Monday, May 30, 2016

The Darkest Places

I thought that I knew what grief was. I thought I had been to my darkest places; those places where hope seems impossible and I'm barely holding on by a string. I recently found out, with the death of my father, that those places get darker and that string gets thinner. I've never been so close to the edge as I have been this past month. When things get rough, I remind myself of a quote I found on Pinterest "The bravest thing I ever did was staying alive when I wanted to die" (Author unknown). I've held on to that quote like someone drowning would hold onto their last breath.

At first, I was in that "sweet" denial phase. I remembered being there right after the adoption and this time I clung to it. With the adoption I knew that I'd have to come out of it eventually so I pushed myself. I would read about it until I broke down, I started going to therapy to reprocess memories, and I forced myself to start processing the loss of my motherhood.

I've started coming out of the denial phase from my father's death, but I'm still there quite a bit of the time. None of it feels real. The only good part of the denial phase is that everything was put on hold, including my adoption grief. I've found when the grief does hit me, the adoption still takes up most of my emotional energy. I've wondered many times how it's possible that losing my son and motherhood to adoption can feel worse than the actual death of a parent. 

I will never be able to call my father again. I can't tell him about my latest crazy idea (that he would fully support and help make crazier), I can't share stories of the grandson he never got to meet, and I won't ever be able to arrange that meeting. The grief I feel at those thoughts have been immeasurable. I will regret that for the rest of my life.  I am glad that at the end, my father and I had a long talk about how much my son looked and acted like him when he was a kid. He was delighted with that conversation, and it soothes my heart just a bit to think about it.

 As much as I want to just repress it all together and stuff it down deep, I know that it's something I have to process. Not processing it would be the worst decision I could make, and would delay the end goal of acceptance. I often find myself asking if there really is any real acceptance in adoption though? Do these wounds ever close? 

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