In one of my sessions with my therapist, she mentioned that some people in the loss mom/grief community don’t like the term “healing”. Since that day, I’ve thought about that a lot. Every time I post something about finding healing, I think “hm, I wonder if anyone sees this and thinks I’m wrong for using that word?” That doesn’t keep me from using it – I’ve gotten a lot better at not caring as much about what other people think since losing Jonah. However, I still wonder, and I want to take a moment to defend it.
When I say that I’m finding healing, that never means that I’m healed. I will never just be healed from this – no mom who has lost a pregnancy or infant will just heal. It’ll always be with her. The wondering, the intense love, the what-ifs, the sadness – it’ll always be there. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t do things that feel like healing.
In the beginning of a loss, everything is so, so raw. You can’t function as a human for weeks – all you can do is sob, and feel like a piece of you is gone forever. As time goes on, though, you inch away from that rawness, and you have no choice but to learn how to live with the reality of what happened. Saying that is easy – doing it is extremely difficult.
At first, everything is a chore. Making yourself food, going grocery shopping, and just getting up in the morning is difficult. However, you start having these moments where you feel something other than intense sadness. Maybe you glance up at the sunset and notice once more that the world is beautiful. Maybe you pick up a book about pregnancy loss and it makes you cry, but it also gives you hope and helps you see how not alone you are in this. Maybe you get in a bubble bath and feel really relaxed, for the first time in a while. Maybe you binge on an entire season of a good show on Netflix. Whatever it is, if it makes you feel something other than sadness in your heart, that, to me, is healing.
Healing after losing a baby comes in short moments. Every little piece of healing feels like a tiny piece of the hole in my heart is forming a scab, where before there was bleeding. It’ll never completely scab over entirely, and the pieces that are scabbed still aren’t back to “normal”. That will never happen. My heart will always be wounded. Each little moment of healing, though, helps me move toward feeling mostly love for Jonah, instead of sadness. Healing is love shining through pain.
Peaceful moments of reflection are healing for me. Whether they happen while I’m writing, reading, taking a bubble bath, walking, crafting, Instagramming within the loss mom community, or just sitting quietly, moments where I can acknowledge and feel my deep love for Jonah are healing. I feel connected to him, and to myself, and to love.
What does healing mean for you?