Let me be clear: I am apolitical when it comes to the issue of infant or pregnancy loss. What I say in this article is not an endorsement of any kind. It is simply an observation of how our culture continues to silence parents who have experienced this kind of loss. I read this article today and was really frustrated by the lack of empathy that comes from both sides of the aisle.
Here are two paragraphs from The Associated Press:
LAURIE KELLMAN says,
“In the post-Oprah era of reality shows and TMI, Ann Romney communicates with a level of candor never seen from the spouse of a president or a man who might someday be one, experts say.
‘The reproductive aspect is unprecedented,’ said Catherine Allgor, a history professor at the University of California Riverside who specializes in the roles of first ladies. ‘The use of the miscarriages, especially, shows that her handlers quite correctly understand how far they have to go to make (sure) this man, this woman, this family, is relatable.’”
Regardless of his motivation, I applauded President Obama for stating he was for marriage equality, The President’s statement was profound because it offered hope to marginalized young men and women, who have been judged and abandoned by their families, because they are deemed worth of acceptance by the President of the United States.
Equally, I applaud Ann Romney for discussing the devastating experience of miscarriage, regardless of her motivation. Ann Romney’s admission that she experienced a miscarriage and the fact that it devastated her whole family opens the door for all women who have experienced infant and pregnancy loss to share, without shame, their grief. The silence around this very common experience must stop.
I get it. Death and grief are uncomfortable things to talk about. But talking about it is a necessary part of finding our way back to peace and harmony. Grief transcends all differences: race, nationality, religion, creed, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation and economic status. It is the one experience to which we can all relate, and that should therefore bring us together in empathy and compassion.
We need to have compassion and empathy for people even when we disagree philosophically or politically. I choose to see each person as someone who has shared the common experience of loss and to offer comfort. Even if others don’t see me in the same light, I choose to love them anyway.