Winona Dimeo-Ediger
June 21, 2016 8:57 am

Miscarriage has long been viewed as a private tragedy that should be kept secret. But staying silent can create intense feelings of isolation and shame for women who’ve had a miscarriage, making the experience that much more painful. In fact, miscarriage is extremely common, and in recent years, there has been a push to discuss it more openly to ensure women can get the support they need.

An inspiring example of this new sense of openness is a woman from San Jose named Joan, who recently had a miscarriage during her seventh week of pregnancy. She and her husband were devastated, but rather than keep their grief secret, she decided to honor her experience with a trip to the tattoo parlor. ““I wanted to get a tattoo to kind of remember and be able to heal and move on,” Joan told SELF.com. “It would be my tribute to this baby that we wanted but unfortunately didn’t last.”

Here’s the gorgeous tribute that’s now inked on the inside of her ankle:

Beautiful, right?

“It’s sort of a conversation piece,” Joan told SELF.com, “because I know people don’t want to talk about miscarriages, and it’s really taboo. But for me, I’m not really ashamed that it happened. It was another life experience even though it was a bad life experience. I don’t want to forget and I don’t want to pretend it didn’t happen.

Joan’s mission to start a conversation about miscarriage has been a staggering success: the photo of her tattoo has gone viral, garnering more than 34,000 views on Imgur and write-ups in major magazines and websites. Let’s keep this conversation going, so other women going through this will know they’re not alone.

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