Grief, it’s not going anywhere until you get to know it…so hello again grief my old friend

I started reading my very first blog post again before I sat to write this one, because I’m revisiting the same subject again. That wonderful old theme of grief. And for a while I thought about just reposting the first blog post because so many of the themes I talked about still hold true now, but something stopped me from doing that and for a while I’ve not been able to put my finger on it until now.

But before I start to tell you what it was that did stop me, I wanted to talk about that blog post. At the time I wrote it, I felt very vulnerable, because it was a massive admission to make, not just in terms of talking about my miscarried son, but also the fact that ‘Bam!’ this was my first blog post about this very personal subject under my business name.

Bear in mind too, that I hadn’t really spoken to family and friends about my miscarriage, well not in terms of naming the child and dreaming about the possibilities for his life. I’d also not really spoken about the depth of my loss in terms of the shattered dreams either, in terms of my fertility and the loss of that one, single solitary pregnancy. And I guess when I think about my grief, the most painful thoughts centre around that lost child and what he would’ve brought to my life. Yes, I grieve for my lost fertility and my lost womb, but chiefly my grief centres around Aaron and the loss around my miscarriage.  

So, when I read that first blog post back now, it seems a bit short and a bit bland. If I’m honest I can see me holding back – the mask in full effect! I look at my more recent posts and there’s no getting away from the fact that I divulge more, I write more and I’m more open about things with you out there. I have to admit I felt a bit underwhelmed when I read it back and thought…is that it? Why was I so worried about it?

Because if you read the post again (https://sarahlawrenceonline.com/2018/04/grief), I was pretty convinced that I had bounced back from the grief of the hysterectomy and the back story. I was satisfied that it wasn’t as prolonged as it had been on previous occasions, but I have to be honest reading this back now I know differently. I’ve ditched the mask and I know I categorically haven’t bounced back…from whatever I thought I was bouncing back from and I can’t say that I have ‘grieved’, because I am still in it.

So what have I learned since writing that first blog post and not wanting to reuse it?

  • I know how I grieve and I recognise that I’m still in the process.
  • I’ve learned that I can’t say when I’ll be out the back end of this process or even that I’ll be able to pinpoint the exact time that I’ll be able to say ‘yep, I’m done grieving’.
  • That grief is like an ocean. It doesn’t mean you feel sad all of the time, that you want to sob incessantly or that you can’t laugh. It will ebb and flow, it’ll be triggered and cause a shit storm, but you can’t be 100% sure when that’ll happen 100% of the time.
  • I’m a changed person as a result of this process. It’s not necessarily good or bad changes, it’s just change. I don’t miss aspects of me – people-pleaser and the degree of naivety that I had. But I do miss her hope sometimes and her certainty that it would all work out. There’s no denying I’m more cynical, less rigid with my planning and my bullshit-ometer is infinitely better.

And the reason for these changes is because as I said Monday, grief irrevocably changes you. You won’t be the same person you were when you make your way through grief. You won’t just feel a little bit sad and cry for a bit, you’ll have to really feel those emotions in order to learn and develop from them, when you’re ready to.

You won’t be able to ask to borrow someone else’s notes to know how to grieve because you have to do it…on your own and at your own pace. Granted there are tools out there to help, but your grief is as individual as you are, which makes it bloody hard work and you don’t just bounce back.

But the one thing I can say is that if you’re reading this blog thinking there is no end in sight, there will be one day for you and me. I don’t know when it’ll be, but we’ll get there in our own time and in our own way, because if grief teaches you nothing else, it shows you how fucking strong and resilient you can be.

You and me we’ve come through something massive and while we will always be left wondering what it would be like to be a mum or a dad, we’re still here and we still have a lot to offer the world.

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