My Dad in an email shared with me how he feels we his children have overcome our grief and mourning more quickly.
I wonder if he is correct in his thinking have I recovered quickly? Daily I face moments when I realize my mom is not here to tell this or that story too. It hits me like an arrow to my heart, I'm saddened by my loss. Dad hates that term loss; yet for me it perfectly describes my feelings. It's a loss for me. Mom is not lost, and I'm not lost in the sense of "I have lost my way," but I am being deprived of my relationship with her and that is loss.
I was annoyed with Amy Carmichael when I read she insisted on the funeral marches in India be happy occasions full of joy. I could see her point to be a witness to those around her but in what way did that help her and her compatriots mourn the loss of their friend?
How can I sit down and say "But Dad it is a loss..." I'm not starting that discussion, because I don't see him in that place. It's better to just listen and let him express his emotions. Funny how so many of my thoughts are so very different, sometimes even opposite of his. Maybe I'm finally learning tact? Oh wait I'm posting it on a blog so maybe not.
When I'm driving and it hits me, I can't take the time to cry it out. I thought I would be able to take time to grieve at my friends house which I did but it was a small window. I have children, I have responsibilities that draw me into the world, that pull me out of my grief. My friend was in such a great need of help that I just threw myself into as much work of helping as I could and like in the line of that great Jane Austen movie Persuasion, "How can I be melancholy? When you have come to visit?" I hope I got that right. So much to talk about; 5 years of catching up to do and plenty of weeds to pull.
Of course my choosing to work instead of cry could be denial and it will hit me when I least expect it. I do know mom was not a "daily" part of my life before. I would hoard up things to tell her in our marathon phone calls. We lived 1300 miles away. Yet I knew if I needed her advice or a recipe I could call her. It is that aspect of our relationship I miss.
There are other parts that I don't miss, at one point in my life I sat down and wrote myself a list of do's and don'ts for my relationship with mom. It really helped me set up healthy boundaries with her and I grew as a person. I would love to talk about that and walk through that aspect of my life, but not with my father. He doesn't see it in the same way that I do, nor do I expect him to. He will always hold a parental point of view. So I suppose to him I look like I'm over it. In some ways I am and in others I'm not, I still get ambushed by my emotions.
I have lived with grief for so long. It is something I think people miss when one shares about infertility. When you go to adopt a child they make you take a long hard look at your grief, because if it's ignored it can cause so many issues in the adoptive family. Maybe that is why I don't show it as much. Grief over all the children I never got to hold in my arms, the kick I never felt in my belly, has been a long term companion, yet it has been practically ignored by those around me. For me infertility equates tremendous loss, the death of all of my children by reading a paper with test results on it. I would get funny looks if I burst into tears over my infertility. I mean come on, "you can just adopt", Or "God has a better plan for your life." "You are supposed to be married but without the encumbrances of children." The things people said you would not believe. My grief became very private shared with only a trusted few.
After mom's death I tried once to explain how I felt to dad, about how infertility and grief is linked, and my experiences with the process of loss. He pretty much shut me down immediately, in no way can I compare the loss of children I have never known to his life with mom. So I guess he is right I can't know the depth of his love for her and sadly he cannot know the depth of my grief for my un-conceived children.
His pain is so real and raw and my pain is a re-healing wound. I have felt this pain before, I know I can live with it, and because God is faithful, I know I will still have joy. If it bleeds I will let it, but at this point I'm not picking at the scab.