Nara’s recent post got me thinking about how we grieve. I have been surrounded by varying levels and types of grieving lately. A friend grieving her terminal cancer diagnosis, a Great Aunt grieving the loss of her husband then the loss of her freedom as she moves into a home, another friend grieving the loss of her Dad, the loss of my brief pregnancy, and of course- all of us grieving this IF/ RPL hell. One thing has become abundantly clear- there is no right way to grieve or meter that compares ones grief to another. In fact I have seen so many variations and ebbs and flows even daily from one person.

Surrounded by the brevity of life- particularly from my friend battling terminal cancer so young, has me really looking internal at how I cope and grieve. As I watch her fight to stay hopeful and strong, I can’t help wonder how I would react, how I would cope. I have a huge part of my identity tied up in my ability to find joy and find hope and see the silver lining. It is perhaps the trait I am most proud of (second maybe to compassion) and it is what I sought and found in my husband. It has allowed us to stay strong and hopeful and still find joy as we throw time and money and heartache at starting a family. But faced with grief more profound like the inevitable end to existence, could I hold onto this? I would like to think so but really don’t know. I have never had to give birth to a stillborn baby. I have never had to lose a Mother or a Sister. Although IF is truly hard, it is a fate I can handle and one I have perspective to know isn’t the worst fate there is.

I guess what I want to say to all of you is that I hope that the optimistic tone of my posts and the glass is half full type of attitude I have does not make anyone else feel like their own way of coping with IF/ RPL is any better or worse. It is just so much of who I am. It gives me self worth and pride and damn it if I let IF take it from me. I know my road has been so much easier than many of you. I know that and feel humility and deep compassion and total acceptance of all forms of grieving.

I am holding on tight to my ability to find joy and happiness in the moments. To my ability to truly embrace and appreciate the miracle that is my son. I am holding on tight to the happy and fun marriage I am lucky to have. I am holding on tight because I refuse to let this hardship, one that is not facing my own mortality or that of a loved one, be the one that breaks me. I am also acutely aware that the strong and desperate need to be a Mom, to hold a your sweet baby, to share the love that is bursting and bottled up inside us is one of the strongest desires we have as a woman. It is all consuming at best and deeply deeply painful at worst. It is a desire and desperation no one else should ever judge or label- just accept and comfort. Lots of love to you all as you grieve in your own way.

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