“Grief seems to create losses within us that reach beyond our awareness–we feel as if we’re missing something that was invisible and unknown to us while we had it, but now painfully gone.”
Have you had this feeling lately?
You aren’t quite able to name what is wrong, what is missing, what is causing you to feel wobbly energetically, but you know there is something you can’t quite name there.
We can’t quite put our finger on what it is and in not being able to name it, this feeling, this missing substance and form hovers invisibly yet obviously causing emotional bleeding inside. It was only several weeks into the pandemic experts recognized grief as a factor for most of us: grieving the “small” losses of convenience, everyday expectations, “normal” life as well as the larger experiential losses. Students reaching toward graduation unable to participate in ceremonies and celebrations. Separation from family and friends, the pain of not being able to ease another’s suffering with physical presence. As the pandemic continued, we felt more of a state of “languishing” – a new word for many – that Adam Grant brought forward in a New York Times article.
PROMPT FOR CONVERSATION, CONTEMPLATION AND CREATIVITY: naming things to gain insights
I notice now as I paused to write and name the unnameable I haven’t even mentioned death. The constant, the numbers of deaths on the rise due to Covid19 some feel more comfortable ignoring – even as the reality is the virus we are fighting is highly contagious. Like cancer, it isn’t always lethal yet its lethal nature is a possibility continues to exist.
We are living in a grief and loss container of unknown depth and length. We have no time-line and we are all inexperienced at living in and through a pandemic.
There are no currently living experts who have “been through this before” to show us the way.
Maybe our first grief to practice is simply letting go of the need to define, to have or create a definitive timeline, to be able to set exactly the goal you would most like to set that has any variable outside your home.
PROMPT FOR CONVERSATION, CONTEMPLATION AND CREATIVITY: Insert “Seasons” rather than weeks.
There is no container for us to pour our grief into, we still don’t know exactly what the new normal will look like.
Learning about trust in a different time of uncertainty: Pregnancy after stillbirth – knowing grief and loss is a risk worth taking.
The only slightly similar experience I have had personally is the cycle I experienced in earlier adulthood of longing for pregnancy, experiencing pregnancy only to experience death and then longing even more for pregnancy, waiting during pregnancy with a finite yet unknowable experiential path – and willingly putting myself through this cycle four more times.
My “after stillbirth” pregnancy was with Katherine. I remember holding the pregnancy test – absolutely positive – with a slight moment of inexplicable joy followed by ferocious anger and terror as I threw the test against the bathroom wall.
“What have I done?” I shouted to the emptiness.
My only personal experience with pregnancy prior to this was death and more pain than I knew was possible. There was no happy ending to smile into, to point to, no evidence that “everything would be ok.”
Today there are similarities.
There is no red bow to tie this story up with, no package or moral to this story. The closest to a gift I may offer you is this:
Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. Move forward with love. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat. Move forward with love. Inhale. Exhale. Repeat.
Move forward with Love
Julie JordanScott is the Creative Life Midwife. She inspires people to live their life as an artform and take action towards their greatest experiences of love, passion and purpose. She facilitates life coaching groups, facebook groups and also speaks with groups and offers individual coaching. She welcomes your phone calls and texts at 661.444.2735. Please leave a message if she doesn’t answer – she is glad to respond later.