Moving on after a breakup and a miscarriage

Dear Meredith,

I feel like I'm going to sound like a cliché here, but I'm heartbroken and don't know how to cope. I have been in a long-distance relationship with a man from my hometown for over a year now. He's in the military and stationed across the country. I know a lot of people may read this and think, "It was a long-distance relationship that only lasted a year – just move on." But there are many circumstances that are contributing to my heartbreak right now. Unfortunately, a few months back, I lost our baby due to a late-term miscarriage. It broke me, and with him being out of arm's reach, the loss was even harder for the both of us and our relationship. I am still trying to cope with that loss, and in the midst of coping he decided that he longer wanted to be with me. Initially, I was supposed to move to him, get married to him, and we were going to have our child. But when I lost the baby I decided it would be best for me to stay home and finish getting my degree.

A few months after the loss, we talked about how we both wanted to try to get pregnant again. I was going to fly out to him, we were going to spend a few much-needed weeks together, and we were going to try. But a few weeks ago, he told me that the distance was too hard for him and that this wasn't going to work. It destroyed me because it was so abrupt and I had not seen it coming at all. A day before he ended it (through text, might I add), we were still discussing my coming down and trying for another baby. I'm devastated. He wouldn't answer any of my phone calls. He wouldn't discuss anything through FaceTime or calling, only through text. I'm now trying to cope with the pain of losing my baby and the person I love. Every day seems to get harder and harder. I never seem to stop crying. I have trouble sleeping and eating. Whether I'm out with friends or family, I break down no matter what. No one seems to understand the pain of losing two important things in your life within months of each other.

My ex has completely shut me out, blocked me everywhere, and I have no way to talk to him. Before he ended it, he told me that he still loved me and hopes we cross paths again some day. He also told me that if he ever comes home, he would like to see me, but I don't feel that is the best for either of us. At this point in my life, I am hurt and lost. I keep finding myself asking the same questions. How could anyone leave the mother of their unborn child right after losing the child? How could he be so cruel and coldhearted to me after everything we've been through? Did our baby mean anything to him? Should I have moved with him despite our loss? Please help me. I do not know what to do at this point. I'm not sure how to cope and move on – or if I should try to find a way to rekindle the relationship and move to him. Where do I go from here?

– heartbroken and lost

Your family and friends might not know how to make this better, but your doctor should. It's a good time to ask a medical professional about self-care. There are miscarriage support groups that might help you through your grief. It would also be nice if your doctor can give you some context and perspective. How do others find solace after this kind of trauma? How does the body and mind recover? If you're having trouble getting through the day and can't eat or sleep, please get help.

As for the breakup, know that you have every right to be heartbroken, disappointed, and confused. Even before I read the line about the pregnancy, there was nothing cliché about your letter. Yes, the relationship was long-distance and new, but you had every reason to believe you were planning something wonderful. You spent your emotional (and financial?) resources on a plan, but you never got to experience the end result – the joy of being together. It makes sense that you're mourning what could have been.

But you should remember, when you feel low, that before this man, you had a plan. You were finishing a degree. There were probably many things you wanted to do with it. Try to recall what you dreamed about before this relationship became a big part of your life. What goals still appeal to you? Which ones could you conquer now?

There can be joy without this person in your life; you just have to wade through the aftermath of the breakup and start thinking about what might make you happy. It's not easy, but it's possible. Start making a list.

– Meredith

Readers? Please help.