Grieving the Unknown – Donate a Post by Rachel Demas


June 19, 2013 by Katia

Today I am so thankful to feature a post by Rachel, the author of one of my favourite blogs, The Tao of Poop.  Rachel is such a gifted writer and this piece, previously featured on her blog, manages, with very few words, to address what I believe is one of the greatest misconceptions about miscarriage and pregnancy loss, you can’t grief what you don’t know. I used to think so too.


Grieving the Unknown

I was eight weeks pregnant when George and I were married. I had a miscarriage at 13 weeks. At the time, I wrote this piece to mourn and heal.


I thought there was no grieving without knowing

I thought mourning was fueled by

Lost relationships and experiences shared

Losing you is a different thing

Potential uncoils,

Missing the change in the curve of my waist

The place I touched to remind me that you were there, oh, so, barely there

Letting go a shift in consciousness that readied to make room for you

Getting used to no morning sickness, for Pete’s sake!

Such elusive things seem to add up to knowing you

Well, you will remain in a million wedding pictures and I will remember the proverbial twinkle in your dad’s eye


He wondered if you had thoughts before this

He would talk to you, just in case

We had so many questions, my hopeful mystery

I have them now too,

I want to know could I have saved you

Did I do something wrong?

I want to know if you knew us, if you will remember us

I fear the answer is no

But I’ll never know

Something else to grieve


Rachel Demas, The Tao of Poop

My OB told me I was a “geriatric pregnancy”. I didn’t like that much. Now, I feel lucky to have a healthy daughter, who has no idea I’m old. THE TAO OF POOP, is about life since she was born in 2011. My blog gives me the opportunity to explore the ups and downs of being a first-time mom in her 40’s. I always strive to find the poignancy and humor in the ever-changing, complicated mix of parenthood.

If you would like to share your story on Donate a Post, please contact me at iamthemilkblog (at) gmail (dot) com with your contribution. 

15 thoughts on “Grieving the Unknown – Donate a Post by Rachel Demas

  1. Thank you so much for the opportunity to share this post and be a part of this series. I think it is so important. I am humbled by your introduction…from someone I admire so much as a writer.

  2. Considerer says:

    A very touching poem. I hate how, even though we *know* we did nothing wrong and could have done nothing different, there is still that uncertainty…

  3. Loved this the first time, love it now, love you!

  4. This was beautiful. I’m a “geriatric mom” too. Isn’t that an awful term?

  5. This is beautiful and touching. My first pregnancy ended in a miscarriage at 8 weeks and the “did I do something wrong” questions just tore at me. Thanks for sharing this ~ sometimes I feel like it ‘doesn’t count’ because I was “only” 8 weeks along… but after one month of knowing I was pregnant, it was a very real loss and the grief was very real. {I love the line about your child living in the wedding pictures ~ beautiful}.

  6. Corinne says:

    Rachel- thanks for sharing your story and beautiful poem. When I was trying to get pregnant, my mom had just suffered a major stroke and eventually dementia set in. I knew it was a matter of time until she would leave us- each time I would see her she would tell me how she wished I had a baby before she died- so here my husband and I were trying to have a baby. Over about 3 long years I had 3 miscarriages. Each miscarriage was so heartbreaking.

    I never had the heart to tell her fearing I would upset her. Mom eventually passed away.. And not long after she died the fertility clinic told me there was nothing else they could do. They figured my eggs at 40 were ‘ too old’. So, I went to a naturopathic dr – and 3 months later after switching to a gluten and dairy free diet, acupuncture and other treatments I got pregnant. The pregnancy was a success- and went on to have another baby. I now have 2 beautiful boys.

    • Katia says:

      Corrine, sorry to jump in for Rachel, but what a story! My heart aches for you knowing how you would have wanted to grant your mother that gift and the pressure it must have put on you. I am sure she knows she has these radiant grand kids. XO

  7. Rachel,
    This is amazingly beautiful and resonates strongly with me. I, too, had a miscarriage early on and you’re so right that it affects us profoundly. The missed potential, the worry that it’s somehow our fault, losing the anticipation of a pregnant belly…I love your words and thank you for sharing them. And thanks to Katia for recognizing your awesomeness.

  8. Sarah Almond says:

    Pssssssssssssssst… you need share buttons. 😉

    • Katia says:

      I know!!! I have no idea why they don’t show, I’ve manually selected them from the WordPress menu, but must have done something wrong. It’s probably time to bring in the heavy artillery. I hope my husband doesn’t have other plans for the weekend 😛

      • Sarah Almond says:

        Are you free or self-hosted? Either way, a good question to ask the Bloppys about! I’ve always had mine and then Julie made them look all nice for me. 🙂

        And how about the little button thingies to link to your facebook pages, etc (I see you have Twitter). Can I help it if I want to spread your awesomeness?

  9. Thank you, Rachel, for sharing such a personal story. When I had what we initially thought was a miscarriage, my doctor said, “Some people blame themselves because they had sex the night before. But there’s just no way to know that.” O.M.G. Luckily, I soon found a new doctor. 🙂

  10. Jen says:

    This is such a beautiful post. If only we could convince ourselves to not think about the “what ifs.”

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