New Territories in Grief

This grieving is new territory and I am learning as it unfolds. I haven’t experienced loss of this magnitude before, haven’t felt this intensity of sadness. It’s really difficult. In some ways it’s even more difficult because we’re experiencing personal losses not generally understood or acknowledged by others. That makes me extra thankful for this blogging community.

I did a lot of grieving over the last year as we came to understand my health conditions and our infertility challenges, went through all of the medical appointments and tests, and ultimately had my ovaries removed. I cried so much as my husband and I went along that path. When we got disappointing results and bad news, I would go to bed – sometimes for hours – and there were lots of tears.

Now the surgery is done. I’m 9 weeks into recovery and slowly but surely feeling better physically. Emotionally I’m doing pretty well, but I am still experiencing a lot of grief and feel like I don’t know how to navigate this.

On Saturday, my husband and I attended a class at a new church and then an evening service. We’ve had a difficult road in faith over the last year, hence the new church. It’s a long story I may put into a separate post. In any case, the class went really well and I became very encouraged and hopeful. I really want to find a church home where I feel I belong.

It was my first Orthodox service in a very long time, and it was simple and powerful. During the prayers I had a tough time trying to keep from crying. I know I could cry there, but I felt self-conscious since it was my first time there and my tears aren’t exactly quiet, pretty tears these days. Then, there was reading of psalms and that was just too much for me. It touched my heart deeply and pulled the pain out to the surface. I stepped out and then was able to return for the rest of the service.

Once it was over, we made our way to the car. I probably was crying as soon as we got outside. I asked my husband to drive and collapsed into the front seat. I just sobbed, cried so hard that my ribs hurt. Tears streaming, nose running, couldn’t stop. I cried a lot before my surgery, but my tears after have been a new level of intense. In some ways it feels like my body itself is grieving. It’s like the tears don’t come from my mind or anywhere conscious, it’s like they come from my body. I don’t know how to describe it and I certainly haven’t experienced it before.

Since Saturday, I have felt almost like a cry-hangover. I feel a sense of residual sadness and am really, really tired.

After my cry in the car, I told my husband my sadness feels like a lake I heard about that has a hole in it. The caption to the photo said the water pours down the hole and the lake never dries. The tears aren’t like a gentle rainstorm. They’re like a lake pouring down a hole in the rock. I’m doing okay and I know I will feel better,  but for now it also feels like the sorrow is infinite.

lake

Photo: Lost Lake, OR image (https://i.ytimg.com/vi/XAMLGB0hUmk/maxresdefault.jpg) I think is from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAMLGB0hUmk.

Text copyright Snowdroplets 2016.

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12 responses to “New Territories in Grief

  1. I randomly started crying today while my husband and I were out running errands. Nothing like sitting in the car with tears trying to convince yourself that you’re actually NOT crazy. My big thing today was that maybe this has all made me permanently crazy and that even if the 5th try at DEIVF were to work, or our adoption would finally proceed (that was pushed back another 2-4 years), that maybe I’d still be crazy up and down like this. I told my husband that I feel useless. Nice huh. I can’t offer any words of solace as I’m struggling myself in this hellhole of infertility as well and all I can do is think of this really great quote from Tom Hanks’ character in the movie Cast Away:

    “We both had done the math. Kelly added it all up and… knew she had to let me go. I added it up, and knew that I had… lost her. ‘cos I was never gonna get off that island. I was gonna die there, totally alone. I was gonna get sick, or get injured or something. The only choice I had, the only thing I could control was when, and how, and where it was going to happen. So… I made a rope and I went up to the summit, to hang myself. I had to test it, you know? Of course. You know me. And the weight of the log, snapped the limb of the tree, so I-I – , I couldn’t even kill myself the way I wanted to. I had power over *nothing*. And that’s when this feeling came over me like a warm blanket. I knew, somehow, that I had to stay alive. Somehow. I had to keep breathing. Even though there was no reason to hope. And all my logic said that I would never see this place again. So that’s what I did. I stayed alive. I kept breathing. And one day my logic was proven all wrong because the tide came in, and gave me a sail. And now, here I am. I’m back. In Memphis, talking to you. I have ice in my glass… And I’ve lost her all over again. I’m so sad that I don’t have Kelly. But I’m so grateful that she was with me on that island. And I know what I have to do now. I gotta keep breathing. Because tomorrow the sun will rise. Who knows what the tide could bring? “

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hopefully, the tide brings each of us babies!!! I can just picture mine floating in like Moses 🙂 Thank you, friend. We will not be permanently crazy, just temporarily and for good reason. And we’ll survive.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry snowdroplets. I think you’re so brave. I’m glad you’ve found a new church, I hope it will be a source of strength for you, and will help you to find peace. Lots of love xx

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  3. I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this deep grief Snowdroplets. Hugs to you and know it won’t be infinite, it just feels that way. You’ll see a light and come out of it, because such grief can’t be sustained. Wishes to you x

    Like

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