I’ve found that reading about loss and grief, particularly around the issue of losing premature babies and stillbirths, has been incredibly helpful for me. To be honest, part of it is probably to be able to have a cathartic experience and cry. This seems to be a tangible way for me to feel like I’m still connected to Micah and Judah – crying.
Part of it is also just to know that this has happened to other people – that we aren’t the only ones who have been dealt this shitty hand. It’s not that I would wish this on other people – far from it! But when others who have experienced a similar type of loss as you have, reading about how they processed it has been such a lifeline for me. And in some ways, perhaps my writing on this blog might be able to help someone else. Just last week I got an email from a father who had recently lost his son at 26 weeks, and was looking for resources on the grieving process for fathers specifically. He hadn’t found much, but he did run across this blog.
Last week I listened to the audiobook version of “An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination” by Elizabeth McCracken (read by the author). Sometimes I think there are books we read (or listen to, in this instance) at just the right times. Last weekend was that time for me. I had a long drive up to a youth ministry training, and I finished the book on the drive up and back. At times, it caused me to laugh (which I needed). At other times, it caused me to cry (which I also needed). McCracken begins the book with this line: “This is the happiest story in the world with the saddest ending.” I feel like this should be the tagline to any person’s story that ends with infant loss (whether it’s the birth of premature babies that die, miscarriage, stillbirth, or other complications that end with death).
Her approach is easy-going, intimate, light-hearted but with a profound depth to it as well. Sarah read the book, and I think enjoyed it, though perhaps not as much as I did. It just goes to show that what might be meaningful for one person going through loss might not be as meaningful for another. It might also have something to do with the fact that I listened to the audiobook, and there was something about hearing McCracken share her own story that made it feel even more honest and heart-wrenching.
If you’ve gone through any type of infant loss – and are at a place where you think reading might be helpful for you – I’d highly recommend McCracken’s book. Or if you have friends who have gone through this type of loss, I’d think it would be a very helpful book to have a sense for what we are going through.
Adam – thanks for your continued honest sharing! It helps me as a mother to support my daughter & SIL in their loss. Continued prayers for you and your journey.
I continue to be in prayer for you and Sarah. There are no words, but I lift up your happy story with a sad ending every day… and I pray for all the people who have other stories like it, including those whose story is the saddest story ever with a happy ending (a struggle with infertility that ends in a miraculous pregnancy, whatever the means – or in an adoption). The fact that you are becoming a resource for others experiencing these losses is in no way a reason for what happened to you guys. It is, however, a sign of hope, that you are able to share your grief with others who have had similar experiences and also need to know they are not alone.
The Center for Loss in Multiple Birth (CLIMB) has a list of other resources to offer encouragement and support for those who have lost twins. You may find it helpful to check it out: http://climb-support.org/
Still praying for you!!!
I also took great comfort in McCrackens book. We lost our daughter at 23wks into my pregnancy five months ago and as you said I find comfort in knowing there are others who have walked this path and we are not alone. Hoping you and your wife find the strength you need to move forward and continue to see hope.