2018 was a big year for me. You know those years. Every now and then they come along and force you to completely reassess your life, putting a microscope over what and who you value. Well that was 2018 for me.
In April, having suffered and grieved through years of infertility, surgeries, fertility treatments and a previous miscarriage, I became one of those (annoying) women you hear about who fell pregnant whilst on a break from IVF. I’m very sorry girls – For a brief moment, I was THAT ‘friend of a friend’ your family member tells you about, at the baby shower you’ve been forced to go to. I know, I’ve been there too and completely understand that this only adds to your stress hives and anxiety.
By September the same year, I had relocated to the other side of the country to live in a city I had never been to (OK, once on a layover for 6 hours but that doesn’t count), had all my worldly possessions stolen (yeah, you’re reading that right – the entire contents of our home was stolen when we moved) and on top of all of this, I was trying to navigate an immense amount of grief after the recent loss of our little boy, to an extremely rare congenital condition.
Doing things like engaging lawyers to help with the insurance dealings and reading my baby’s autopsy report suddenly became my norm.
Having experienced the tragic decline and passing of my mother to cancer in 2010, I knew grief well. I had a funny relationship with her. She was like one of those friends from high school that you’d much rather leave in the past, but you keep running into at the local shopping centre when your hair is greasy, and you have coffee stains on your shirt. I’d always try and avoid her but she’d always stop me in my tracks and want to hang out.
This time around, things are different. Grief and I are kind of friends. This time around I’ve embrace grief. I’ve gotten to know her in a different, (still kind of resistant) but more intimate way. That’s not to say I sit in my pajamas all day crying, I don’t. It just means I’ve accepted her place in my life as a deep reflection of my love and hope. She’s given me purpose.
And so, moving at the speed of grief, I go forward.
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