TW: miscarriage (in emotional context —- discussion of physical trauma not in this post but perhaps for another post/venting)
Trying to stay grounded and come from a calm, compassionate place so I can maybe find a way to have a direct conversation with folks involved but feeling rather triggered and hella frustrated as I see people trying to comfort a couple who just found out they miscarried by saying things like “Don’t worry, you’ll eventually have a baby. One way or another, it will happen for you.” .
I know that these particular folks saying this stuff mean well and are trying to find comforting words but this is some of the worst stuff you can possibly say to a grieving mama/parents immediately after they found out they lost their baby. Even IF they eventually choose to try to conceive again, that does not erase the grief or the trauma associated with THIS baby right now. And it also doesn’t erase the fear, uncertainty, or any related challenges that many women experience with subsequent pregnancies.
Do we try to comfort people who lost a parent or grandmother or sibling by telling them that it’s ok because they have another one anyway?!!
You see how insensitive that can come across and also how that might not be true?
Not to mention these particular mamas that just lost their little one already explicitly said this was the last time they were going to try. Ugh… my heart is breaking for them.
I want so much for them to have the love and support I so very much needed and avoid so many of the hurtful things like this that were said and done by folks who may have been well intentioned but just didn’t know any better.
On a related note, can we talk about how people - especially supposed radicals - really need to fucking learn how to be more compassionate about this and create safe spaces for women to talk to you and each other about this? You can be pro-choice aaand still show compassion when a mother loses her baby, regardless of how far along they were or the circumstances. (whether they already have kids, plan to try again or not, etc)
Hell, even when a woman chooses to have an abortion it may still mean they experience a terribly painful grieving process. I’m not saying it always is for everyone or that all us grieving mamas want/need/experience the same things.
Sharing space with so many other mamas who have this shared history, I can say that It’s a very personal experience and we each may find healing via very different paths but so often our experiences feel unnecessarily isolating because it’s not a thing that our society really talks about nor have we as communities learned how to talk openly about in healthy ways.
Think about it, many folks don’t even announce they are pregnant until after their first trimester. Which means if they miscarry beforehand - aside from maybe close family and friends - no one else in their social circles or daily lives even knows they were pregnant. And that means many of us move through our daily lives surrounded by people that don’t even know we are moving through this grief, much less acknowledge the depth of it. And that means that as we (re)experience this trauma and later waves of grief that creep up unexpectedly, many women/couples find themselves lacking a support network and struggle to turn anywhere but inward.
If you’ve read this far, suffice to say that death often finds us at a loss for words or struggling to find the right ones. But please, please, please try not to say stuff like this to a woman/parents after a miscarriage:
- "at least you miscarried early in your pregnancy"
- "well you weren’t sure you wanted it anyway…"
- "maybe it wasn’t meant to be" etc
- "did you eat this, do this, and/or take these vitamins..? maybe you should have…." etc etc
- "you can always try again"
- "it’s a terrible world/time to bring a child into this world anyway"
- "you can always adopt"
And if you don’t know what to say, then say that! Don’t reach for some empty platitude or just stare blankly. So many of us carry scars from those responses. And I can tell you that many of the grieving mamas I’ve talked to echoed each other emphatically when we heard each other expressing how we wish(ed) friends/family would just say something simple, honest, and direct like, “I am at a loss for words but I love you.”
Maybe even ask some questions instead. “I’m not sure what support looks like for you but I’m here for you and I want to support you. Is there anything I can do?”
Anyway, just needed to put this out there for more folks to think about and so my head and heart don’t explode as I see the well-meaning but potentially insensitive things being said to mamas as I’ve seen and even experienced for myself, ad nauseam.
Sending so much love to this couple and all the mamas/parents out there, especially to those of y’all who know intimately of the grief, heartbreak, and trauma I’m talking about.
That moment when you realize the WIFI indicator on your laptop looks like a labrys and you tell yourself it’s time to go home
Dearest Womynfolk: The countdown has begun! Less than 10 days and we’ll be celebrating the 25th year of the Ohio Lesbian Festival (Ohio LBA). Are you coming?
As a member of the OH LBA Crew, I’ll soon be making my trek from CA to OH to join the rest of the crew, gearing up in anticipation of your arrival. It’s an honor to do so each year - to work and play, to commune and create with hundreds of fabulous womyn.
As if the thought of seeing hundreds of y’all wonderful womynfolk wasn’t enough to make me smile from ear-to-ear, the fact that we’ll all soon be in LICKING County, down the street from OUTVILLE Rd admittedly has me giggling with glee! I remember being somewhat in disbelief when I made my way to the Frontier Ranch for the first time and stumbled upon this sign. It seemed almost too perfect. (Hence the desire to snap the photo and make this postcard.)
