Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Being where you are meant to be

I spent last weekend in Perth visiting a friend. I was in a foreign city, in a foreign cafĂ© reading a foreign newspaper when I came across an interesting article about grief by Mia Freedman. It said that 6 weeks after the event is normally the time when reality and acceptance sets in for the person suffering. It’s also the same time those unaffected start to assume you're over it, or hope that you are, so they can strike "check on x" off their to do list.

In my case, I would say all of that is true. It was a around 5 or 6 weeks that I did start to feel better and it was that time I noticed a sharp decline in the amount of people checking on me. To be honest, I'm not sure if it’s a good or bad thing to be left alone. I swing from being glad people aren't asking me as it reminds me of what happened and I may have been enjoying a rare moment where I wasn’t thinking about it, to feeling sad that I've been neglected so soon. There's no right answer, it really depends on how I'm feeling on the day.

I think the difference between those who do still check on you and those that don't, are the ones who realise that if they wait for you to get over it before contacting you, they'll be waiting forever. This article had an interesting quote from Petrea King that said “…there’s no finite time for grief, just as there is no finite time for love.” I know that 20 years after my grandfather died, my Mother isn’t being asked how she is coping with it, but I know she misses him everyday. Just as I know no one will be asking me in 5 years time how I'm coping with the miscarriage but I'll miss Peanut everyday for the rest of my life.

I think the lesson to be learnt, and accepted, is a part of you will grieve forever because you will love that person forever. Your love will never stop so you missing them will never stop. You'll just learn to cope with it better as each day passes. You'll learn to talk about your loss openly and be glad you are honouring them by remembering them. You'll learn to appreciate hearing other people's stories and knowing that you are not alone in what you are going through. You'll be buoyed by hearing positive outcomes and realising the future isn't as scary as you first thought. You'll learn to not take yourself or life too seriously and to enjoy a laugh when the opportunity presents itself.

It seemed perfect timing that I should have realised this as I sat there sipping my coffee that morning as, that afternoon at my friend’s bbq, one of her friends asked if we were going to try for children. I realised this was the first time I’d been asked that since the miscarriage. It was nothing more than an innocent question from someone who knew we had only got married 9 months ago but it threw me none the less. I told her I had the miscarriage and she told me she had had two of her own. We shared our own stories and our own pain which you can only truly do with someone who has walked in your shoes. But we also shared that unique smile that is full of enormous happiness, but tainted with enormous pain, as we watched her beautiful two children run around the yard.  

As you dust yourself off from the earth shattering event, and you start to make your way back into your life, the biggest lesson you'll learn is that life is still beautiful, wonderful and amazing and you still have so much to experience and bring to it. You just need to be brave enough to throw yourself into it! It’s sad that sometimes it takes such events to remind ourselves of that. But I'm so glad I stumbled across that newspaper. I would never have read it if I hadn't been exactly where I was at that moment. As I get ready to start the “trying to conceive” process all over again, I think this lesson came to me at the exact moment I needed it. Funny how life works like that sometimes!

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