Mourning Those You Never Knew

It’s every parent’s fear and that is losing a child. And yesterday, I received the most awful news that is the worst fear of every parent and grandparent. It happened to me. We went in for our 2nd visit to our OB since learning I was pregnant with our second child and everything went as planned until the doctor couldn’t find a heartbeat on the doppler so they sent me immediately to get an ultrasound. Our family drove silently to the ultrasound offices with my 5 year old in tow. She’s particularly interested in the fact that we are having a second baby so much so that she asked Santa for a little baby sister for Christmas. You can probably understand why my heart would really be breaking.

Mourning Those You Never Knew

We arrived at the ultrasound and the technician went to do his work, and I knew right away it wasn’t good. There was no heartbeat. Our baby was gone at 11 weeks. Even before we left the doctor’s office I leaned on my besties texting the group and asking the social media community to send me good vibes which they did, but it wasn’t enough. Fate had intervened.

Yesterday, I spent most of the afternoon curled up in a ball hoping that sleep would take this horrible reality away and transform it into a dream, but it wouldn’t be that way. Most people struggle sharing or exposing their own weaknesses, sorrows or vulnerabilities. I am no different, and I admit that while I wanted what happened to be a bad dream, I had an equally hard time sharing such a private and personal matter with my social media community. I was surprised to learn that 1 in 5 women will experience a miscarriage. It’s not a number that I would have likely believed until it happened to me especially when I only know a couple women personally who have shared their personal story for me.  This is what drove me to share with my community the news of our miscarriage in the hopes it would help with healing, learning and sharing not just for myself but also other women and families who have been impacted by their own personal tragedies.

Since starting this blog, I’ve written about the birth of my first daughter and tweeted about her arrival. I leaned on my social media support group just six months later when my father passed away unexpectedly. Just two years ago, I asked for support from my Facebook and Twitter family as my family made the 6 hour drive to see my mom who coded and was placed in a medical coma. I attribute the support through social media and my blog on her full recovery.

I know my family and I will get through this. We are already so blessed to have an amazing 5 year old daughter who I love even more and learn from every single day. It’s amazing to me how someone I’ve never known but known better than anyone else has forever shaped my life. I’m missing someone I’ve never met and it boggles my mind and hurts my heart at the same time.

This post is for the women who have lost a child they’ve never known or known for a moment like me. Since sharing our news on social media yesterday the overwhelming outpouring of support, phone calls, messages and emails has been amazing. I’m equally overwhelmed by the number of women and men who have shared with me confidentially that they went through the pain and horror of losing a child they never even knew. While there are few who share their losses so publicly please know that there are hundreds, thousands if not millions more who understand the hole in your heart and the pain that you feel in losing a loved one that you wished you knew. What hurts more are the memories that I don’t have to give me comfort. Instead I can only imagine and dream what those memories might be.

I’m mourning the loss of those you will never knew and my baby.

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Jessica Miller-Merrell

Learn more about Jessica Miller-Merrell, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, the founder of Workology, a workplace HR resource, and the host of the Workology Podcast. More of her blogs can be found here.

Reader Interactions


  1. Marla says

    A moving and heartbreaking post. Admiring you for your brave “confession” and opening up your heart and soul and pain to us. Prayers for peace my friend.

  2. Amy Vernon says

    Hugs, Jessica. I’ve known so many women who’ve suffered miscarriages – you’re right that it’s more common than thought. I can only imagine how difficult it is to discuss it, but you have built an amazing community of friends who will carry you through these tough times.

  3. Ana Lucia Novak says

    Hello Jessica,
    I am so sorry about your loss. I have experienced miscarraiges at 9-11 week mark only to learn that I needed to beef up on Folic Acid, and pre-natals for about a year before trying again.
    People say “you can have another one” or some really dont kniw what to say when the loss is at 9 weeks or so. But there will never be “that” one baby again so grieving and mourning is important. I pray for peace and healing of your heartache.

  4. Matt Steen says

    My heart breaks for you and your family, Jessica.

    Thank you for your willingness to share… the stories of others were incredibly helpful for my wife and me during our series of miscarriages. We will keep you in our thoughts and prayers during this season.

  5. Rosemary Hook says

    Thinking of you during this time, Jessica. Grieving takes many shapes and forms (not only crying or sadness) and it’s not always linear. Many hugs to you. xo Rosemary Hook

  6. Irene Gianos says

    Saddened for what you are experiencing during this difficult time. My heart aches for what you are feeling as a woman and as a mother, for your daughter and her loss of a sibling and your husband. Each day life will get a little easier. Sharing your story with the world takes courage and strength, and that strength along with all of us here, will help you move forward. Your story will help so many others who have to endure the same pain you’re experiencing now. Sending you love and prayers!

  7. Bob Tarver says


    I am so sorry for your loss… time….your heart will heal……I know you are strong and no doubt your friends will be there to support you……

    I am hopeful…when the time is right……Greg and Yourself will be again blessed with the opportunity to have another child

  8. Laurel says

    Jessica – I too am one of the 1 in 5. I had two miscarriages in the years after my first child and before I finally had my second. I understand and I am so sorry for your loss, the feelings of grief are real, the baby was real to you, and the plans you already had been making were real. Take what time you and yourfamily need to grieve.



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