This, and all posts this week are in loving acknowledgement of our children that never got to be and of the dream and life we had to start to let go of on January 31, 2014.
Why so determined to grieve?
I found myself pondering one morning as I took a step back for a broader view of the organic holy war that bubbles through my insides. The “answers” were easily forthcoming.
I need myself.
Just as a woman’s living children are woven into her fabric of self, so is the non-existence of mine. As our losses intimately shape us, I would like to meet mine with open arms.
I need my health.
The last thing I need is an unloved ball of anguish meandering around inside of me. Grieving is healthy, the ticket to living the rest of your life instead of dying for the rest of your life.
I need people.
Although grieving initially isolates you, in the end it is harder to connect with others when you are out of touch with yourself.
But looming larger than anything was the deepest reason, over powering in its intensity.
I’ve been robbed of enough.
Of the joy of pregnancy.
Of the miracle of birth.
Even of the double line on the home pregnancy test.
Of a face.
And of a name to speak out loud.
Of trials, of tribulations, of milestones.
Of the role of guiding one through life’s challenges and letdowns.
Of a major bond.
Of the future of which I dreamed.
And even of a body to put in their casket.
Yes, I’ve been robbed of enough, so that final piece, that shrieking sadness and infinite desolation that hangs in my soul will be honored. And explored. And expressed.
Every last crumb that is left is mine for the taking. The profoundly deepened connection with self. The all too often impotent consolation prize of transformation. My truths.
So in the face of blank stares I will grieve.
In the presence of platitudes and rationalizations, I will grieve.
In the absence of “I’m sorry for your loss” and of acknowledgements of mourning, I will grieve.
In the midst of those chilled facial expressions that ooze “isn’t she “better” yet?” (And no, by the way, I’m not nor should I be), I will grieve.
In the presence of empathetic souls, open hearts and kindred spirits I will grieve. Amid the synergistic gift of abidance, I will grieve. And on a path lined with those who revere the healing process, have traversed places in themselves other than their minds and respect grief’s wisdom, I will grieve.
Not only has a line been drawn in the sand, a trench has been dug.
This exists. The loss of my children exists. And there is no absence of validation, no lack of reflection from the outside world that will stop me from mourning. No. This does not get taken from me. Not this time.
In defiance of a society who doesn’t think this is a loss, I will grieve.
In taking a stand for my broken heart and splintered soul, I will grieve.
And in honor of my 24 two and four celled wonders, for the love that came out of their creation and will continue to pour itself into the world, I will grieve.
Wherever the journey takes me, I will grieve. Whatever I have to pick up and drop off along the way, I will grieve. However long it takes, I will grieve.
I will grieve.
I will grieve.
I will grieve.
25 thoughts on “I Will Grieve”
Sarah, I see your grief and I honor it. It is hard to be in the trenches grieving loss that is not recognized freely by others so it is a salve to see and hear you tackle it as well. It is so heartbreaking to say goodbye to our children who could not be. Thank you for your openness.
I wrote my own grief poem recently, “our loss has no name” that you can hear on my blog:
From one unnamed loss to another Jo, I thank you deeply.
“Tackle” is such an appropriate word choice!!!
Your poem is wonderful, I hope others will listen to it as well. Though I wish you never had to write it, to have the opportunity to hear a tale so similar to mine was music to my weary ears. And your voice in and of itself is beautiful!
Thank you for listening and your kind words. I have felt a similar resonance when reading your posts. You are right that it is “music to my weary ears” – like a song we know the tune to and can hum along.
Such a valuable thing since we don’t get it often. XXOO
Beautiful. The way you arrange your thoughts is so intelligent, intense, and graceful. Honoring our lost children with our grief is a beautiful, human thing. I hope sunny days blow your way, and I know – regardless – you will never forget the magic of the children that didn’t come home.
There’s something about the grieving process, especially an unacknowledged one, that can make a person feel a bit crazy. Your validation is a much needed, meaningful breath of fresh air. Thank you. I know the sunny days will come at some point and I wish you the same.
Perfect Sarah & thank you for being you (& out loud!) because it allows me to be me & enables me peace, freedom & healing along this wretched journey of infertility & loss. You have put in to perfect words what I have struggled to express so perfectly & elegantly myself. I am so grateful & I will be sharing this post wherever I can! I find myself yet again surrounded by new pregnancies (just when you thought it was ‘safe’ among your immediate friends/peers!) & even new & approaching grandmas now…I am genuinely happy for all of them but every time painfully reminded of our loss & grief & lifetime ‘sentence’ of childlessness & seemingly invisibility. And of course, we are not permitted to talk about our side of things & even if we are it is minimised or casually quickly brushed aside or forgotten while the gushing over successful reproduction & family life prevails, with no real space, respect or sensitivity for what me & my husband have been through & are grieving now & will always be at loss of. The insensitivity of people (friends & family) who know well enough what we have suffered & are trying to come to terms with bites me every time! I wish you all the love, good things, support & peace in the Universe. xxx
You’re so welcome, Desiree!! Especially since peace, freedom and healing are hard to come by around here!!
