sharing your stories and remembering your children
By Nick Carrington EPLA Editor
May is mental health awareness month and a great opportunity to remember the challenges that miscarriage causes. The physical effects are traumatic enough, but women face intense mental and emotional struggles as well.
A recent study suggests that miscarriage potentially doubles the risk of suicide in teens. The researchers focused on teenagers in the juvenile justice and foster care systems, a group who traditionally doesn’t have a strong support system when tragedy strikes.
The experience of those teens isn’t uncommon. While other mothers are blessed with support systems in various forms, like friends, family, and church and other civic groups, they may not experience the fruit of that community after a miscarriage.
That lack of support occurs for multiple reasons. We still don’t talk about miscarriage enough. People are often uncomfortable hearing about a miscarriage and don’t know how to react. But also, we don’t always recognize that both mother and father have lost a child. In most cases, we should expect the parents will grieve as those who’ve lost a loved one.
So loved ones should react accordingly. Many ways that we comfort the grieving are appropriate in this situation, like sending flowers, starting a meal train, writing cards, and providing gifts. As a community, we strive to ease burdens from the loss family so they can focus on grieving instead of dealing with endless other responsibilities.
When women and families don’t have people to support them, they may spiral into despair. That’s why the EPLA focuses so much on building community around miscarriage. As we think through mental health, let's not forget that a strong community plays a role in the healing process.
So be there for each other and know who will be there for you. When a miscarriage occurs, we not only grieve together, we work to help loved ones heal.
Nick Carrington is an Editor for the EPLA and Associate Professor of Professional Writing at Cedarville University