Eco Family Life. Right Here. Right Now. Be The Change.
This year’s Autumn felt especially wild and windy: leaves twirling down from the tallest oaks with particular haste; birds hidden, sheltering; the sudden need for scarves and hats on bleak early mornings. Autumn Equinox came and went in a flash, a moment. When grieving, thoughts and feelings can blur together ~ where does one stop thinking about feeling less raw and actually let it happen? When is one ready to be ready? Is there an internal turning point? Perhaps only once a moment of stillness is found, but to find it, one needs to be looking, and this year, having lost a baby through and early miscarriage, I was most definitely too busy being swirled around like a leaf to have any hope of pausing, let alone finding calm, even at the balancing moment of Equinox. I blinked, and I missed it.
Samhain, our end of year celebration, never just a moment set by a calendar, is for me almost a season of its very own. It brings so much together: literally summer’s end, with autumn turning to winter; reflection, and remembrance and honouring of ancestors and the past; and of course the beginning of the festivals of light are hard to ignore.
This year’s Samhain was a tiny drop of calm in a swirling stormy pool of what would otherwise be a relentless downhill stampede into a seemingly infinite Winter. Its magic came together for me, finding my balance, with a tiny flame flickering inside a small, star-carved pumpkin on Bonfire Night.
So, losing a child through ‘early’ miscarriage… what more can there be to say? This sadness touches so many of our lives. It is, indeed, so common. But to add to the difficulty of readjusting to life without pregnancy, having to listen to some other people’s well-meant comments, however well-intentioned, about getting over it, moving on, never minding, can be horribly painful, at a time when warmth and comfort are needed instead. Why do I care so much about other people’s throwaway comments? I think perhaps it’s because they reflect a deep lack of respect, and at this time of year that feels particularly out of place. A little acceptance of and respect for a mother’s, or father’s, depth of feeling about their loss, goes a long way. Who has the right to tell others how they should feel about anything, let alone the loss of a child, and all the hopes, dreams and wishes that have died with her? A little empathy, even if that requires a huge effort and imaginative leap, goes a long way. I’ll be ready when I’m ready, for whatever it may be, and not before. Empathy is so much a part of an attachment parenting life that encountering a stark lack of it when it’s most needed can cause shudders of sadness and emptiness all over again. Honour and respect for that little life, however short a time it may have lived inside a mother’s womb, can be shown by honouring and respecting that mother’s feelings of loss and sadness.
Remembrance Sunday falls for all the world as if it were perfectly planned, in the dark and almost empty cold of November, for me, so much a part of Samhain and the honouring of the past, of the sheer bloody waste of life of the Great War and all those wars before and since, and, indeed, honouring all lives ended too soon, and the grief of those left behind. We will remember them.