If you define the word association in terms of psychology you may think of a mental connection between concepts, events, or mental states that stem from specific experiences. Associations are sometimes learned in the sense that you create a relationship with something, auditory or visual and a behavior (how you may learn something, for example).
Then there’s memory. Memory can operate as a sequence of associations: concepts, words, opinions, an event, a smell, a sound.
I’d like to also add in that category that a date can be associated with a certain sound, concept, smell, or event.
In our home we have anniversary dates that Sam has from his time in the military. We have an anniversary date for our wedding, also Sam’s birthday, and now, today, I associate miscarriage with a date, time, passage in weeks, days. Soon months. You get the idea.
Today I had another association with my miscarriage that really triggered me in a way I did not think possible. I am a member of the Veteran and Family Advisory Council at our local VA (in Marion). We meet monthly, and today was the first meeting I attended since my miscarriage. That realization didn’t really hit me until this morning while I was enjoying some quiet time at home before doing all the things as we sometimes do.
In that quiet moment I realized a few things…
- It has been six weeks (if my math is correct) since we found out we were pregnant and since I lost the baby.
- In six weeks time there hasn’t been a day that has gone by that I don’t think about “what might have been.”
- My body is healing but there’s still a void in my heart.
- I find myself grieving and processing, then I find myself moving on.
- Going to the doctor for blood work weekly is very difficult. Not because I am having blood drawn, but because I have to sit in a waiting room with pictures of babies, see expectant mothers, and of course, on occasion, see mothers with their babies. I distract myself with my phone and internally beg for my name to be called so I can go back to the lab.
- Friends will never leave you during this time, and they may even laugh and cry with you. I am so lucky when it comes to friends.
- Self-care is important. I had such a busy week that I had to reschedule my nail appointment, and I was sad about it because that is some “me-time” and also time for me to visit with some amazing gals at the salon. I always leave feeling happy and sassy, and those girls have been there for me and helped me more in the last six weeks than they may ever know.
- Writing in my journal has been somewhat therapeutic for me. I have been able to get out some really raw emotions and that feels good.
- Making connections with others saved me. Since my miscarriage I have read the stories of other women and my heart hurts for them because I know the emotions they are experiencing. I think of them and hope that they too are healing at their own pace with the love and comfort of good friends and family.
- My husband is processing this traumatic event too, in his own way, on his own time. While he remains optimistic and hopeful, I know that he has experienced this loss in a different way. He’s been amazing with me. Patient, caring, loving. He’s let me cry on his shoulder, cry on my pillow, and he has listened to me cry myself to sleep when I have no words or explanation other than “I just need to cry for a minute.”
Do I have too much quiet time on my hands to let my mind roam in the mornings…no. I think it is good to remember. The grief and memories of that day and night in the ER comes in waves. I try to process it and let it happen, I want to remember, but I am also hopeful, looking forward to the future. I am moving forward each day. Slowly but surely some days, but always forward.
Writing has been my safe space. So grateful for the time to write and share these words.