Around four years ago, in the fourth year coming out of treatments, I found myself in a vehement phase of mourning. The pull towards expressing my love and losses through gardening continued to grow more fervent. It was then I created our candle and flower ritual to mark the conclusion of our final failed attempt – and to chauffeur me through winter in the absence of gardening. I was pulsing on a regular basis with the need for physical symbols that could mark, prove and memorialize. Read more
Strange things have been happening lately. When I’m out in the world now, something is different.
I find myself catching glimpses of someone I don’t fully recognize. She is emerging full force but I have yet to really see her. Life’s obstacles and hardships can serve as quite the blinders sometimes. Read more
Tomorrow, July 3rd at 2:00 EST (7:00 pm BST)
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A word from Jody: “It is my experience that childless grief is misunderstood and that learning to work with rather than against it is the path to getting your life back. There will be plenty of time for Q and A’s at the end.”
A settled chill hung in the air as we hurriedly pulled into the flower shop on our way to buy groceries.
“Why don’t we get them at Whole Foods? Whole Foods has flowers.” my husband pointed out irritably.
I slammed the car door without a word and stomped into the flower shop, disregulated autonomic nervous system and all.
I respectfully waited for the owner to take a funeral order as my autonomic nervous system failed miserably to adjust to the cold (which is typically hard on people with dysautonomia as well as other neuropathies). But knowing what it’s like to have a loss that is not societally regarded in any way, I was not about to impatiently huff and pout in the face of someone else’s moment of acknowledgement.
I ordered an arrangement of white flowers in a low, square vase as my lightheadedness ballooned and the room spun a bit, perhaps from both the cold and harsh reality. Read more
I remember vividly my first mother’s day which came about three months after our final failed treatment. My heart was so heavy breathing felt like bench pressing. The intensity of my pain deemed the question “Will I survive?” more than legitimate, my need for self protection fell just short of having to inhabit an actual cocoon.
But recently I found myself thinking, there’s an efficiency to mother’s day the winter holiday season is entirely lacking. Albeit one of the more hard hitting emotional blows that exists, it’s mostly one hit and you’re done. A bit of lead up, nauseating commercialism and some violating conversational recap here and there, but a seasonal noose it is not.
This winter holiday/Christmas thing however is a bonafide MARATHON. And the longer something goes on, the more deeply it begs the question “what to do?”, and in cases of being childless not by choice, “what NOT to do?” Our fourth holiday season out of our final failed treatment and I still have no real answers. Read more
The most illuminating book for my process so far
I’m recalling those days of summer reading. From the dank public library basement children’s section in northern Massachusetts to propping myself up with a book in my bed, in a tree, or on the back porch. The focus was different back then, needless to say. I read stories and about history and historical figures. I was Laura Ingalls Wilder obsessed and had an innate interest in physical handicaps, reading whatever I could that would take me into the worlds of those who had to struggle where I didn’t.
Today it’s different. I have a reading list for the first time in my adult life, spurred by my experiences with infertility and involuntary childlessness. This list is mostly filled with stories of those who have gone through some kind of life altering traumatic loss or plight. Seems I’m propelled to read whatever I can to take me into the worlds of those who have been forced to struggle in ways similar to those in which I have. Read more
You can find my latest round on Lesley Pyne’s blog HERE, dear readers.
I had mentioned in a comment on her site that I had taken my grief head on. She asked me what that meant and if I’d be willing to write about it.
How refreshing to have someone stop and pay attention to that which most people want to avert!! An important reminder of the power of community. And that our involuntarily childless club needs to grieve and mourn just like any other set of humans who lost a key component in their lives that was near and dear to them.
And so I did write reflections on my grief journey and included some tools that have been useful to me that hopefully others will find empowering too.
And the confounding abyss in between
Walking into my first social outing since a virus attacked my autonomic nervous system 5.5 months ago, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Though much less than a few months ago, my nervous system still tends to over assimilate sound and does not adjust smoothly to darkness. Not to mention I’m still dealing with a slowly waning level of dizziness and lightheadedness. And then there’s the fertile world whose presence is, of course, immeasurable. Read more
The movie Cast Away sheds some light
Things have felt……peculiar lately.
I’ve been feeling that half here, half not here feeling. But not the pulverized half here half not here feeling of a year ago, this one is different. I’ve been feeling unsettled. A bit disconnected. Pain, my long time reliable compass, no longer rules my existence. Read more
An infertility survivor’s early summer musings
I had gotten through Father’s Day without much flinching. These milestones, or non-milestones, depending upon how you look at it seem to, in me lately, provoke the question: Does it get easier, or am I getting stronger? Read more