On the note of near perfect, the 2014 Ohio Lesbian Festival Lineup is fantastic! We’ve also continued to expand and improve upon the camping experience for y’all. The thing that would take things to the next level is if you and all of your friends come out to celebrate with us! Please help us spread the word by tweeting, reposting, emailing, and inviting all of your friends. OH LBA is a womyn-only festival where all womyn are welcome, always.
And, as always, there is much to look forward to:
- Jaw-dropping lineup of fabulous performers and amazing music
- Camping and communing with hundreds of other womyn
- Workshops by and for womyn, ranging from laughter yoga and dog training to Lesbian herstory and discussions about gender and sexuality.
- Arm Wrestling Tournament and various games
- Movies and popcorn, Childcare, Open Mic, Locally Sourced Food, Bonfires, Drumming, Dance Party, and so much more!
And the fun is all just 30 minutes east of downtown Columbus!
If you’re on facebook, you can RSVP here and help spread the word to other womyn with a quick and easy invite: https://www.facebook.com/events/544993728959890/
For more info, visit: http://ohiolesbianfestival.wordpress.com/
August 5, 1991 - July 16, 2011
Rise in Power, Kenneth!
On July 16, 2011 Kenneth Wade Harding Jr. was brutally murdered by the SF Police over a $2.00 transit fare.
Kenny’s murder is sadly yet another example of cops being judge, jury, and executioner. We must work together to hold them accountable, we must find better ways to meet our communities’ needs, and put an end to this.
Every month, his mother - Denika Chatman - and folks from across the Bay Area come together in what is now known as “Kenny’s Plaza” to honor his memory and to heal together as a community.
Please join us for this month’s community feed!
- When: Sunday, July 20th, 11am - 2pm
- Where: Kenny’s Plaza (formerly known as Mendell Plaza) 3rd & Oakdale
- For more info: https://www.facebook.com/events/248234728704918/
Justice 4 Kenneth Harding!
Justice for all victims of police terrorism & brutality!
No Justice, No Peace!!!
You’re invited to Sunday brunch!
A household in our community is facing an economic hardship and the bills keep racking up higher and higher! Their PG&E bill is past due by $350 and pending shut off. Are we going to let that happen?
So come around to the $ecret Cafe - turn the lights on! Featuring Shareef Ali!
Sunday, July 20.
10am - 3pm
We’re going to have Sunday Brunch featuring breakfast and lunch favorites, including mimosas! We’re going to have fantastic live music from 1-3pm in addition to brunch!
Bring your friends, bring your families, invite your neighbors, and come have brunch with us!!!
In honor of our loved one - Monique Robinson - we will Chalkupy OGP this Thursday. Please come join us!!!
As Pratibha aptly and succinctly said:
“Joshua Scott Hewitt wanted her framed by hearts so she is… The pink area is space for folks to write in their thoughts for Mo. The link at the bottom goes to Taylor’s fund. This is the first chalkupy I’m not looking forward to. But it will be good to see our friends in Oakland.”
And whether or not you are able to make it Thursday, please join Mo’s community of friends and family as we are Picking Up the Pieces to support her little boy Taylor. The link, so you have it handy is http://bit.ly/RIPMONIQUE
Might have lost my voice screaming at the refs and out-cheering the stadium full of Santa Cruz fans but it was totally worth it to do so with our tiny but fierce crew of 7 as we cheered the Oakland Outlaws on to victory!!
Admittedly, I have a soft spot for all the B.ay A.rea D.erby Girls but Oakland totally holds a special place in my heart. (..as does our rowdy little crew!)
If you want to help bring the ruckus and support some badass ladies, save the date for the 2014 Golden Bowl — June 14-15. (Weekend tix are a hefty chunk of change but you can always volunteer or check out this Groupon for $20 day pass.)
Nobody would be better!
After numerous conversations about Dan’s mayoral bid and folks assuming I would vote for Dan and/or work on his campaign because of our work together in the community, I figured this was a great way to sum up my feelings on the matter.
Seriously, I do love and respect Dan (hence the playful nod to him), but I do not support any candidate for government office. As my friend Robbie said, “especially not an executive office in which your job is to execute and enforce racist, colonial, capitalist laws.”
I recently had the pleasure of designing a poster for one of my favorite bands. Whatcha think?
If you haven’t seen ‘em, you can (and should!) rectify the situation this weekend!! You can get a taste here: http://madnoisemusic.com/
And if you already have mad love for them like I do, be sure to invite your friends and spread the FREE love! (tumble, RT, share, etc all your Bay Area peeps. I’ll see y’all there!)
More deets on this weekend’s show:
SECRET SHOW ✖︎ THIS SUNDAY 3/16 : ✖︎ Mad Noise ✖︎ #SECRET ✖︎ 7pm
I prefer relationships in which nobody wears the pants!
Fight the Pa(n)triarchy! FtP!
mixed media work in progress: sketches and a dash of photoshop magic.
from the FtP: #FightthePatriarchy! series: http://on.fb.me/1cDq651
dedicated to so many of my loverly friends who feel the same way i do about pants: the best pants are no pants!