I cannot express the feelings of raw ache to hear my husband cry in the kitchen as he makes his coffee. To watch him wonder aimlessly from room to room with scrambled coordinates the loss has left us with. 6 years in a tedious and resource consuming process that adoption brought us to such highs in receiving a proposal of twin girls, planing our trip, cancelling months of work and preparing a home for our growing family only to find out the day we are meant to leave it’s been rejected. Our social worker shockingly wrote “in 16 years I have never seen this happen”. It’s political and nothing we could have predicted. And the disappointment landslide has buried me in a mound of despair questioning why me, why do we have to be the one failed case in her career. And the scary thing is I don’t know if I will be able to get back in line this time.
I understand from years of a dedicated practice that this is happening for me not to me. That I am responsible for how I choose to move forward or not. That it’s really something of a mystery now but one day will be the history that gave me strength to rise in the face of another unexpected challenge. Each fall encouraging me to get back up with new lessons learnt.
But at some point when you hit your head enough times you have to wonder if it’s time to try something different. That the lack of flow is my own stubbornness and unwillingness to see that what I want might not be what I need.
The problem of being in the thick of the darkness is that I can’t see. And the only way out is for me to believe more fiercely in the light one day returning to bring clarity on what needed to be in order to become who I am meant to be
And yet all of that knowing does me no good when I am drowning in my grief. The only choice I have in the grips of pain like this is to surrender to it and grovel to the heart within me to remain open even when every instinct tells it to close.
When I go to hug my husband, the pain we feel magnifies and penetrates the walls I want to build around my heart and stabs deeper into the wound of this loss. There is no where to hide and no where to run. Sometimes the tactic becomes a bitter retreat because it’s too much to feel it all, all at once. So we get angry at eachother, to push the other away because they are who make the pain feel so much worse but equally is the one person that understands the most. In these times I witness my body harden, my edges sharpen so that nothing can ever get that close again. And it takes all my courage to walk towards him and put my arms around him and feel his sobs shake away the concrete places I was trying to use to defend from all the love getting in. The more love you have for someone or something the more you also have to feel the fear of it all. And it’s a practice of appreciating a love so unconditional that doesn’t get attached. And I understand the teaching in my mind but my human heart and habits can’t help but seem to cling so tightly to the way this person allows me to feel safer from the fear and I get unabashedly attached. Not to how they respond or react or behave, but to them being a part of my life.
I got attached to these two little girls in a way that 6 years of waiting and updating paperwork and paying fees and praying to god one day I get to be a mom too will get you attached. And in the way that 7 years of infertility and coming to full acceptance in a different motherhood path will get you attached. And in the way that for two months we planned our trip to South Africa, bought clothes and bigger vehicule, strollers and car seats, moved into a home and put work on hold for 3 months and rearranged our whole lives to welcome these precious beings as I stared at their pictures and chose names for them and loved them so completely, I got attached.
You can’t compare this to the miscarriages you have experienced or the losses you have faced because it devalues the truth of your experience and mine too. And no matter what anyone says to make me feel better, I can’t get back the piece of my heart I gave to this process. This has changed me in the marrow and cells of my being. And it will shape me in my life going forward. And I understand that right now it all feels treacherous but I know one day it will hold graciousness. And the kindest thing you can do for your fellow hurting friend is to sit beside them, hold them and listen. There is nothing that needs to be said because we have all been in our own version of loss or grief or pain and that says it all. We can just be support like literally bear some of the weight while our friend learns in this transformed version of themselves to walk again.
I know if your reading this all the way to the end, you know now all the painful moments are some of the greatest blessings and teachers you have ever had. But it didn’t make it any easier at the time to feel it.
So let me just say thank you for being there for me, for your unwavering support in loving messages and heartfelt prayers, for phone calls and generous hugs.
I love you, and I want you to know I am here to for you too. I am hear to listen always. And I see your magnificence even when the world seems dull and glum. Thank you for being on this journey alongside me. I appreciate all of the experiences you have had that have made you the brilliant being you are today.
I take solace in the nature of being human being both painful and joyful, pleasant and unpleasant, filled with love and equally terrifying and that this isn’t something that I am experiencing alone. So to each and everyone of you, I am sincerely grateful. My sangha, my friends, my family… you have inspired the meaning of oneness in your compassion and kindness. And that has been the most valuable lesson I could have ever asked for so far.
I love you.