October is Pregnancy Loss Awareness Month. In some ways, it seems like a strange month to choose. In October, we are often focused on the harvest. We have harvest-themed door wreaths and table decorations. We enjoy a taste of the harvest ourselves – picking apples and pumpkins. This is a time we celebrate abundance, and yet this is also the month when we honor when abundance is taken away.
As a child, I knew very little about pregnancy loss. I had an aunt who sometimes referred to infant she lost by name, but no one besides her talked about it much, and the subject was so hushed and confusing that I never asked many questions. As a chaplain, I experienced my first pregnancy loss with a patient. A whole new world of darkness invaded what had developed in my mind as a world of joy. I was at the age that my friends were starting to have babies. But no one had ever talked to me about the dark side of pregnancy. The darkness still felt very “other.”
Finally, a dear friend – one with whom I had shared many confidences – lost her pregnancy. We lived far away, but I had just seen her pregnant belly at a reunion of friends for the weekend. We had laughed and shared dreams about the child. It had been a weekend of light. And suddenly, that weekend was washed away with darkness. We all rallied, sending flowers, meals, and cards. We prayed and we cried. And we listened. My friend was very good about being vocal and honest about her pain. We journeyed with her through the darkness.
During our mourning period . . . to read more, click here.
Jennifer Andrews-Weckerly is rector and pastor of the Episcopal Church of St. Margaret in Plainview, New York, and a contributor to Project Pomegranate’s book Though the Darkness Gather Round, Devotions about Infertility, Miscarriage, and Infant Loss. This post appeared originally on Jennifer’s blog Seeking and Serving, was shared on Project Pomegranate‘s blog, and was used here with permission.