The baseball bat of grief

We went to the driving range after our second miscarriage. With our son in tow, which in hindsight was perhaps not the best idea. It also transpires that the harder and more aggressively you try and hit a golf ball, the more likely it is to cascade off the roof of the driving range rather than fly effortlessly through the air. Still, I think it helped and none of us was injured.

Overnight it was as though the entire world became pregnant. I would scowl at pregnant women in the park (behind the safety of my sunglasses). I would cry privately when friend after friend would happily announce their pregnancy. It is a horrible feeling when you cannot give your friends the love and attention they deserve because you yourself are too consumed by your own feelings of sadness, grief and longing. I hated feeling that way. And it lasted a long time.

I watched as one of my colleagues became more and more pregnant until she left work, happy and excited. Ten minutes before her leaving lunch, I received a text from a friend advising of the arrival of her latest baby. He was born on the same date as our first baby had been due. I had to take myself away to the bathroom, lock myself in a cubicle with a tissue, and then promptly pull myself together. At the lunch another colleague joked, “so who’s going to have the next baby?!” In my mind I right hooked her pretty fiercely. In reality, I laughed awkwardly and said, “who knows?!”

Over the following months, I cried less and thought about babies / pregnancy / miscarriage less. I still thought about it many times a day and hated that. It preoccupied my mind and I couldn’t seem to do anything about it. I know now that it is simply a matter of time and these things have to be worked through and not rushed.

In early December I was knocked off my feet again. A friend told me, “it’s going to be much harder when number two comes along in May!” That was when our twins, or at least the one that was supposed to make it through, would have been born. I didn’t hear anything she said for quite a while after that, it was as though I was in one of those weird dreams where you are there but no-one realizes and you shout but no-one can hear you. I remember that I gave her a hug and a smile and nodded, and nodded, and nodded.

Today I’m wondering whether she thought I was strange, or rude, or whether she thought nothing of it at all. It wasn’t until I got home that I completely melted down and bawled in bed. I was disappointed in myself, but the experience made me realize that I had to expect similar reactions in the future. Grief can strike you at any time (and it may be with a whopping great baseball bat).

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