When life takes an unexpected turn, something is almost always lost, whether it be physically or emotionally.
Either way, that loss should be grieved.
For me, the initial loss was mostly emotional (physical loss came later). I had lost the dreams, the hopes and expectations, I had for my future.
The dream of becoming a wife and then a mother. The dream of having a husband by my side as we prepared to welcome the child we created into the world… together. The hope of the life and family we would share.
I didn’t realize it at the time but the loss of these hopes and dreams made up for a lot of the devastation I felt when I learned I was pregnant.
It was a completely natural reaction. I wasn’t crazy. I wasn’t just hormonal (though, I’m sure that was a part) and I wasn’t being overly dramatic.
I was grieving.
And that was ok.
With the help of a friend, I began to recognize my devastation as grief.
So, instead of trying to “get over it” I decided to give myself permission to grieve.
I also realized that I would be reminded of this loss throughout my pregnancy (and beyond).
This was a difficult but necessary revelation.
Once I realized that the pain of this loss was not just going to “go away”, I came face-to-face with an important decision.
What kind of life would I create, in spite of it?
There wasn’t anything I could do to change the situation and I couldn’t avoid the fact that certain scenarios would remind me of this loss.
What I could do was change how it affected me.
Instead of being resentful, I could be grateful.
Instead of harping on the loss, I could look forward to the gain.
Instead of crying over being “alone” in my pregnancy, I could appreciate the people that were there for me in whatever way they could be.
It is completely natural to feel the absence of something that’s been lost, unavoidable even, but what really matters is what we do with the rest of the space.
It’s a work in progress but I am learning that the more I fill the “other” space the less room there is for that loss to consume my heart with grief.
The more I focus on what I have, the less time I have to lament over what I’ve lost.