Just popping in to say “hi”

22 Mar

I’ve been away for a while.  Each time I thought of writing I somehow found something else to do to distract myself.  I’ve been playing the avoidance game big time, tons of TV and movies and even new hobbies like practicing yoga and learning to play the guitar.  We are finally scheduled for IVF in April, so I do have some news, but otherwise that’s it.  It feels like it’s been an eternity since my last pregnancy last summer and once my brain reflects on the cumulative days, month, years dedicated to trying to have a family or mourning a loss I just start to lose it.  So that’s why I’ve been away.    Along with not writing and commenting is also a feeling of guilt for not being their for my blog buddies, esp. since you’ve all been there for me.  For this I am very sorry.

On a different note, I recently lost someone close to me- my paternal grandmother.  She was 101 and was in very good health up until a few weeks before she died.  What an amazing woman.  After she passed I received lots of calls and positive messages from friends and family.  After this happened I couldn’t help but reflect on my experiences with grief and loss over the past few years and the odd way our society deals with it and how it’s affected me and how I live today.

I am very sad to say goodbye to my grandmother.  She will be incredibly missed not just by me, but by my whole family.  As I received calls of support, it felt like the first time in a really long while where I could actually share my grief.  For once, I felt like I was not left to grieve silently and alone..  Since she lived such a long life, her death was sad, but expected.   My grief in losing her is one of closure and completion.  It feels sad but “normal”.

I lost my cat a few months ago and I find myself still missing him every day.  His absence is very noticeable.  I find I still haven’t quite recovered from his passing, although he was quite old (17) and sick (treated for  kitty lymphoma) for his last two years.  When he died a little part of me went too.  I learned that my grief over losing him and having to make the decision to let him go was received very differently by those around me.  Many thought I should have “just put him down” long ago and not bothered with treatments.  Others didn’t get why we didn’t just “replace” him with a new cat immediately after.  Finally others totally got it and were able to share my grief and be supportive.  Back in December this was my first loss I felt like I could openly discuss.  It was sad, but for the pet-owners of the world, it was “normal”.

Finally, both of these losses, while significant in their own rights still pale in comparison to the enormous load of pain, grief and loss I’ve carried for the past four years.   They say not to compare pain, but I can’t help it.  My last pregnancy loss was in July and even over none months later, the pain is still so much greater.  There is no comparison.   Meanwhile I have to bottle this up and keep it to myself.  It is a grief too large to share openly.  No one gets it.  It’s like it’s all made up in my head, like it never happened.    When I have shared this with some friends their feedback has usually jumped to what my action plan is for adoption or egg donation, etc.  My grief feels like mine alone and totally not normal.  There is nothing that feels normal or right about losing someone you never got to meet.  Losing your dream of becoming a mother and having a family of your own.

I love that people reached out and supported me when I lost my cat, and even more reached out when I lost my grandmother, but there is a part of me that also feels angry and abandoned.  I want to ask them “Thank you for supporting me now, but where were you when I lost my children and my dream of motherhood?”.   For me the pain of infertility and pregnancy loss has been so much greater than any of these other losses and is just magnified by the fact that it goes ignored.  Even those that have expressed sympathy are at the point of not asking, like I should be over this by now.  To me the irony is that I am getting wonderful grief support, but not where I need it most.


7 Responses to “Just popping in to say “hi””

  1. Hope March 22, 2012 at 9:06 pm #

    I am so sorry that you lost your grandmother. I’m glad you’re getting support for that loss (and got some as well with the loss of your kitty), but I’m also so sorry that it has served to highlight for you the missing support in terms of your pregnancy losses.

    I’ve been thinking about you. I’m sorry your feeling so alone in your grief over your last miscarriage, and that even the little support you had is dwindling. It’s really sad that our culture doesn’t know how to support people through the grief of pregnancy loss.

    And I do hope your IVF in April goes well.

  2. Detour March 23, 2012 at 4:10 am #

    Hi there–been following you for a little while here. I’m so sorry about the loss of your grandmother and your cat. Our society is so messed up in how we deal with grief, and I can totally see how these losses are making you reflect on the lack of support you received after your pregnancy losses.

    Sometimes playing the avoidance game feels so right. Good luck getting through this time before your IVF.

  3. Misfits March 23, 2012 at 5:49 am #

    I am sorry about your grandmother as well. It’s incredible to have support for loss that other people relate to where you have this well of grief that no one understands. I feel like I’m still dealing with all that grief even now. There’s just some amount of broken that feels permanent in this infertility business. That no one really “gets” that it’s not the physical losses alone, but the loss of the dream and confidence that you can do this. Both of those are crushing experiences and totally foreign to anyone not in the trenches.

    I am happy to hear of the distractions and I will vouch for all avoidance techniques that give you a break. Music is incredibly soothing and I’m excited for all the new hobbies. I will be keeping up for your cycle. April is almost here!

  4. bodegabliss March 23, 2012 at 9:39 am #

    I couldn’t agree more, Starfish. You nailed it. But first, I am so sorry for the passing of your grandmother. Mine passed over 7 years ago and I still miss her constantly. What an incredible life she must have had though, and an inspiration (101!). I’m so sorry. And you know that I totally understand the sadness for your cat, I fear for when I’ll lose my dog. I don’t think I will ever get over it.

    You are so right about the grief. It’s so unbelievably frustrating and unfair. I feel exactly the same way…and I fear it will never change.

    So glad to hear from you, by the way. I was starting to worry. Here’s to April!

  5. S ep March 23, 2012 at 6:58 pm #

    Thank you for this post. It is so right on.

  6. missohkay March 24, 2012 at 6:36 am #

    I’ve been thinking of you – glad you popped back in to say hi. You’re so right on about grief support. It’s so isolating having to grieve something others don’t know about or, even if they do know, don’t understand. Good luck in April – keep us posted when you can.

  7. mrs. brightside March 25, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

    Wow, this post really struck a chord with me, I know too well this feeling. Last April my uncle passed away from cancer the very same day we had our D&C for pregnancy #5. I was devastated for both losses, and I felt a little stab each and every time one was acknowledged openly and easily, and the other was invisible, even to those that knew. I can’t say it any better than missohkay – ” It’s so isolating having to grieve something others don’t know about or, even if they do know, don’t understand.” It’s one of the cruelest aspects of what we endure, I think.

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