It turns out, you can miss what you never had.
After a decade-long battle to become a mother, my soul knows a thing or two about disenfranchised grief. How do you cope with a loss that is ambiguous to those who have never experienced it? How do you move on when your grief is not recognized by your peer group who tell you that perhaps “it just wasn’t meant to be.” How do you function in a world where other people’s joy intensifies your pain?
In my creative non-fiction I attempt to answer these questions. Writing has always been a way for me to try to understand my small corner of the world. As an introverted child, I wrote stories and poems in the hopes of one day writing for my life’s work. Discouraged by the uncertainties of a creative life, I in turn changed my focus to teaching and supporting the dreams of my young students. But when life’s plans went awry and my grief threatened to consume me, writing found its way back to me.
As the Managing Editor of the Fertility Matters Canada blog, I’m able to use both compassion and creativity to help infertility patients complete the sometimes difficult task of putting into words, a grief that is so often misunderstood and is just now beginning to get the attention it deserves. I have written about parenting after infertility and older first-time motherhood for Savvy Mom, The Mabelhood, and Moms and Stories. Readers have reached out, thanking me for my words and for giving them to courage to share their pain with family and friends who don’t seem to understand what they are going through.
When I’m not outside collecting snails after a rain shower with my two young assistants, or under a blanket watching a documentary, I’m at my desk writing, with the goal of helping those navigating disenfranchised grief feel heard and inspired to share their stories and seek the help they need.