There is a unique form of grieving that can accompany ending a wanted pregnancy, known as ‘disenfranchised grief’.
Following the heartache of having a termination for a medical reason, women who had supports up till this point will now wonder if their existing supports are still going to be there for them through the unique sadness that follows the devastating loss of a much-wanted baby.
When we experience something that is not openly recognised in society as a ‘loss’, we can even wonder if we are allowed to feel that loss in its entirety. This is disenfranchised grief.
Society upholds and curates norms and customs for grieving, yet what you can find is that after making this heart-breaking decision, these customs are often not in place. It can be difficult to construct meaning after such a loss, when we can’t turn to the world for the validation that is so desperately needed.
When describing what you have experienced, it can be challenging to find the right words to those that may not understand and as a result, in so in many cases, grief is buried.
The first step in experiencing this grief is allowing it to be recognised, even by yourself. The permission to feel this loss which may not be acknowledged, publicly mourned or socially supported is the first step in healing what can be a life-altering experience.
Grieving a baby that you once felt kick, but maybe did not get to hold if only briefly, takes time to process and with the right supports in place, it can be a time for making meaning from your loss, a time for healing and cherishing your baby’s memory.
You can contact LMC on our helpline: 086 374 5474 or by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org