The loss of an eight cell embryo.

The loss of miscarriage at 6 weeks, 10 weeks, however many weeks.

The loss of stillbirth at any week.

The loss of a toddler.

The loss of any child.

Loss.

Loss is loss.

I had the honor to process this lesson of life with a client on the same day that my fellow warrior at My Perfect Breakdown wrote a beautiful, kind of rebuttal, piece to my piece Our Infertility Rap Sheets.

And, again I am reminded that there simply are no mistakes made in this life or coincidences. And, that I have amazing people around me in this journey.

In her post My Perfect Breakdown discussed how her numbers are important to her because they are her children lost to miscarriage. In my piece, I wrote about taking my numbers out because, for me, they came from a place of shame, scarcity and comparison.

It is simply impossible for me to live a wholehearted life with courage, compassion and connection when I live from a place of shame, scarcity and comparison. I believe this to be true for all of us. And, I challenged those of us with the struggles of infertility to ask themselves where their count, their infertility rap sheet, was truly coming from.

What I did not write in Our Infertility Rap Sheets was the number I will never remove.

Three.

To the general population they may have just been three eight cell embryos.

To me they are my three babies.

My three babies who never had the chance to take a breath of earth’s fresh air.

My three babies who never grew.

My three babies I can parent only from this side of eternity.

My three soul scars.

My three.

Three will never be taken out of my story. It is within these three lost souls that I have been found and have found myself.

I see three everywhere I go. I feel my three every single day. I dream of my three and mourn the what ifs. I heal from my three always.

Loss is loss.

Being able to process this difficult lesson of life with my clients; women who have had miscarriages, women who have given up their child for adoption, clients who have lost their child beyond way too early to tragedy is something I feel honored with and thankful for.

Does is hurt less that I lost mine before they could grow?

Does it hurt less that she didn’t suffer?

Does it hurt less that she was only in the first trimester?

Does it hurt less that I have lost three but she has lost five?

Does it hurt less that you at least got a couple of years with him?

Does it hurt less that she lived a longer life and mine never grew?

Loss Comparison

This comparison; this my pain is worse than yours, or even my pain could still be worse, is heartbreaking, soul crushing comparison.

And, it keeps us alone.

All alone with only our losses.

If we can embrace that loss is loss; if I can sit across from my clients in the presence of their loss, with their loss, rather than comparing our losses then we are simply two mothers who have lost.

People who have lost.

And, that it is all just really fucking horrible.

But, we’re in it together.

And, at least, we are not sitting in it all alone with only shame, scarcity and comparison as our comrades.

In this, is the ever upward recovery.

And, I choose that.

*To read more about my recovery make sure to pick up a copy of the soon to be published Ever Upward: Overcoming the Lifelong Losses of Infertility to Own a Childfree Life.*

If you found this post enjoyable, inspiring, helpful, hopeful, interesting or even infuriating 😉, please take the time and the chance to share it through your social media! More shares means more eyes, means more people helped and the message heard on a wider scale. Thank you! Justine

43 thoughts on “Loss is Loss and Comparison Only Leaves Us Alone In It

  1. Alexis says:

    Reblogged this on Twelve Week Eternities and commented:
    A beautiful and moving post…

    Like

  2. First, thanks for the mention – I absolutely adore your writing, your willingness to share your story and your courage to help breakdown societal norms related to infertility.

    Second, this is a wonderful post. I think you’ve done a great job of connecting our two earlier posts. While some numbers are forever etched into us and make us complete (i.e. our lost babies) it is not about comparing the numbers to other people. It makes no difference if you’ve lost one or ten or fourteen babies, the simple fact is that we’ve all lost and that we share together in our grief and our loss. We are here to support and encourage each other, and to break the silence. I am truly honored to be able to count you as someone I share this journey with.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you my friend. So thankful for this journey and for you ❤ J

      Like

  3. Dani says:

    Bravo, Justine!! I stood up at this point:
    “It is simply impossible for me to live a wholehearted life with courage, compassion and connection when I live from a place of shame, scarcity and comparison.”
    Powerful words.
    Powerful heart.
    Blessings,
    Dani

    Like

    1. Thank you so much Dani!!!! Your words mean so much and thank you for taking the time to read and comment! Much love, J

      Liked by 1 person

  4. chels819 says:

    Beautifully written! Bravo.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much! J

      Like

  5. wendykarasin says:

    I have not experienced the loss of a child, though I have experienced loss. And I think you make an important point. Loss is loss. And we are all human, we feel pain, we feel sadness,
    What we can offer one another is: Compassion. Big hugs. And extra doses of kindness.

    Like

    1. Yes! Loss is loss. Loss of a dream, of a person, of whatever!!! Thank you so much for reading and commenting Wendy! J

      Like

      1. wendykarasin says:

        It’ is my pleasure. Thank you for writing about topics that require our attention and awareness.

        Like

  6. Elisha says:

    Another great post girlie!

    Like

  7. Beautiful post! ❤ ❤ ❤

    Like

    1. Thank you so much, seriously that means so much! Much, much love, J

      Like

  8. Lesley Pyne says:

    Powerful post Justine, and you’re right let’s stop the comparisonn and connect with compassion and empathy so that we can heal.
    I’ve recently heard the quote ‘a rising tide lifts all boats’ and I’m looking forward to rising with you.
    Lesley x

    Like

    1. Thank you so much Lesley! I love that quote!

      Like

  9. michele rost says:

    This, as always, beautifully helped explain how I have felt after losing my grandson. I will be sharing this with my dearest (and only one who has stood behind me silently waiting for me to come back from the depths of hell, which I was able to do with your help. You taught me that I could still miss my grandson AND have a joyful life again! No one else gave me that permission!). Anyway, you’ll be happy to know, I finally called her last week, and met her last nite, for the first time in a year. It was wonderful, and she was so impressed with my recovery, so I told her about you, and showed her your blog. Like me, she had never read a blog before! Thank you so much for all your help and support!

    Like

    1. You’re welcome, so glad you found this helpful and thank you so much for sharing it! Keep up your work of recovery, it is totally worth it! J

      Like

  10. Elisha says:

    I have nominated you for the “Very Inspiring Blogger award”. Thanks you for being such an inspiration to me and so many others! xo

    Check out your nomination here….
    http://waitingforbabybird.com/2014/07/27/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

    Like

  11. I appreciate your honesty. Loss is loss. Comparing it only separates us when we should be embracing and sharing the burden. Thanks for writing your heart.

    Like

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to read and leave a comment. Glad you found something in it. Much love, Justine

      Like

  12. yes, yes, and yes! Thank you for sharing.

    Like

  13. I see three everywhere, also, and yet nowhere. We designed Silas’ gravestone with three stars because he was our third and we often refer to him as our little star up above. I didn’t know it when I chose his name, but the American translation of Silas is “three, or third”.

    Beautiful post. Comparisons do divide us, and, seriously, who wants to win at the “my hurt is greater than your hurt” game? Not me. I want a chance at living a happy life again (even though it seems it will always feel incomplete without him) because I know my little boy wants our family to be happy even though he’s not here.

    Like

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