I had a lovely drive to work this morning.
Somehow, I managed to ignore all of the usual petty annoyances- the aggressive drivers, the tailgaters, the trucks monopolizing the entire highway… the fact that I was up ridiculously early, and going to work- and just appreciate what was all around me. The sun had not yet risen, but the sky to the east was ablaze with shades of pink and orange. Low clouds dotted the horizon, appearing almost purple in colour against the backdrop of the morning sky. The trees on either side of the highway were still cloaked in darkness, and a fine mist hung languidly over the farmers’ fields.
It was stunning. I drove in silence. No music, no book-on-CD to distract me… only the hum of my car’s engine, and the sound of my breathing- slow and deep- to listen to. Awash with an unfamiliar sense of peace and well-being, I could have driven on forever.
I am so grateful to have had this brief window of contentment this morning. It was unforseen, as I expected that today would be a rather difficult day. You see, this was my due date for my second pregnancy. In addition to my beautiful daughter, I should have a two-year-old right now.
I feel rather out of sorts today- not at all like I expected to feel. The pain from each of my individual losses has eased with the passage of time. I no longer feel a strong sense of grief for this baby- or any of my other angels- in particular. More so, I am caught up in a web of sadness and regret for the journey that I have been on for so many years now- for the losses that I have endured as a whole- lost babies, lost time, lost opportunities.
I almost think that I should feel guilty about my lack of ability to mourn the loss of this particular child on this particular day. Should I not be feeling more solemn and reverent today? Isn’t that what any good mother would feel? Guilt is not at all what I am experiencing, though. I would describe it more as unease. Maybe even defeat. And most of all- fatigue. It has not been easy to live each day with the subtle shadow of grief tainting all of my thoughts, and all of my actions. The silent, daily struggle for contentment and the abatement of fear and heartache has taken a heavy toll. I am tired. And I don’t particularly want to play this game anymore.
Maybe what I am experiencing- at long last- is shades of acceptance. Not necessarily acceptance of the fact that my infertility journey is coming to a rather unfulfilling end (I’ll be waging that war for years to come, I suspect), but rather- acceptance that my babies are gone. Never to return.
I have always pictured the state of acceptance to be somewhat akin to blissful ignorance- almost an erasure of the sorrow that preceded it. Perhaps that was naive of me, because if what I am experiencing today is, indeed, the beginnings of acceptance, I can attest with absolute certainty, that nothing has been erased. I am still acutely aware that I have lost four babies, and there is still a wistfulness associated with that fact. But acceptance, to me, is more like a deep sigh at the end of a long day. A quiet acknowledgement that something burdensome has been endured, yet it holds litte power in the present. I lost four babies, and that is sad. But I am, and will continue to be, OK.
I didn’t want to let this day pass in silence. But a heartbroken and mournful tribute to the child who should have joined my life two years ago would not have been entirely honest, either. I am just not in that place anymore. Mostly, I just wanted my lost angel… and all of you… to know that I haven’t forgotten… and I will never forget. That I am changed. I have been deeply affected by this loss. I loved, and I lost. And now, for the sake of my living family, I am choosing to move forward. I cannot do them the disservice of remaining stuck in the black hole that is the grieving process. I must let go.