Chrissy Teigen and John Legend made the brave decision upon the loss of their baby, to share the intimate details of what that looks like. I have been thinking a lot about the photos they so transparently shared and the words they so beautifully wrote about their deep and irreplaceable loss. The photos are sad, lovely, desperate, and peaceful. Heart wrenching, but important. Perhaps if losses like this were shared by people who seemed so capable, and bright, and beautiful, the losses of myself, along with my group of friends - we nearly all suffered different degrees of pregnancy loss, maybe it would have felt different. Certainly not better. I don’t think anything makes it better. But different is significant enough. As I was looking at the photos I had a feeling that maybe there are no words for. A sadness in recognizing that moment as being part of the story of what pregnancy and childbirth can look like. The simultaneous joy and loss all at once. Much like what parenting ends up being in real time to a certain degree. I don’t know exactly what the feeling is, but a mix of many. Poet Ross Gay has written quite a bit about joy. It’s brilliant. He is brilliant. I was reminded of a few sentences in his essay, “Joy is Such Human Madness.”

Toward the end of the essay he writes,

“It astonishes me sometimes-no, often, often-how every person I get to know-everyone, regardless of everything, by which I mean everything-lives with some profound personal sorrow. Brother addicted. Mother murdered. Dad died in surgery. Rejected by their family. Cancer came back. Evicted. Fetus not okay. Everyone, regardless, always, of everything. Not to mention the existential sorrow we all might be afflicted with, which is that we, and what we love, will soon be annihilated. Which sounds more dramatic than it might. Let me just say dead. Is this, sorrow, of which our impending being no more might be the foundation, the great wilderness?
Is sorrow the true wild?
And if it is-and if we join them-your wild to mine-what’s that? For joining too is a kind of annihilation.
What if we joined our sorrows, I’m saying.
I’m saying: what if that is joy?”

Ross Gay - The Book of Delights

What if that is joy. What if in the sadness, the shared sadness, that feeling. The one that combines many feelings. Of relief, of connection, of not being alone in our “profound personal sorrow.” What if that, is the beginning of joy?

Something to think about.

What did you learn today? Join me by using the #thesethreethings and commenting below with your own These Three Things. I want to hear what you are learning, laughing about, and living through.