I’m guessing you’ve heard it before: No two people grieve the same way. We could go through almost the exact same circumstances and still feel differently. This is because we are so complex; we are made of so much more than just our current circumstances.
Shortly after my twins died, in the midst of my deepest, darkest moments, I went onto the public library catalog and requested any book about grief or pregnancy loss that they had. A few days later, my husband arrived home with a stack of 5 books. Honestly, only one of those books helped me, but it helped me in such a profound way, in a way that I will forever be grateful.
I don’t remember the name of the book; I don’t really remember much about it at all. But I remember how I felt when I read a chapter about the psychology of grief and how (to make a generalization here but backed by research) men and women grieve differently.
Of course, sometimes they don’t. But, in my case, I would honestly say that the reason I am still married is that I read that chapter. It started with statistics of the divorce rate after losing a child and went on to explain how society and gender roles play a huge part in the responses that men and women have to death.
Suddenly, some things fell into place for me. My thought that my husband was coping by taking care of me was actually pretty common. My fear that he didn’t want to talk about it enough, was a very typical fear.
I felt validated by what I had noticed, and I was immediately relieved to discover that so much of what was happening with us, in our marriage, wasn’t completely out of the ordinary. That maybe we were going to be ok. And much of my resentment, which had been building and building, started to slowly subside.
What’s happening online now, 9 years later, is incredible. We can search for others out there that help us know we are not alone. We are finding that power in knowing that as long as we are armed with information, we can make it through anything.
Reach out to us at Still Standing–we’re here to listen and we’re here to help you find the resources you need.
You’ve got this.
Photo Credit: Eric Ward
Christy Wopat is a 4th grade teacher and writer. She lives in Wisconsin with her husband and who hilarious, energetic children, and without her boy/girl twins, Sophie and Aiden, who lived for a very short time in 2009. She is honored to share her words in hopes of breaking the stigma surrounding infant loss and grief.