As I try to accept being childless not by choice, there are moments when I am overcome with small torrents of grief and anger. It usually is precipitated by the thought of someone who is currently pregnant followed by a white hot flash. For a brief moment, I’m rocked by different waves of emotion: there’s longing and sadness (of course), but there’s also a very strong feeling of indignation.
It doesn’t seem to matter who I am thinking about either – it could be a person who has been nothing but horrible to me, someone who has suffered losses like I have, or someone I barely know – the intensity of the feeling, the longing, and the burning is the same.
The indignation confuses me. The very strong sense of “why them and not me?” throws me for a loop. Why the person who has treated me unkindly, the person who already has been blessed, or the person who manipulates and abuses her children? I could float away for days on a sea of anger that arises from such thoughts.
I know that I have the right to feel anger about my situation, but at some point it seems like a futile exercise. It certainly isn’t going to change my situation. It just overtakes me for a minute, leaving me feeling a little more depleted once it passes.
In an attempt to make sense of confusing situations, I like to listen to podcasts while I work. However, there are very few out there that deal with CNBC or pregnancy loss. So one day, I ended up settling on a Christian podcast relating to grief from child loss. The podcast was an interview with singer/songwriter Steven Curtis Chapman and his wife Mary Beth. The couple had lost one of their adopted daughters when she was run over in their driveway. It was very hard to listen to them lovingly describe the joy she brought to them and the pain, confusion, and guilt the family dealt with after her death.
At one point, the subject of feeling angry about their loss came up. Did they ever wonder why this happened to them? To which they calmly replied, “Why not us?” I was floored by this response. In it was a level of humility, grace and acceptance that I had never witnessed before.
The question of “Why NOT me?” is an interesting one (and a bit of a difficult one) to consider when unresolved feelings rear their ugly heads. What is it that I possess that enables me to endure this versus someone else? How can I take this and make this something for the better? What does this serve: not only for me, but for others?
I’ve been exploring the idea of the importance of purpose in life. Until recently, I thought that my purpose would be fulfilled in motherhood. Now, I know it must be something different. I think that all this anger, burning, and pain must be used as a catalyst to keep pushing me to explore until my actual purpose is found.
What about you, ladies? How does “Why NOT me?” impact you?
Quasi-Momma is living a childless, but not childfree, life as a stepmom. Her blog, Quasi-Momma, is a collection of her reflections on pregnancy loss, childlessness not by choice, and not-so-blended family life sprinkled with a little gratitude and lot of heart.