A few weeks ago, I submitted an essay to a website under a specific theme. The rejection email came with a simple sentence: “Thank you but unfortunately this is not what we are looking for.” It hurt more than it should have, as I know rejection is an unavoidable aspect of writing.
An opportunity arose recently for me to send my story to the Chicago Daily Herald through someone I know. I worked on it. I tailored it to the type of audience I knew would be reading. I went a long time hearing nothing, then was asked to submit a photo and the suburb where I live. Not unlike my pregnancy, I didn’t believe that it would actually be published until it happened. And today, it was included on the website.
It was validating, because it made me feel that my story was worth telling. Awareness about pregnancy and infant loss will come from sharing stories. Awareness about grief will come from talking openly and honestly about navigating loss, and the days, weeks, months, years, and lifetime that follow. Stories matter.