Sorry for the inter-generational onslaught with which you are dealing. No rest for the weary, I take it. I totally hear you on the lack o’ space (among other things) for us in conversation. I often feel as though only a part of me is there when conversations don’t, at least eventually, cover my reality and what’s important to me too. Although I suspect some awkwardness and isolation is inevitable even when people do all of the right things, not being a validated part of the conversation is an impedement to the healing process. Out situation is no less worthy or valid than anyone else’s, that’s for certain!
Thank you so very much. 🙂
Yes, yes, yes. Grief is the highest honor that you can give your babies. Grieve as much as you need for as long as you need to. I suspect there will never be an end to the grieving, though it will take different forms as time passes (at least that’s how it is for me). And I think there will always be that odd thing that swoops in out of nowhere, catches you completely off guard, and kicks you in the ovaries. People may never understand your grief, but those people don’t matter anyway.
Ahhh, such a relief to read the view point of someone acquainted with grief’s reality….thanks, sister:-)
I hope you know how much your blog is helping people. You have an incredible ability to put the unspeakable into words. I’ve tried so hard to express the depth of loss that infertility brings, but somehow my words always come up short. You are so right that you have to give yourself permission and space to grieve. Our culture is so into painting a shiny face onto tragedy. It needs to be ok to just say, “This totally sucks, and is completely unfair. Period.” I think that society’s intolerance to grief is part of the reason that the infertile population feels so desperately alone. I recently wrote a song that describes the grief and isolation of infertility. Have a listen if you’re interested. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nSfqiDQEMSg
Julie, Wow! Beautiful song, and I don’t think your words came up short at all – gravestones inside me lined up in rows and what good is true when no one understands – yes yes yes. I often feel my words fall short too, but then I remind myself what we’ve experienced is beyond words so all I can do is the best I can do. I do thank you for your kind words though!
I agree – we have the double whammy of a grief averse culture combined with a societally unacknowledged and unaccepted loss – quite a cliff to scale, isn’t it?
PS I think “This totally sucks, and is completely unfair. Period” would make a great refrigerator magnet. Just sayin:-)
Hear! Hear! I haven’t been so darned inspired by something I read in a long time. I deeply admire your gusto and courage for embracing What Is. And yes, the only way out is through, and the only alternative is a different kind of death that is a deadening lingering, stuck sort of depression. Your words so eloquently carve a way through, Sarah. They feel like a beckoning beacon of light in the murky mire of unacknowledged and dismissed grief.
Thank you so much, Karen. It’s so easy to start to think oneself crazy in the face of grief unacknowledged. “The only way out is through” – I love it. Although “through” may not be the right way for everyone, I think it’s so important for the presents and futures of so many of us.
Yep, “through”may not feel right for everyone, it certainly has felt right for me. And “through” may only feel right at certain times, also. Sometimes a break feels necessary too.
Hi Karen –
Yep, and then there’s “dosing”. Thanks for mentioning breaks. I know I was relieved to hear that not taking it in all at once is important, and perhaps even necessary for one’s survival. I had been subconsciously dosing and didn’t know it.
Beautifully arranged and captured my feelings too.. I think I felt ashamed that I spent 2 years grieving for what I had lost.. I felt people expected me to feel upset for a month then get on with it.. Yet I needed that grieving time to accept a different kind of future for myself and I’m glad I did grieve , even if it was a lonely experience as I did it without anyone’s support..but feel much more accepting of who I am now. I have owned my grieve and I have found a new inner strength.. thankfully for being so open and honest.. Xx
Serena, thanks so much for sharing your story. We’re grieving the loss of a future as much as we’re grieving anything, I think. It’s natural to feel ashamed when there’s precious little validation and comradery to be found in daily life. I send you much respect for and congratulations on your new inner strength!
I echo what all have written before. I honor your grief. Your words beautifully capture the yawning agony … The intense need to be both seen and heard … The seeking of truth and the aching desire to give voice and heal to the rawness I, for one, know well. I hope my children are playing with your children right now…
Pouring over these comments has made me realize how comforting and illuminating the phrase “I honor your grief” is. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and I’ll be sure to pass it on to someone else who needs it when I can:-)
The thought of them playing together is such a sweet one…….
“Isn’t she ‘better’ yet?”
A sentiment rooted in the privilege of having no fucking concept. And the answer is generally – yes, ‘better,’ which does not equal ‘fine.’
Amen to that! The art of “going through” all too often takes a backseat to the mindless aversion that is “getting over it”, that’s for sure.
I’m catching up on blogs I’ve missed over the last month, so apologise for being so late. This is lovely. Painful but full of honesty. I am so honoured to be a witness to your grief and your healing.
I particularly love this – “I’ve been robbed of enough.” This is very much my philosophy. We have already lost so much, that it would be wrong to lose the rest of our lives. We grieve so we can live. Brava!
A witness is quite a present. Thanks, Mali.