of them strikingly raw, with words like, “cramps,” “blood,” and “sorrow.” She appreciated the ones that pointed out what she had not yet been able to articulate—realizations like, your life doesn’t change, and that’s the strange part—because it was supposed to. Or, one woman’s sudden awareness that she hadn’t been alone in months—then, just like that, she was again.

She eventually decided she’d write about it herself. And even though she knew she wouldn’t compose a story that hadn’t already been told, she hoped she’d at least find some comfort in the telling. And she did. And perhaps now it’s time—time for “I” to replace “she.” 

She is me. 

I had a miscarriage.

I may not have carried the fetus that was growing inside me to term, but I will carry my miscarriage with me for the rest of my life. It’ll get easier, lighter to carry, as time goes on—that much I know. But until then, please forget that mine is just one of thousands of practically identical stories of “an unsuccessful outcome of something planned,” and let me feel the magnitude of this ordinary experience.

Be patient as I work to find hope again, to find myself again.

~

“I carry your heart with me. I carry it in my heart. I am never without it. Anywhere I go, you go, my dear.” ~ E. E. Cummings

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Sarah Michelle Sherman  |  Contribution: 685

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