Forget-YOU-Not...the struggle for self care
I was 25 years old and 10 weeks pregnant when I miscarried. We were young marrieds living in a big city. I had a job I loved, living in a town I loved, with a man I loved.
It is now five years later and I don't think about that loss very often. But tonight, after reading your stories and engaging with your losses, I am brought back to that year. And while I'm no wise sage, I have some things I want to share with those of you on this journey.
When I miscarried, I didn't tell very many people. On Friday, I spent 12 hours in a hospital bed, sobbing into my sheets. On Saturday, I put on a pencil skirt and a brave face and attended an event. On Sunday, I walked into church only to walk back out again at the sight of a baby dedication. On Monday, I sat in my office, staring numbly at a computer screen. Three days later on Thanksgiving, I cried sitting at a full table and staring at mashed potatoes and turkey.
My body didn't heal for months. Probably because I gave it very little care.
My heart didn't heal for longer. Probably because I gave it even less care.
I think back on those years and I ache for the way I treated my younger grieving self. How I treated my broken body like an inconvenience. How I struggled to distract myself with work and plans. How I avoided rest and solitude, fearful of the pain that might visit in the quiet. How my heart stayed so skittish, that almost two years later, pregnant with my next child, I avoided setting up the crib until I was almost full term.
I'm still not great at self care. But I think I'm slowly learning. I'll never forget my boss at the time. She brought me flowers, handed me her kindness and understanding, and told me to take time off to heal. At 25 years old, I didn't realize the beautiful gift she was offering and that self-care would be key to my healing.
But now, further down the road, I understand. I recognize that my own soul is a haven of beauty, meant for the world in this moment. And stifling my healing process is no way to walk through this life.
So tonight my message is "forget-YOU-not," sisters. While it may be less painful to stuff our hurt and suffocate in distractions, our own soul's are worth careful tending.
Let me pass on to you what I was given, but did not take... freedom to remember yourself.