I have been told that politicians don’t get a private life. Glen is a public figure now so our private lives become public knowledge because they are a testament to the character of the candidate. In some instances, I agree; in others, not so much.
Those supporters who are keeping a close eye on Glen’s campaign may have noticed that when Glen introduces himself now, he says that he is a father of four, not three like he did in June and July. It’s a very small part of his bio but it means so much to our family when he says that. We lost our fourth child on September 25, nine weeks and four days into our pregnancy.
Throughout the past month, we have grieved privately. Glen took some time away from the campaign. I processed a whirlwind of emotions. How do I grieve the loss of my child while continuing a political campaign? Do I share our loss with the public? Is it their business? Will people see my grief as a tactic to get a sympathy vote? Do I want something so personal to become so public?
This campaign has taught me that we dehumanize our politicians. Maybe because it is easier to criticize them if we don’t think of them as people, as our neighbors, or as our friends. I wanted to protect my fourth child from the harsh words of others. I wanted to protect our family unit from the pain of the outside world. I was angry at the thought that I might be forced to share this with strangers.
A month has passed. I can’t hide away anymore. My miscarriage is a part of me. It’s a part that I have accepted. Now, I am ready to share it with others. I want to share because no one does. There isn’t an obituary. There is no funeral. One day, you’re pregnant. The next day, you’re not. And yet that loss is still felt. It’s an invisible and lonely pain. I have learned that so many women and families go through the pain of losing a child due to miscarriage, but no one wants to talk about it. There are moments when privacy is necessary, when one must step away because the pain is too great to bear publicly. And then there are moments when all you want is for someone to listen to you dote on your little one. Maybe I am ready to share now because I want people to realize our politicians are human. Or maybe I just want others to know that you are not alone. Or maybe after a month of grieving, I am ready to rejoice in the joyful news of our fourth child.
So today, I choose to celebrate our child, just as I have celebrated the one-month birthdays of all my children. I celebrate that I have a child who is a saint in Heaven! I celebrate the unity God has given to our family during this time. I celebrate the love our family has for this little one we never met and yet we still know. I celebrate the strength of my husband to introduce himself as a father of four. Above all, I celebrate our Baby Jo.