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.