Turn the corner and who do I see?
It’s someone who knows me, how could this be?
I’m not feeling confident, assured or brave,
This is a moment I could easily waive.
In awkwardness I stand anticipating her words,
Oh how I’d rather be on that branch with the birds!
Then she says what I horribly expect,
How could she know, but the moment’s about to be wrecked.
She says, “Oh, you’re pregnant, how exciting for you!”
How can she know, inside I’m sorrowfully blue?
I cannot contend with the emotion I’ll emit,
Oh in my stomach there’s that deep pit.
The moment she awaits my answer resembles my womb,
Pregnant is the pause and I’m feeling the doom,
How can I answer and honour what’s true?
Oh how will this turn out and whatever am I to do?
It’s clear that she who stands before me is becoming confused,
How am I to communicate my most mournful news?
The moment’s gestation has reached full term,
How do we get past this moment making us squirm?
Excitedly, the person approaches, “Are you pregnant?” She or he is not to know, this is not a good news story. This is a horrible moment and she or he has no idea about what is going through the mind of a person experiencing ambiguous grief.
This is from my wife, currently 26 weeks pregnant with our second child who will not live outside the womb:
You don’t know that the answer to your question is bad news and will change this conversation drastically. How do I answer succinctly, leave room for you to comprehend what I’ve just said and express your own feelings at that news, and then attempt to move the conversation on before you say something unhelpful?
Pregnant is the pause whilst the weight of the moment is assimilated. It still won’t digest. It’s awkward for both ladies. There it is; the truth is too hard to bear; this truth is too sensitive to lay bare. Yet, something must be communicated. It has to be a response full of grace, but that requires effort and energy when we are especially vulnerable.
Those awkward moments when we put our feet into our mouths are difficult to reconcile. Grace is required. Grace and sensitivity, where there has been an absence of grace and sensitivity. We all make mistakes. We all require grace from time to time.
© 2014 S. J. Wickham.