Monday, July 18, 2011

Grieving is a part time job

On Monday, I meet with a small group of classmates from college to work on our project for the quarter. As I hear about the large number of credits some of them are taking and am aware as people arrive from one job to leave for class or a second job, I begin to feel like I am wasting my days away. I feel spent at the end of the day. I feel tired but what takes up my time?

I am in school, working part time and keeping house. It doesn't seem like much when I look at it like that.

I think back to my days of teaching preschool, and especially with YWAM I was on the go all the time. I managed to fit so much into my week. In YWAM, I would leave the house at 7.30am and often not return until late at night during DTS. I was tired, but I rarely felt overworked. I loved what I did and I was happy to devote my time to it. I liked being busy. The saying goes, idol hands are the devils play things, I can see that in my life. Now I am less busy, I am doing less, but still feeling just as much.

This afternoon as I was reflecting on this and connecting it to the message from church on Sunday and how we must be right on the inside, and not just in our actions (there was way more to it than that, but that was the piece that has been connecting some dots in my pondering) I realise that the burden of infertility and especially the loss of our pregnancies, and the loss of what this time in our lives "should" be is something that cannot be put on a shelf and forgotten. It is a part of me now, it shapes me and my life, and it probably always will. It is a thorn in my flesh.

While it is very true I do not think about our losses every moment of every day. But it is also true that they pass through my mind for some moments most every day. Grieving isn't something you just do once and then cross it off your list.

Some days my grief means I shed tears, or go over old journal entries and remember what it was like to feel pregnant. To read my hopes and dreams, and remember what life was like before we knew too much about how quickly things can change. It reminds me of a more innocent time, it helps me find peace and trust in the truth that God makes babies.

Some days those moments of grief compel me to find someone else who can carry this grief with me. Someone who can understand how I am feeling. I have found a really supportive online community as well as having a great support in real life. If my grief has a hopeless tinge, I find a blog which tells the story of IVF working first time, against all odds. Reading posts about the struggles of infertility which have been overshadowed by the joy if pregnancy, birth and parenthood. On other days when my grief has a glimmer of possibility I find a blog abut a family that have adopted to build their family. Seeing the beauty of a family brought together by the gift of adoption is another confirmation of God's hand and His perfect design. And can bring me comfort.

Some days my grief is a distraction from the present. Daydreams of what could have been are just too alluring and I can lose myself in them for a couple of hours. Other days my grief is the fuel that inspires me to action; to take a bite out of life, to dig in and embrace every sweet moment.

It's a little tiring.

It's like having a totally unpredictable part-time job. Some days the boss is great, easy to work with and very flexible, other days she's moody and sad. You never know what the day will hold, but you know you will have to punch in and out at some point.

I can't feel guilty about it. About those lost moments. This is just life for now, and I have a good life.

I don't feel sad. Really, I don't. But give me those moments, and I'll try hard to give them back to God and wait for him to redeem them. Which I know he will.

1 comment:

  1. Well you are absolutely right that grieving takes time and must be revisited repeatedly. It is a process, and must be treated as such. I love the line you mentioned here about this grieving time in your life staying with you forever...being a thorn in your life. That made me thing that where there are thorns, there are also roses, or sometimes blackberries. :)

    Speaking from experience, I can say that the grief of infertility, while never gone from my life, has shaped me as a woman. It has made me who I am today - more humble and certainly more grateful for the blessings I have.

    Thinking of you as the story unfolds...




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