Monday, July 19, 2010

In-Law Visit & Stranger's Loss Story

We decided on a whim (even though I had been prodding my husband for weeks to plan this) to visit my in-laws this weekend - a 9 hour drive away - for my mother-in-law's birthday in the mountains of NC.

It was nice. Another peaceful setting:

What I thought was strange was that no one mentioned our recent miscarriage. Again. The one in May was our 2nd one and while I got nice emails from both my mother and father-in-law, you'd think they would have pulled me aside, given me a little hug, and said something.

It's just so bizarre. I can't understand it. I just can't. And should I mention again that they are pastors? All of them - mother, father, brother. Yes! So, they should be used to dealing with life's difficulties... I just don't get it.

On the ironic front, I happened to be in conversation with a woman at a barbeque... her adult son was signing gospel at this church fundraiser and he had one of the most amazing voices I've ever heard. I asked her if he had any siblings, wondering if this talent was in the family.

She shocked me by saying that he was a twin but lost his twin and that was her only pregnancy. I said something like "I'm really sorry for your loss" and wanted to say more but couldn't think of what... and I couldn't tell if it felt strange bringing it up since this happened for her 25 years ago or if I can't possiblity know the definition of loss like she does. But I felt like saying "I know your pain more than you think."

... But do I? And would that have been appropriate? What would you have said?

And maybe that's why my in-laws didn't say anything this weekend. But one big difference is that my in-laws are not strangers. Though, I admit that I did feel a kinship with this woman knowing we've had similar struggles. Yet, she'll never know because I didn't say anything beyond "I'm sorry for your loss"...


  1. That is a little strange that the did not say anything at all, I agree a little hug or some mention of it would have been nice.

  2. your inlaws may feel awkward about the topic and may be under the impression that you don't want to bring it up.... if the opportunity arises you might see if they would be willing to pray for you over the phone or something and just let them know how much the miscarriage has affected you... I travel the the NC mountains every few months--- isn't it peaceful and beautiful:)

  3. In one of my previous miscarriages, my father in law, who is a man that doesn't show his emotion at all, just simply gave me a tight squeeze on the shoulder. That simple gesture meant the world to me. He didn't have to say anything because that squeeze said it all.

    Some people don't know how to talk about a topic like miscarriage so they choose not to say anything at all. I agree that since your inlaws are pastors, they would of at least say something to you. I'm sure they have offered many prayers on your behalf though.

  4. I'm sorry your in laws couldn't find a way to express concern towards you. That is really unfortunate. I'm glad that lady in church could share a bit of her life story with you--even though she didn't know what you were going through.

  5. Oh the photos are beautiful! And I would have wanted my in-laws to say something to me too, even though I know it's hard all around. My sister-in-law never said anything about IF and that always bothered me. Yet DH said that was just her way of giving me space. But thanks for your post as it encouraged me to make sure that if I err, it's erring on the side of showing extra concern for others. HUGS!

  6. I don't expect my in-laws would have said anything except something along the lines of "God's will" which would have made me scream.

    I wish your in-laws said something comforting to you or given you a hug. A sign that they think about it even if they say nothing. Maybe you could talk about it next time or mention briefly kind of anecdotally how you have been feeling since your miscarriage. It might give them a nudge, open a door for dialogue. "I am feeling so much better now. I have been doing yoga" or "Things are difficult right now since the miscarriage but I am doing what feels good". Sometimes the big bad words need to be said. It shocked you when the lady talked about her loss and sometimes it's what it takes. :)

  7. I hear you! I had the same experience with my step sister after my failed IVF cycle. First, she didn't contact me the whole way through to ask how I was. Second, she didn't contact me to say sorry when it failed. Third, when I saw her she didn't say a word about it. I have no idea why some people feel so uncomfortable broaching it or what the story is. But it sucks and it hurts when people close to us don't acknowledge things that to us are everything. (((HUG)))

    ICLW #109