Perhaps you, or someone you know, had a miscarriage or abortion, gave up a child for adoption, was unable to conceive or chose not to have a child – what I call missed motherhood. In many other situations of loss in our culture, people come together to grieve and heal, but millions of women go though life without that opportunity. The unacknowledged and unshared feelings create a sense of isolation and separation. Here are steps that can move you forward in your healing.
Begin them now and take them at your own pace.
1. Explore and express your emotions
Expressing the grief and the loss enables healing to begin. Journaling allows you privacy and freedom to explore, discover and express whatever you are feeling without concern for others reactions.
2. Share with other women
Sharing your story, asking just to be heard, allows you to feel understood and gain a sense of belonging. You are actually part of the majority since as many as 75% of women have had one or more experience of missed motherhood, although few talk about it.
3. Ask for support
The experience of giving and receiving comfort creates connection. Silence is not golden. Sharing promotes healing. The people in your life want to know what you need so they can support you in your healing.
4. Honor your experiences of missed motherhood
It doesn’t matter how many experiences you have had or how recent or long ago they occurred, find a way to honor them with some act, either privately or with loved ones. Write a letter or poem, plant a tree, bury a treasure, create a ritual.
5. Practice self-compassion and gratitude
As humans we are imperfect by definition and life happens beyond our control. Whatever the circumstances, you did the best you could at the time. Practice loving-kindness for yourself and gratitude for all that is fulfilling and satisfying in your life.
Loss acknowledged, honored and grieved enables healing to occur. The loss doesn’t disappear, but the grief can, and our experience of the loss can shift.
Copyright ©Kani Comstock
You can learn more of my story and the stories of 13 other women as well as steps you can take to honor the loss in my latest book, “Honoring Missed Motherhood: Loss, Choice and Creativity.”
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Kani Comstock is the author of two books: Honoring Missed Motherhood, Loss, Choice and Creativity and Journey into Love, Ten Steps to Wholeness. Both of these books describe challenges involved in healing the past, and outline steps to be taken to claim personal authenticity and inner wisdom and find love for self and others. In addition to being Director of Coaching Programs and a Process Teacher for the Hoffman Institute Foundation, Kani speaks and leads workshops to support women, and their partners, in healing the loss and unresolved, often repressed, grief from missed motherhood,which includes infertility, pregnancy loss from miscarriage or abortion, giving a child up for adoption, choosing to be childfree, or never having the right circumstance.