But the commonalities are interesting, and affecting. In 1952, Eileen Tumulty's mother gets pregnant. The family is thrilled, and Eileen spends a lot of time envisioning herself with her baby brother or sister. So much happy anticipation. And so much grief when her mother has a miscarriage.
In 1952, my mother became pregnant. Our family was thrilled, and I spent a lot of time thinking about the baby brother or sister of my dreams. I was devastated when my mom had a miscarriage.
Note that I said "I." I was 8 years old, and the grief in my memory was mine. All about me. I assume this egocentricity is typical of an 8-year-old. But I haven't been 8 for a long time. You'd think I would have given some thought to my parents' grief, especially my mother's, before now. But it wasn't until I read about the fictional Tumulty family's experience that I realized the impact the miscarriage must have had on my mom.
She had gotten pregnant with me right away, but her second pregnancy ended in miscarriage when I was a toddler. Apparently it lasted long enough for the doctor's to be able to tell her she'd lost a boy. I assume my parents had been trying all those years until they succeeded--briefly--in 1952. She was 37. She didn't know she would die within six months, but she almost certainly knew her last chance at having another baby was over.
Why this didn't hit me until now . . . why it took a book . . . I don't know. I had issues with infertility myself, and pregnancy and childbirth have always figured prominently in my life. They still do, in a way. But for some reason I never took on my mother's grief. I never cried and said, "Oh, Mommy . . . I'm so sorry." That is, until now.