A lot of the people who stop into More Cowbell on Sundays are writers (and fellow ROW80 pals). But this post isn’t just for writers. This post is for everyone who thinks they can bypass grief.
I’ve got some unfortunate news: Grief is a slippery little sucker that refuses to be contained.
Stuff it in your pocket, and it’ll chew a hole and climb your frame till it reaches your heart. Bury it and it’ll grow roots like a morning glory and strangle all your growth. Try running away and grief will keep pace…because that’s the way the human condition works.
Why is this coming up in the middle of my Sunday update where I (usually) talk about writing?
Because grief has been jacking up my writing process this month.
Many of you know I’m writing a memoir about high-worry pregnancy (specifically MINE) and, thankfully, I’m on the back half of it, streaming toward the end. My ROW80 pals have noticed that I’ve been a bit quiet of late, and today I’m going to confess why.
I can’t handle the grief right now.
I don’t have time. I’m in a happy place. I’m enjoying my life and my work and my blog. (Blah-blah-blah. Do you SEE the big man or woman upstairs clutching their sides laughing?)
When I discussed this with one of my critique partners earlier this week, it took a while for both of us to understand what was going on. She kept saying, “But you had a baby! And she’s perfect.” She’s exactly right. And it doesn’t matter a bit. There’s still a tremendous amount of post-traumatic stress associated with preemie births, high-risk pregnancies and miscarriages.
High-risk babies create grief.
This is the big dark secret that everyone keeps a lid on. There’s grief if they live and grief if they die…just two very different kinds of grief. The fact is that you worry they will die the entire pregnancy and there is a price for stuffing that down.
Here I am, finishing this memoir when Baby Girl is over two years-old…and the grief is stopping me cold.
And don’t even get me started on the guilt…there are nasty voices in my head that ask:
Why are you mourning the inability to have more children when the one you have is amazing? There are women who would be thankful to have even one child. Why are you grieving the loss of a happy, idyllic pregnancy? You carried a baby past term and everybody lived. GET OVER YOURSELF.
I really want to pop a cap in the owner of those nasty voices. Oops… That would be ME, engaging in that idiotic circular thought process. I’ve been driving myself bonkers.
So, I’m rooting through my Fear-Busting Undie Bin for the loudest, baddest Big Girl Panties I own and strapping those bastards on to write these scenes. I’m gonna get ’em done by the end of the month if it kills me (which it feels like it might). It’s not gonna be pretty but I’m no sissy.
Chances are, if you got this far into the post, you aren’t either.
Are there fears you’re facing right now to achieve your goals? What real or imagined “Big Girl or Big Boy Panties” help you bust through to the other side? How are you doing on achieving your goals this week? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!
p.s. Click here to cheer on your ROW80 pals on their goals.