By Kathleen Guthrie Woods
Among the offerings in Lists of Note: An Eclectic Collection Deserving of a Wider Audience compiled by Shaun Usher* is Walt Whitman’s list of terms related to grief and mourning. Here’s a sampling:
- eloquent silence
- afflicted with grief
- passionate regret
- full of pity
- partial or total darkness
- soul sunk in gloom
I can check off more than a few, and I suspect you can too. We are a rare community in that we have all experienced grief in some form, often silently and in isolation.
As I was reflecting on how many words there are for grief, I thought about how there are also many expressions of grief. You might lose your appetite, or binge on comfort foods. You might sob uncontrollably, go numb, or feel ready to explode from rage. Some days you’ll want to hide under the sheets and sleep away the pain, or you’ll exhaust yourself with busy work. You might even experience the full spectrum of feelings in a single day. What I hope you also know by being part of the Life Without Baby community is that grieving a loss such as ours is normal and you are not alone.
If today is a rough day for you in which you feel bereft (my contribution to the list) or otherwise “afflicted with grief”, please reach out through the Comments or the various Forums. If you need more insight and guidance, order a copy of Lisa’s book, Life Without Baby: Surviving and Thriving When Motherhood Doesn’t Happen. The sections on grieving are real, raw, and ultimately, I think, encouraging. If you need more, please ask for help. Find a therapist, minister, or close confidante, and unburden your heart. Please be open to receiving the love and support you so deserve.
*The rest of the book is fascinating, and a lot more fun, by the way. Check it out on Amazon.
Kathleen Guthrie Woods is a Northern California–based freelance writer. She is mostly at peace with her childfree status.
orania bird says
Today IS a rough day. I thought I might be pregnant, after almost four years of trying, a laparotomy to remove 29 fibroids, and endometriosis. I don’t know why I thought I might be. It doesn’t matter now. I feel adrift in a sea of my own tears and grief, disappointment, and longing. My husband is tired. He would never admit it, but I’m afraid I’ve used up all his support. So today, I’m calling out to you. Thank you for this blog. Thank you for making me feel less alone.
Lisa Manterfield says
Hi oriana bird,
Sending big hugs your way.
I’m so sorry! This is not an easy path to travel… you are not alone. We hear you and walk beside you. Do something kind for yourself today (gardening, bath, reading, listening to music, online shopping…whatever makes you feel calm) Tomorrow do something kind for your husband. It could be a word to him, a hug, watching a movie… This is harder on husbands than we think. I take hope in my relationship since I know only HE knows what we have been through… Sending hugs to you.
Lots of warm thought, support, and beads of strength to you!
I’m so sorry, I had a similar experience last month where my period was a full two weeks late, its never late. after all we’ve been through with iui and ivf I knew full well getting pregnant on our own would be a miracle but I did let myself have hope. my husband didn’t want to me to take the PG test but I said I just need to know or I’ll go crazy. He didn’t want me to be sad again, I think he is so tired of seeing me sad all the time. I did take the test and it was negative, I started bleeding the next day. I was sad, I cried by myself and then picked myself back up and took care of myself. Got outside for some gardening which I love to do, We went out on a date, I had myself a glass of wine. I did what I needed to do for me. I hope you can do the same and take care of yourself. Give yourself a treat you would never do for yourself and be kind to you. Hugs.
Dear Oriana Bird, My heart goes out to you. I am so sorry for this latest loss and all that it brings back up for you. We’re with you. xxoo
Kate J says
So sorry to hear what you’re going through at the moment. That’s so hard.. Sending you lots of love and comfort and solidarity xxx