The triggers? The gratitude came from hearing positive feedback about myself from different people including from MIL. I was SO touched and thankful to be able to hear those words, but at the same time I realized how much more they meant to me because I'm not a mother. Only after I heard the words did I realize that I had actually been waiting for some confirmation that I was doing something right as a non-mom. Like I was secretly wishing that the universe would give me signs that what I was doing in the community was enough even if I could never become a mother.
The grief came much later that day while I was reading a manga series that dealt with cute little twins (a boy and a girl) that I had subscribed to (I had been reading it since ages ago and it's still not finished yet). Reading about their antics and how they grew not just in size but also in many different areas in life made me feel sad because I could never watch my own child(ren) grow. And that was when I remembered the positive feedback from all those people which counterbalanced my grief. It felt surreal.
It was probably the first time when I cried tears of grief that didn't weigh upon my chest. Instead, the feeling of gratitude gave the grief some wings...After they held me in their embrace for a little while, off they flew, leaving me sighing contentedly.