Silent Grief: The Complex Journey of Mourning miscarriage.
After Jhene's own experiences she was driven to create something beautiful that would not have existed had she not miscarried. What resulted was her film.
After screenings of The House I Keep, Erwin has been overwhelmed by the heartbreaking stories of miscarriage that women have felt compelled to share. Some women who had known each other for years, heard their friends’ experiences of miscarriage for the first time. These gatherings became transformative. In an age when women have unprecedented control over their reproductive system and multiple births are celebrated in the media, miscarriage is a topic that remains taboo. Discussing the film has provided an 'appropriate place' to share their own stories. Their silence was broken and isolation bridged.
For many women talking about the miscarriage through the events in the film led them to understanding deeper underlying issues of shame, loss and betrayal that had occurred years prior to the miscarriage(s). The miscarriage was the ‘trigger event’ that when viewed openly and in a new light allowed them to heal from more prolonged issues. Understanding the miscarriage with this in mind helped to give a purpose to their horror and pain.
It is Jhene Erwin’s mission for the film to improve the mental health of women and their families mourning miscarriage by providing an identifiable voice through her film. The film has become a platform for discussion and understanding, and hence, an impetus for healing.
Based on her experiences at these screenings, Erwin has created a template for small groups to gather internationally for book club style “Viewing Parties.” Check the side bar on this page for a link that provides suggestions on how to host a viewing party. You will find tips to assist in experiencing a fun, meaningful and transformative evening. Some of these suggestions include, choosing your guests, structuring the evening, refreshments to serve and questions to ask.
The House I Keep will also be taken to organizations such as Parents Support of Puget Sound, and to similar organizations throughout the United States, to be used as a tool for healing and discussion. The depression and anxiety that often affects women who have miscarried is inevitably more pervasive in under served populations who may feel isolated and without assistance. The filmmakers aim to take The House I Keep to centers for low-income families like the Urban Institute and Community Health Care Networks nationwide to be used as a vehicle for sharing, mobilizing and publicizing resources available to women who suffer miscarriage.