Thursday, May 27, 2010

Grief

I am really fortunate to be able to say that at the age of 29 I have not experienced much loss in my life. Really, only two big events in my life have triggered much grief.

My first experience of deep grief was in high school. I was in a long-for-high-school dating relationship, and at the beginning of my senior year we broke up. Even writing that seems so silly, and admitting that this was my first foray in the pain of loss is a little embarrassing. But the heartbreak of losing my first 'love' coupled with the turmoil that is being 17..... I'm sure you can relate. And to add to the pain, this relationship was very unhealthy. So ending a jealous co-dependent mess of a relationship was....well, messy. In that season of my life I remember the sadness that often overwhelmed me. Of having to leave class to go to the bathroom to cry, of coming home from school and getting into bed to cry some more, of losing my appetite and losing 10 pounds that I didn't even have on me to lose, of feeling so alone....they were dark days. Grief.

My second experience of grief was the death of my beloved Grandma when I was 21. I had lost two grandparents previously whom I dearly loved and mourned their passing, but losing this grandma hurt my heart so deeply. I always think of her as my kindred spirit, and one of the few people in my family to truly know me, understand me, and love me. She was special to me as a child, and as I grew into an adult I would love to just be with her. A couple weeks before she passed away, I knew her health was declining. I remember going to the hospital by myself to see her. I held her hand and we talked like we always did. As I was leaving, she said, "Hillary, I hope God blesses you with as wonderful of a life as he blessed me with." I walked out of that hospital sobbing, cried as I sat in rush hour traffic for an hour to go pick up my mom at work, and bawled as I hugged my mom when I got there. Soon after my college school year started, but I had planned to return home the first weekend to see my Grandma. My friend drove me down, and as we neared the hospital I called my mom to ask if we should meet them at the hospital or their house. My mom tried sound normal, but I knew the moment she answered. My grandma has died during the night. I remember the intense emotion that made me feel physically ill. I laid on the bathroom floor sobbing all day, sure I was going to vomit. My head pounded. Those first few days of grieving are intensely painful. I only wanted to be able to go to sleep and wake up when time had passed, but I had to live through those days. Thankfully, the sadness does ease over time....although I still have moments when I start crying because I miss my Grandma. Grief.

After IVF #2's negative, these muted and somewhat forgotten feelings of grief emerged. As I cried & DH held me, I wanted him to understand what I was feeling. I know he does know on some level and hurts as well, but he does not feel it like I do. The only way I could describe it to him: It feels like death. Like somebody died. Grief.

I'm sure many, many people have written about grief and described it much better than I can. And I'm sure you have experienced your own losses and know the feeling that I am alluding too. It is such a different feeling than many of my other infertile feelings - it is not simply sadness, fear, anxiety, or loss of control. Grief is almost unbearable, and in the midst of it all I can do is cry out to God and pray he would release me, heal me, and carry me.

And although I do not have much experience with it, I can say that God has always been faithful to answer that prayer. Weeping may last for the night, but joy comes in the morning - Psalm 30:5. I hold on to this promise.

23 comments:

Missy said...

I think this is a beautiful description of grief, which is unbearable but also necessary at times to process our losses.

(HUGS)

Adam and Julia said...

Sweet, sweet Hilary. I am so sorry for your loss again. my heart aches for you and DH. You are in my thoughts daily. try to be strong and cry as much a you need to.

Hillary said...

In my own grief from a miscarriage my husband brought home the book "Turn my Mourning into Dancing" by Henri Nouwen, and it was incredibly helpful. Someday when you are ready, you should pick it up.

I am so sorry

Rach said...

I hope this grief is replaced with joy soon. :)

That is a great psalm. Thanks for sharing.

Mellow said...

Hillary, while you don't know me well, and only by my comments on your blog I wonder if somehow I can be of help. These last weeks have been the most trying I have ever experienced, and have been filled with overwhelming grief. I have been writing on my blog about what we have been through these past 8 weeks, and it's been horrific, but through it all, God is sustaining me, and is pulling me through my darkest hours, but at the same time he is drawing others near him in this devastation. Having gone through the heartache of infertility and the ups and downs that have come with it. I finally got my BFP, and had a wonderful pregnancy, it's what came after that was unexpected. I pray that as you walk this journey you can find peace that can come only from the Lord. It may or may not help you to read what we have been through, but know that I am keeping you in my prayers and you are close to my heart. I so understand your aching heart. Sending you love.
Marsha

Hannah said...

I am so sorry for your loss! I will continue to pray for you!

To be honest, that's one of my big hesitations with ivf - could I handle that? To know life was created & then lost? It scares me to think of an ivf negative. Yet God does carry us through grief, you're right. I'll be praying for his peace & direction for both of us. Hugs!

Andrea said...

Hold on to that "promise" with both hands.

Yes, grief a feeling beyond comprehension...unless you have lifed it.

Prayers going out right now and lifting you up sweet friend.

xoxo
Andrea

Al said...

(((Hugs)))

addingtothepack said...

I have been following along and reading about your BFN and processing this failed cycle and I guess I've been a little hesitant to post considering the pregnancy and all. But I want you to know that I am here and my heart goes out to you as you try to process this grief.

Kacey said...

I'm glad your holding on to his promise. His promise will prevail in his perfect timing!

RMCarter said...

Thinking of you, sweetie. ((hugs))

Betty Rubble said...

I know the empty feeling you are describing all to well and you describe it eloquently.

I'm thinking of you and wishing you well.

Elle said...

Lots of hugs your way

MK said...

I'm so sorry you're hurting. I know too well the grief of a failed cycle. Thinking of you.

AplusB said...

Thinking of you Hillary. xoxo

Allison said...

There have been many times when the grief hits and I am certain I will not survive it, it's so all-encompassing.

But I have. Because we must. It's what we do. Faith and time will heal, though the scar will always remain. Grief changes you, but it doesn't have to destroy you. Sounds like your faith is very strong; I also have faith that the promise will be fulfilled.

My deepest condolences. Adding you to my prayer list.

Life Happens said...

Everyone handles grief differently and it somehow always leaves us stronger.

I hope and pray that you will find strenght through this tough time.

christine said...

It's amazing how grief can be overwhelming after a BFN during an IVF cycle. Praying for you and your next steps!

Grace said...

I like how you ended the post..sweet Hilary, hang in there, God knows, He's with you..joy comes in the morning!

Hugs..hugs..hugs!

Silya said...

You are in my prayers. I am so sorry about this outcome. I pray that God will fill your heart with joy and peace, even amidst this grief.

A said...

I am late in commenting, but you are always in my prayers, especially as you grieve your last cycle (HUG)

sara said...

thinking of you and praying that the joy would come soon.

stillwaitingformysunshine said...

it is so very hard to describe grief - as it's something that is just so horrible and specific to itself. I know your pain and pray for you to have that joy that comes "in the morning"

21reena