Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Capture Your Grief: Day 14, Dark/Light

I haven't done Capture Your Grief so far this year. I didn't participate in the August 19 Day of Hope either. I guess I feel all jumbled up with my grief over Garrett and the not-adoptions and the agency dropping us and all the emotions tied up in infertility (who knew that one would pop up again?) and I simply have little to say and much to process. Grieving the loss of expectations probably covers everything from "Garrett would have been" to "Jaden is now..." to "the second baby whose name we're not certain of would be..." to "well, I guess since it's unlikely we're going to adopt, at least any time in the near future, we better go ahead and turn the nursery into a guest room."

This is one of the brief moments when it wasn't raining.
Mike and I had our 12th anniversary on Sunday. We were on the way home from Missouri because we took Autumn to the Laura Ingalls Wilder House in Mansfield. We had a good time touring the museum, going to the Pioneer Village and sampling each of the three restaurants in town. But the whole thing was tinged with bittersweetness: the awareness that the only reason we took that trip is because we aren't in Texas for the adoption orientation. And that, well, we need to make the most of what we have since all signs point to not having more.

And we have a lot. No, we don't have the big family we and nearly everyone else expected we'd have. But...we have each other. I have Mike and Autumn and even grumpy Molly the cat. We have wonderful friends who love us. We have incredible family. We have jobs. A warm house. A great school. Jobs we like. Faith, battered but marching on.

Mike and I had a good conversation in the car about how our marriage has had crazy ups and crazy downs. We talked about how maybe the secret of looking back and saying, "it was a good life," is going to be not getting mired down in what didn't happen. We grieve our losses. Acknowledge them. Embrace them. Live them. And we move forward. We don't leave it behind and pretend our sadnesses never happened but we will carry them and learn and grow and--in the same breath that it never quite leaves me that something, someone, is missing--appreciate what there is with an intensity we might not have had before.

And so we soul search to see what is next. What path will we take now?

I'll leave off with what Carly Marie, the founder of Project Heal wrote for this day because it's excellent. Mike co-signs.

They told me I would feel sad for a long time, but no one said anything about anxiety. No one said it would creep in when the sadness eased and cripple me at times. No one said it would stop me from sleeping. No one said it would affect the way I parent my living children and how it would almost kill me to separate fro(m) them. No one said anything about the nightmares. No one said anything about the bitterness I would feel when I saw other pregnant women. No one told me I would have to struggle to not verbally abuse someone for complaining about how hard they have it with parenting their beautiful living children. No one told me what I should write when the form asks me how many children do I have. No one ever said I would miss him forever.

They said I would feel joy again but it wouldn't be the same. They were right, it is a much deeper joy now. No one told me that grief was just a deeper form of love. No one said that grief didn't have to be my enemy. No one said anything about how my life would be irrevocably changed through the incredible life changing friendships that I would forge. No one told me that I would find my life's purpose in the depths of my grief. And no one ever said that I would be grateful for the lessens and the experience.

Capture Your Grief, Day 14: DARK/LIGHT. Today we are acknowledging the dark and the light sides of grief. The ugly and the beauty. The bitter and the sweet. The anger and the peace. You might want to write about the moments when everything falls apart or maybe the moments where our eyes are opened to the gifts that this journey has in store for us. Or maybe you just want to write about both.

1 comment:

  1. We capture our grief in this day of hope
    We bury it with those gone too soon
    We hold it with those near to our heart
    We release it but it's never gone

    With what would have beens, followed with
    What's somewhere else now, and then
    What now and never will be, we hope
    With faith, battered but marching on

    We go down the road that leads to the past
    Not the road that we meant to go on
    Of plans had and a future filled with hope
    Plans of prosperity and not of harm

    We examine houses that are not our own
    Empty of those who've lived here before
    In the pioneering wild days of grace
    With faith, battered but marching on

    Look at the life and the love that is ours
    The future is our past all full grown
    A present given by grief and hope
    With faith, battered but marching on