October is infant and pregnancy loss awareness month. I think about these things regularly and I thought I would add something to this little history of my life. It has been a rough year for me and I
I have had so many losses that I really thought I knew what it felt like. I have been shocked and irritated by the depth of my own grief with this last loss. It has been disconcerting and alienating.
Much of the time I feel like a giant hole is missing in the middle of my chest. It feels so obvious and blatant yet it is exhausting that no one seems to see that a chunk of my heart is missing, that I am so obviously changed by my experiences. It is as if I am suddenly missing an arm or a shoulder and nobody remarks on it, like it never existed in the first place. Do I want anyone to remark on it? No. Do I expect or want them to treat me differently just because I feel so different and changed? No. Is is exhausting anyway? Absolutely. The good news is that the constant weight of it all feels easier to carry. It gets easier to balance. It is all just about finding a new center of balance, a new way to feel like myself. It is a rebuilding process that takes a lot of patience with myself. I don't want to feel different. I don't want to rebuild but it is reality and it is possible.
It is difficult to feel alone in grief. It feels like I grieve for people who never existed to anyone but me. There has been a lot of anger and torment that comes with the weight of carrying something so emotionally heavy. It has been difficult to share that weight with anyone, even God. There are no good memories to counterbalance the heaviness so it is hard to give up even the heavy parts. There is guilt for not feeling appreciative for all of the great and wonderful parts of my life and family.
Grief is a funny thing. Learning to be yourself all over again is work. No longer feeling numb to the best parts of my life is a victory. Learning to rebalance is an education.