Growing up I passed through our local cemetery many times. It was only a few blocks away from my home, so there were plenty of walks, bike rides and more on this very familiar path. One stretch of the cemetery was and still remains my favorite path today.
This path was the part of the loop I learned to ride my bike on as a child. Flat, long and easy to ride back and forth when just learning this new skill of balancing on two wheels.
This same path was walked numerous times as a young teenage girl. Endlessly chatting and giggling with friends, naming boys left and right.
These roads saw my boyfriend and I holding hands, walking through the cemetery enjoying the scenery as a new relationship, and later as a married couple.
These well known paths were where I found myself after I had lost the baby we were supposed to have. I went there hoping it would bring a little joy into my life after such a trying time. I remember walking these familiar roads thinking, “Why does this happen? How do mother’s go on after losing a child?”
October is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Month. One in four women have lost a baby either in pregnancy or as an infant. Before I had a miscarriage I had no idea that there were so many women who had lost a baby. Miscarriage is such a quiet topic. Until I shared what happened with close family and friends I had no idea how many women had similar experiences to my own. Once the conversations began I heard, “My best friend had a miscarriage”, “My sister had two before her first born”, “I was supposed to be a twin, but my mother lost the other baby” or just a simple, “We had one too”.
I consider myself lucky in that I lost the baby before I even knew I was pregnant. I couldn’t pass a pregnancy test, but I knew something was different. Something felt off. When I went to the doctor they told me I had been pregnant, but had already had a miscarriage. I never got that positive pregnancy test, so I never had that feeling that I was going to be a mother. It was still difficult knowing that I could have been a mother, but I never shared that joy that other mothers get and sometimes lose in an instant.
Some people have said to me, “Everything happens for a reason”. I say that phrase is an easy way out. I don’t think everything happens for a reason. I just think everything happens. Life can be so brutally tough sometimes, and there are so many times your questions will go unanswered. All you can do it push through, and figure out how to make each day better. Life goes on, and you slowly figure out how to make the best of it.
Earlier this week I brought my daughter to the same path that I have spent my life on. Moments of sadness, triumph, and love all on this road. I’ve pushed through the hard times, embraced the best times and now I get to walk with my daughter on the very path I cried on about losing a child.
Life has a funny way of working out if you just head back to your favorite path.
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