My friend is pregnant.  Our friendship shares a similarity of loss. She had already had two miscarriages before we met. Within a few months of meeting, she was returning home to care for her father who died within a short time. We shared phone calls where I assured her she was doing a great job of being a caregiver and reminded her to practice some form of self care. She was working through her own grief when I suffered my own miscarriage and it was only when she miscarried her third pregnancy that I shared my own news. There is a kinship in loss. Those who walk the path of infertility, of losing babies and parents join a club that no one truly wants to belong to. My friend and I could easily talk about our thoughts, our pain and wondering what the universe’s plan could possibly be. We questioned the next steps of surgery or adoption (both of which she considered). There was deep comfort in knowing that I didn’t have to explain my feelings She always shared the right words when I needed to hear them and during my own days of caregiving, her responses provided me with reassurance. Her presence simply brought peace. Life took her and her husband to the west coast. The transition was shaky as she adapted to a new city where she knew no one and considered which direction she would take her career. Her focus turned upon adjusting more than starting a family. Our conversations involved career references and discussions about additional training. Then she sent me a message asking when I could fit a phone call into my schedule. It takes coordination considering the time zones. Not a truly unusual request considering our friendship, but I knew. Our friendship has that type of connection regardless of the miles. We were well into the conversation before she told me. She was cautious and hyper aware as she passed each of the weeks of the first trimester. Expecting something to happen because it always did. At the time of our conversation, she was preparing to enter a time where she had never been. New territory. New anxiety. New fears of what might happen. She shared that it was hard to enjoy. I encouraged her to realize that it was a positive to be entering a time frame she had never encountered before. This pregnancy was not the others. As I hung up from the phone call, I did not feel the aches of my own grief that I have felt in the past. The questions of asking why I couldn’t have my own healthy pregnancy and child did not occur. This time, the feelings of jealousy and longing were not there. This time it didn’t hurt. This time I found myself thanking God to this place and asking for her to feel peace. This was a moment of realizing those grief emotions did not have the control over me as they once did.  Grief emotions ebb and flow with time. In the midst of years of infertility treatments and losses, I had to constantly work through emotions when friends announced they were pregnant and then again announced another pregnancy. I’ve had to appear as if there was no pain as I listened to stories of children’s lives and realize this is a world I would not have.  It’s not been easy. However, this time it didn’t hurt. Clients often ask me if grief gets better. I’m always hesitant to answer but I typically share that if one does the grief work of allowing all of the grief emotions, in time it does get better. The emotions of sadness, pain and longing are not easy emotions and often we desire to not feel. Without allowing these emotions, the grief continues to be present and is often like a coat that can not be taken off. I’ve done more grief work than I can acknowledge at times. I’ve grieved the losses of miscarriages. I’ve grieved the life that could have been. I can now share my own story and not feel the pain. I can now rejoice in the excitement of a friend who is receiving an answered prayer. I share this today as I feel it is always important to share the multitude of losses that are often overlooked in this world. Many couples struggle with infertility, miscarriages and years of waiting. I want to share that grief does get better. I want to share when one makes a choice to grieve they are taking a part in the grief journey. Finally, I want to share that there is a time when it doesn’t hurt. As for my friend, before making it public on New Year’s Eve, she texted me that she was expecting a baby girl in the Spring. She had never known the sex before. She shared that she had tried not to become too attached for fear. I encouraged her to start writing to her little one. “She’s waiting for you.” As for me, I’m prepared to send some monogramed items to the west coast.

Has there been a time in your life when the pain didn’t hurt?  

Sheryl Signature (1)

Joining with Emily’s Grateful Heart Monday as I’m so grateful to have walked through my own grief journey and to share it with others.

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16 Comments

  1. Alexis @ Chemistry Cachet on January 11, 2016 at 7:40 am

    It is amazing how a bond can form when you share similar losses, struggles or health problems with someone else! I can definitely relate to this so much. People constantly ask me about children, why I don’t have any, what is wrong, etc. Especially since all my friends have multiple ones. It doesn’t bother me anymore, but it just to really get me down. Thanks so much for sharing this post today! I am happy that you aren’t struggling with it this time and your friend is blessed to have someone like you 🙂

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on January 31, 2016 at 8:07 am

      Thanks Alexis. We can work through the hard things in life if we are open and allow ourselves to grow from the experience.

  2. Bourbon & Lipstick on January 11, 2016 at 8:46 am

    I am happy that you feel some peace. Always thinking of you, friend.

  3. Caroline @ In Due Time on January 11, 2016 at 9:14 am

    what a beautiful post friend. I admire you sharing and admire your honesty of your emotions with receiving that call. Congrats to your friend and thanks for always teaching me more about grief.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on January 31, 2016 at 8:06 am

      Thank You Caroline, My goal has always to help others see that grief is normal. If I help only one person with my word or journey then I have succeeded.

  4. Emily @ Ember Grey. on January 11, 2016 at 9:20 am

    <3 <3 In full agreement with Lindsay – I'm happy that you feel even a bit of peace in your heart. I really love this post, Sheryl. You're so right- grief work isn't just a one-time thing.. it truly is a journey. But, like other journeys, we can reach the end of it feeling stronger inside, with more peace and faith.

  5. Christine Everyday on January 11, 2016 at 10:39 am

    You are so beautiful and you have such a beautiful heart. I am so glad that you have been able to find some happiness and some relief from your grief.

  6. Chrissy Z. on January 11, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    Such a beautiful read – I am glad you were able to find some happiness. Grief is hard, but it makes us stronger. Definitely a journey! Wonderful post, friend xxx

  7. Anne @ Love the Here and Now on January 11, 2016 at 9:42 pm

    I think it’s wonderful that you are sharing your loss with everyone as many can relate to it. You have such a kind and loving soul….you are amazing!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on January 31, 2016 at 8:04 am

      Thank you Anne. I feel it’s important to share my journey with others so that they realize their emotions are normal and they are not alone.

  8. Lecy | A Simpler Grace on January 12, 2016 at 10:26 am

    This is a beautiful post, Sheryl. There is definitely a kinship in loss and grief. Thank you for sharing your journey.

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