People often say that the grief process is anything but straight and narrow. It ebbs and flows, and sometimes slams you right down out of the blue. That's what happened to me this week.
On Monday, a very close friend of mine gave birth to her second child. We were pregnant with our girls at the same time (they're three weeks apart to the day) and had always hoped it would happen again. When I got the news, I spent approximately 7 seconds being thrilled and relieved for her safe arrival. And then I spent the rest of day swinging between deep envy, utter disappointment and much-deserved guilt. All I could think about was how I will never get to have another child of my own, and my daughter may never know the crazy joy of having a brother or sister.
Of course, in the rational part of my brain (the small part that's left), I know could fall madly in love and remarry and have another. Or I could adopt. Or maybe I'll get to be a stepmom. But really, all I could focus on was how I loved every minute of being pregnant and never once thought it would be my only chance. Right now, I have no choice but to think that it was. Hoping is too hard.
I know this sounds completely awful and ungrateful. I know am totally and completely blessed to have one beautiful and healthy little girl. And I know that having another, even things were wonderful with my husband, was never a guarantee.
One of the things I'm finding so hard about this separation is letting go of the future I'd always imagined and hoped for. And having to say goodbye to the someday pictures showing us holding two sets of little hands is almost too much to bear.