As I’ve walked through the past few months, I’ve experienced the ugly side of miscarriage. Not the ugly side as far as grief, anxiety, or the pure devastation that comes, but the ugliness in my heart.
Wanting to stay home and feel bitter. Anger as I see constant pregnancy reminders everywhere I go. Days where I refuse to enjoy my friends or family or celebrate the blessings in their lives. It’s not always fun to rejoice with someone when you’re deep in the pit of grief.
In relation to this topic, I’ve often had people reference Romans 12:15 when it says to “rejoice with those who rejoice.”
We’re typically very good at this. We see happy announcements of engagements and pregnancies on Facebook and leave kind messages. We’re thrilled (or act thrilled) to attend showers and parties and weddings. We bombard new moms with compliments, cards, and gifts. For the most part, though we’re sometimes a little jealous inside, we’re pretty good at putting on a happy face and being excited with someone.
But what about the flip side of the equation?
I most often only hear the first half of that verse — but the last half of that verse says we should also weep with those who weep.
They say that misery loves company, but no one ever said that company loves to join in on misery.
It’s tough when you have a friend walking through the depths of despair and you have no idea what to say. It’s easier to muster up a smile and a “congratulations” than it is to sit with someone and truly mourn. Sadness isn’t an emotion that we want to feel. Sometimes we feel like we have to keep it together for our friends — be strong with them so they don’t go further into despair. We think we have to tell them the right things and help them move on. And if we don’t have the right thing to say, we avoid it altogether.
Sometimes it’s simply time to mourn.
Some of the most powerful interactions I had in the week following my miscarriage were the friends and family who just sat and cried with me. Because the most important part was just knowing that they cared. And grief is not something we should go through alone. Rejoicing is important, but so is mourning. And having friends to mourn with me has been way more important than friends to rejoice.
“It is better to go to a house of mourning than to go to a house of feasting, for death is the destiny of everyone; the living should take this to heart.” —Ecclesiastes 7:2
The house of mourning is not a bad place to go. It’s messy, unpredictable, and sad. But there’s nothing wrong with it. It’s a sign that this life is full of sin and pain. A sobering reminder that this isn’t our home.
So let’s not shy away from the hard conversations. Let’s not be afraid of not knowing what to say. Because even when we don’t know what to say, just being there to cry with someone is sometimes the most powerful, Jesus-honoring thing we can do.
For truly, it is better to go to the house of mourning together. Because sometimes we just need to lean on Jesus and each other.