Hurricane Sandy | Searching for Words After the Storm
I haven't been able to find the words that reflect the colossal damage that has occurred on the eastern part of the country due to Hurricane Sandy. There are plenty of pictures and most of us have seen, through them, a small idea of the horrific loss of property, homes, landscape, memories and life.
There have been several pieces of writing that I've started so that I could publish them here, on this blog. And I haven't published any of them. That is unusual for me.
This is so big that words truly fail me, in any conventional way.
What do you say when people have lost so many things that define their lives? Their homes; they are the places that they have lived, that have memories peeking out of every corner. Their connection to their past, what has come before. We see our families of a year ago, five years ago, twenty years ago in the places that they once were. We see them sitting in a chair reading or in the kitchen cooking, or laughing over a silly comment in a living room. Our homes are more than physical shells, they are our homes, where we've lived and laughed and cried and been alive. Our homes are our visual heritages, and are often our precious reminders of family who are no longer on this earth.
There is a sense in the air of gratiude, as absolute in it's presence as the earth below us. In some places right now, it's just the faintest of presence, existing in the air, like a scent floating on the wind as it moves past you. Just like the earth below us though, it shifts and moves and is unpredictable right now. I respect that for some, it's nearly impossible to even consider feeling grateful in the aftermath of loss.
A Time to Grieve, to Acknowledge Loss
And like every other season, there is a time to grieve. To acknowledge loss. To mourn for what is gone.
Rebuilding will come, restoring hope has already begun. Grieving has a right to it's time, rather than rushing past it. We mourn for what we've lost.
We mourn for those affected by this storm. We mourn for lives permanently changed or lost. We mourn for neighborhoods burned or flooded. We mourn for landscapes that no longer look and will never look the same.
And I encourage us all to send our love, our compassion, our gratitude to those suffering. We know what it's like to suffer. The details may be different, dramatically different.
Pain is pain. Grief is grief. Loss is loss.
Whether it is loss of our home, our loved one, our neighborhood, our pregnancy, our fertility.
Pain is pain.
Allow that to bring us together as living beings.
We breathe into gratitude for what we have. We breathe into hope for the future.
We grieve for what we lost.
As it should be.
I never played with dolls when I was growing up, (thought they were rather stupid). I never baby-sat when I was old enough; I chose to waitress instead, better money and no wiping noses, just tables. I didn't dream of a white wedding and being married. I never fantasized about having children or babies. Never cooed over other peoples babies, secretly wishing they were my own. Never thought that I would like to marry young so I could have children young and be able to play with them. These are all dreams that my friends shared with me over the years. Even hearing them did not trigger those feelings or images. (Infertility was something that did not appear on my radar for years, only once a friend was trying to conceive and finding it a challenge.)
Then I met the man I eventually married. When I met him, the first dreams appeared. Once there was a face, heart and personality, marriage became a possibility, a charming one at that. We married young and babies did not appear in my dreams for a few years. No one I knew had babies yet, no one I knew had struggled with fertility treatment or conception. Most of my friends were not even married, engaged or even seriously involved.
For some of us, those dreams of marriage and family are always there, innate perhaps. We are born dreaming of our mate or our own families that we will have when we grow up. And for some of us, like myself, those dreams materialize when we grow into them, when our partners appear, when our lives feel more settled in other ways.
What brought it on? How did I decide that I wanted, even needed children to feel fulfilled or that my family was complete? One of the funniest movies that I have ever seen is "My Cousin Vinny". Roll on the floor, funny. My husband and I walked through a snow storm to sit in an absolutely empty movie theatre and we laughed so hard we cried. In that movie, Marisa Tomei, stood on a porch and stomped her foot, imitating the biological clock that was ticking for her. How was I supposed to know how completely unfunny that would seem within a few short years as I injected medications and scheduled IUI and IVF cycles?
For me, that's what happened. From one minute to the next, there it was, my biological need for a baby, showing up, in full force. Maybe it had been building, maybe it hadn't. Some of my best friends thought they had seen glimpses of it in me before the storm engulfed me. All any of us knew was that once it hit, it hit hard. Like an internal tornado or hurricane. As a formerly sane, reasonable person, I became a person who felt and acted possessed. When it became clear that my path to fertility, leading to my child or children was going to be a long, convoluted one, with many trips to a reproductive endocrinologist and to fertility programs, I felt in the middle of an emotional tornado. Feelings coming and going, whipping me around, unable to find stable ground for quite some time. Yoga came back into my life as a way of finding a stable emotional center as did finding RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, and eventually, The American Fertility Association. These supports were lifelines through my fertility journey, as well as my friends and family.
Whether your need to create your family has been a feeling that you have been aware of for years or whether that need showed up overnight, once the feeling is there, it burrows in and often takes over. There is no way that I am aware of that we feel satisfied except fulfilling that urge with a child in our arms and heart.
I hope that we can help on your path to finding and creating that family of your dreams, whether long held or newly found. We are here to help, as a lifeline, let us know what else we can do to help you find your center of balance through this difficult time.