For the past few days, I have been trying to help a young woman who has just lost her child. I got to know him on social media and his despair shook my heart because it resonated with my own story. But what I read on social media, after she talked about her situation, made me fall out of my chair. So, I’m going to react on this blog by revealing a part of my story, which most of you don’t know. Then perhaps you will understand why I have shown my claws out on the social media these last few days.
I can understand this young woman, I can even put myself in her shoes, because I lost my son over 20 years ago. I didn’t have a miscarriage, but I gave birth to a little being who didn’t survive because of his young age. He was only 20 weeks old when I felt my first contractions. The doctors tried everything, but the small end came into the world far too soon, unable to survive in this world because of its too young age. He died after two cries in the arms of his father, who accompanied me in this terrible ordeal. I was also surrounded by two friends. I hid my pregnancy from those around me because I felt ready to become a mother despite my young age and he would not have accepted it by making me have an abortion.
Losing a child is a terrible ordeal that I do not wish anyone to live, so much we desire this child, whose life deprives us without really giving us any reason. Men can hardly comprehend our emotional state in the face of this loss of the being that we most desire. Most women probably understand what I’m talking about, this desire to give life, to become a mom. It’s an indefinable feeling, which society often compares to a biological clock that comes to remember us regularly, as long as we haven’t given it up.
The beginnings of pregnancy cause great upheaval in women both in terms of hormones (we don’t all want strawberries or other crazy things…) and in her mind, in her heart. So, when life takes away what we’ve always wanted, our world falls apart and tears don’t calm our pain. It is just our way of reacting to the misunderstanding of the moment. Likewise, we do not need your pity. We already feel guilty enough that we haven’t been able to complete this pregnancy, to bear your questions and your false comforts that most of the time are meaningless to us. We see only one thing that our child has just left us and nothing can bring him back. Know that in the great majority of the deaths in utero or of premature births, there are no precise causes, only fatality, destiny, but it does not bring any comfort to know it. There will continue to be ongoing questions about what should have been done, what should have been eaten, or those little signs, which we didn’t take into account and which are, in our view, the causes of this premature departure. We spend days and nights remaking the world unintentionally, just because our pain doesn’t leave us alone and pushes our brains to examine everything to find an answer that doesn’t exist.
Personally, in order not to face the pity of my friends, which would only add to my guilt, I built myself a mask and I buried my sorrow in the depths of my soul to move forward and especially not to collapse. I did not talk about it and I refused to raise it with anyone. At Fab’s death, a few months later, I left the campus to no longer remain on the premises that would permanently remind me of these two angels, but above all by refusing to face the reality of my suffering. I couldn’t deal with it, so I stuck my head in the sand. When I returned to France, I continued to deny this pain by keeping it well locked in my heart and soul, I never mentioned this suffering to anyone, believing that it was the best solution, but it was false. She was eating me up from the inside, and I realized it a little while ago when I finished my novel. Subconsciously, I told my story by romancing it, because I needed to externalize what had been gnawing at me for 20 years to become a better person and especially to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
So, the story of this young woman brought me back 20 years and I wanted to reach out to her, the one I had refused or that I had not seen. The reactions of some Internet users made me jump. When I read that it is enough to have another child by not thinking about it, it makes me go out of my way and fortunately I do not have these people in front of me. Many of you mistakenly think that the lost baby is an element of the past, a pain erased by the arrival of a new angel, which could cure us of all our ills. Well, remember once and for all that no child will ever replace the unborn or dead at birth. This disappearance leaves a crack, a wound that never closes. We think about this little being every day, we wonder about the little man he would have become. He belongs to our lives forever and nothing can extinguish the pain caused by his untimely departure.
It is not uncommon for me to cry, certainly not every day, but music, a situation or something else can plunge me into deep sadness, usually accompanied by an uncontrollable flow of tears, even 20 years later. Sometimes the worst thing is to see the children around me, and all of a sudden I find myself wondering what he would have done in such and such a situation or how he would have reacted to such a toy or such obstacle. I know for a fact that I would never see him grow up, that he would never take his first steps, or his first foolishness that would have made me mad, but I cannot pretend that he never existed. He grew up a few months in me, we forged strong bonds, we shared moments of tenderness together… He will always be my little Pulcinella. He is still alive in my heart. So no, a baby will never replace or erase the precedent, whether dead or alive…
Having never been able to experience the joys of motherhood again, I interviewed mothers who had experienced her perinatal bereavement and they all told me that watching their child have fun, they cannot help but ask themselves the same questions I asked me and they knew the same torrents of tears. We never forget this little angel who left too soon, he remains in the depths of our hearts, we will always miss him. But we have to live, so we move forward with this absence and this permanent pain by pretending that everything is fine, even if it isn’t every day.
So what do you say to me? Nothing, you can just to silently open your arms to hear our cries and listen to our sometimes incoherent speeches, but especially without asking any questions. We just need to have a rock on which we can take refuge to crack when the day has been hard and we can no longer control our pain. Receiving love or tenderness from our friends allows us to move forward every day on the path of life, but without ever filling that void. Just by smiling at us or by having a small gesture or word on a daily basis, you bring us a little sunshine and a great help without knowing it.
I hope you understand better my reaction to the networks these last few days. 20 years later, it’s still a painful subject for me…