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On Infertility and Other Losses - A Guide for Grieving

A Guide for Grieving Infertility and Loss

a blog by Suzanne Rico, June 7, 2013

There is nothing vague about my uneasiness, the wish-I-could-jump-out-of-my-skin kind of feeling. Inside I feel sick and heavy, while outside I move my lips to speak and legs to walk, routine motions that make people think I’m doing OK. But most of the time, I'm not, wanting to throw a tantrum or turn the clock back or do things differently--to change reality is what I want. Too bad life doesn’t work that way.

When my mother died on March 15th, 2013, after a valiant nine-month cancer fight, the world tilted dangerously. Suddenly—in the whisper of her last breath—I lost a mother’s love, something I’d always taken for granted, like the sun rising every day or fresh fallen snow being white and cold. And the missing feels enormous. Another thing I’d taken for granted in early adulthood was that motherhood would come easily—naturally!—and the pain that came when it didn’t had also pressed hard upon my heart. My mother's death has somehow spurred me into remembering all the sadnesses of my life--smaller footprints in the sand that led to this recent big one.

It has also made me yearn to reach out to others feeling pain, frustration and despair. "I understand" is what I say to anyone suffering loss-- whether a loved one's death, a miscarriage, or the emotional beating of infertility. I respect and honor your grief. I know. And I've learned that when life throws a hardball, there is no right or wrong way to field it--healing is not a linear process, but jagged and unpredictable. But grief does get easier to bear, I promise you. Just three months out from a tragedy that knocked the breath and the joy out of me, I can feel happiness trying to send new, green shoots up through the wounded landscape of my heart. Life moves on, and time, like water washing over sandy footprints, wears away at the rough edges of grief, smoothing and softening, until the shape of it somehow fits.


Comments (2)

Suzanne, One of the interesting and very difficult things I've discovered caring for a husband with dementia and having a child with schizophrenia who refuses to take meds is that you never have an opportunity to grieve. Rather, existence becomes an indefinite limbo of getting through each day with no expectation of a brighter future. I wrote about this in my book Dueling With Dementia: Not the Love Story We Planned, which is available on Amazon. I thought writing the book would make it easier by putting all the confusing, painful years into perspective, but it hasn't. I thought that when others wrote to me saying my book helped them in their similar situations that it would ease the pain, but it hasn't. I think that one needs closure to begin grieving, don't you? Take care, and I look forward to reading about your family's new adventures. Kathleen

Suzanne, Your writing is so beautiful. Thank you for sharing with all of us. Sending you this mothers love, Carly

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