Yes, you read correct… the Bitch of Bereavement.
Two things I want to make clear before I continue.
One: anyone that knows me knows I have little to no ‘brain to mouth’ filtration. With that in mind I’ve actually put thought into using ‘bitch’ for this post. With no other word conveying the feeling I want to get across, I’ve settled on my first thought.
Two: Yes bereavement means grief, but grief does not have quite the same gut wrenching pain as bereavement does.
I have always seen myself as an optimistic, sunshine, la di da type person, one that truly believed that every cloud has a silver lining and that no matter what, the sun will shine the following day. I yearn to be that person again.
I never thought that anything could be more difficult to deal with than our infertility battle and how I wish that that was true. On that cold Thursday in July of 2016 I realised just how life can utterly destroy you. Our beautiful miracle baby girl was born sleeping.
I do not know if I will ever be able to type or say that without feeling my gut twist and throat swell with tears. That was the day I became the mirror image of a bitch.
I have been told I am a bitch countless times in my life, but what woman hasn’t? On that day, I truly became one. Not because I wanted to, not because it was my choice, but because grief turned into bereavement and bereavement gripped my being and all I was vanished.
I learned how someone’s pain can make another so uncomfortable that they would rather remove themselves from your live than to support you. I learned that people just want to make sure that you, the ‘sad’ one realised that they contributed to what everybody anticipated to be your healing process, without actually hearing your pain. I learned that grief and pain and bereavement make people more uncomfortable than having the ‘talk’ with a ‘tween’. I learned that people have no idea how to deal with sad people so they don’t at all.
All this is what turned me into a bitch. I do not need your advice. I do not need to hear all the clichés regarding a brighter tomorrow. ALL I NEED IS FOR YOU TO VALIDATE MY PAIN.
My whole life has been about children. I can clearly remember from as little as the age of 11 I knew I wanted as many kids as I could possible manage. I knew my life’s passion and work would be children. I knew above all that I had an unexplainable love and compassion for the worth, value and importance of children.
Our infertility diagnoses was a horrible day, that day in the hospital when I found out our daughter was born sleeping numb me beyond believe. Numbed me to everything I ever loved and wanted to be.
This numbing is something I fight and struggle with on a daily basis, because my passion and love has not numbed, but my ability to feel these feelings has. I honestly do not know what is worse, my actual pain and bereavement, or the pain and guilt I feel for the person I have lost.
I cannot stand the sight of pregnant woman, baby stores or a new born. My heart beats with what I’ve decided to call ‘bitchyness’. Manly because it hurts yes, but more because I am so jealous of what you’ve got.
The bitch of bereavement has made me angry and sad and lonely. I want nothing more than to spend time with your new baby, touch your tummy and spend hours in a baby catalogue. I just cannot get myself to do it and that is what makes us strangers.
I find myself wishing my pain on others and then immediately retracting that wish, because this pain is something I would not wish on my worst enemy.
I need you to understand that I do have hope for the future, the mere fact that I have a bra and makeup on proves that, but my pain will never go away, I will always ace at all that should have been.
The bitch of bereavement is part of me, but my promise to you is that I will keep her as far away from your happiness as I possibly can, but try to understand when her ugly head rears itself.