A few days ago I put up a post about the difference between stillbirth and miscarriage, after I had a friend refer to Ben's death as a miscarriage.
Several readers commented that, technically, their losses were somewhere in between a miscarriage and a stillbirth, in a strange gray area where there are no appropriate words in the vernacular to describe what they endured. Even though they had vaginal deliveries and saw and held their children. One reader's sons were born at 17 weeks gestation, within those shades of gray.
Another reader's son was born at 16 weeks gestation and took one breath. Only one.
And yet another delivered her twins in the UK, where a miscarriage is classified as a loss before 24 weeks. Her girls were delivered at 23 weeks. One of them lived, one of them died.
What can we learn from all this, you ask? I think we learn that there are few areas of black and white in this world, that we need compassion more than we need absolutes. We learn that loss takes many forms and cuts far deeper than many of us can ever know.
We learn that numbers mean almost nothing at all when faced with unfathomable grief.