Last week I wrote a post about our struggle with infertility. More specifically, I wrote about two strangers who reached out to me during that time. Since then, several friends have shared with me publicly and privately their own struggles.
Thank you for sharing your journey.
I honestly debated posting it. Not because I don’t want people to know, but because there’s a balancing act to talking about these things. I want to be open and available to friends who need support, but I don’t want to wear my miscarriages like a badge: the scarlet B for barren. It’s the same with Monkey Boy’s adoption. We want to talk about it so there’s never a big reveal in his life, but who wants to be Gene Hackman in The Royal Tenenbaums? (I have no idea why there are subtitles)
I think I do the balancing act well sometimes and not so well others, which is pretty much how I do everything.
Sometimes I think it’s easier for me to tell my story than it is for people to hear it. Because it’s been long enough, I can remember it without reliving it. Certainly, there are days something happens and it hurts again, like when it rains for a long time and the arm I broke in elementary school aches a bit. But most days, I don’t think about it. Then I hear another story that breaks my heart, and I start to consider the commonality of grief, loss and sadness.
I’ve come to think of grief as a rock. At first, it’s this boulder thrust upon you. You can’t breathe; you can hardly walk. But every day, it gets a little smaller, more manageable. Eventually, it becomes the size of a stone you can put in your pocket. It doesn’t ever go away. You don’t get over it. You just learn how to walk around without it crushing you.
The trick is, when the good stuff happens, to purposefully pick up stones to mark the occasion.
When you empty your pockets at the end of your life, you have the stones of happiness and sadness all there together in a mosaic. It’s the fabric of who you are. And it’s beautiful.