“TW: loss / miscarriage
I took this photo yesterday on the way to my midwife appointment. I’ve documented most of my pregnancy. Not for Instagram, but for myself. We’ve normalized documenting happiness & joy, and yet when we experience loss, we judge any visual representation of it.
As many of you, I was utterly heartbroken to read @chrissyteigen post, probably more so now that I’m pregnant. But I was even more heartbroken by the incredible lack of humanity displayed on Twitter & Instagram, judging and mocking her for her choice to document this experience.
I experienced a miscarriage before, at 8 weeks, and I had a photo of what came out of me. It wasn’t until a phone upgrade that I lost that photo, and sometimes the absence of it makes me sad. I don’t know how often I’d look at it, but knowing it’s not available to me pains me in some weird way.
When we grieve many of us document the process. Whether it’s through journal entries or photos. I have photos of my dad on his final days that would be considered strange to most people. And yet, these images would be relatable, and dare I even say comforting, to anyone who has lost a parent or a person to cancer.
Our culture doesn’t know how to honor grief. We have no rituals or support groups that help us navigate the complexities of grief. And we certainly don’t know how to hold women during times of immense loss. So we don’t share. We retreat to dark corners on the Internet to find some sort of comfort. We hide. We suppress. We stay quiet.
What loss has taught me, more than anything, is that we need to change our relationship with it. Find ways to honor it. And that might include documenting the journey. Capturing these moments and then sharing them with others is a form of healing in of itself.
So before you pass judgement on how someone grieves (and heals), please choose empathy first. You may not understand it, but it’s not your place to judge it. Sometimes images quite simply translate what words can’t. I hope we learn how to hold space for @chrissyteigen loss who vulnerability amplified the stories of millions of families who choose to stay silent, not because they wanted to, but because they had to.”
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