Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Lighthearted Moment

The other day I was talking to someone and at the end of our conversation online, she said that she hoped that me and my husband would stay heart-to-heart and hand-in-hand until we became grandma and grandpa. It's very common for people in Indo to say something like this.

I replied, "Thanks for your wish, but because we don't have kids, we'll never become grandma and grandpa. We'll just become old honeymooners HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA..." ;-D

She replied, "Oh dear goodnessss..." ;-D

Yep, I was in a naughty mood at that time ha ha ha...and no, I didn't feel any pain or grief at all when I wrote my reply he he...I LOVE these lighthearted moments! :-D WOOOHOOOOOOOOO!!!!


I think sense of humor is vital in life and I feel that I'm progressing more in my healing journey when I'm able to make jokes about our circumstances without even planning to do so. Humor has definitely helped our marriage in so many ways.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Getting Naked With My Grief

I just thought this post was so beautifully written that I have to share it here...I think it's a balanced post on dealing with grief.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Nothing To Hold On To?

I've been thinking about memories for the past few days. The memories that we have with those who've left us. Those sweet memories that we can hold on to when we miss someone we love that has passed away. Like my dad, for example. Every now and then I remember something that he did...the quirky things that he did...what he much he loved singing (even when he didn't know the lyrics - he'd made up the lyrics himself)...and I cried. Whenever I miss him, I've been very comforted by the fact that I have those sweet memories to hold on to. And I can always share those memories with my brother and mother and those people who knew him and they can even tell me some of the memories that I may even forget or don't know about him. Those memories that create the tapestry of dad's life. 

But when I miss the non existent children in my life? I have nothing to hold on to. Maybe that's one reason why I feel the pangs every now and then. The pangs** may not be pure jealousy (we don't want their children, but our own), but the fact that there are no real memories to hold on to. And on top of that, there's no chance to talk about those memories with other people, either. If someone shares stories of their dads, I can always tell them my own memories of my dad. If they tell stories of their children, all I can share is the stories that my mom has told me about me and my brother when we were young. 

** Some pangs may be jealousy, but I think the pangs that make me feel hollow inside are different. Like the kind that I felt the other day. 

The other day I had a funny experience that was actually the inspiration of this post. This is what I wrote in my draft folder a few days ago:

"Close friend (the new mother) has posted more photos of herself and the new baby again and I did feel some pangs...She was walking out with baby and husband, enjoying the sun, looking so happy and beautiful. 

And I couldn't help thinking about the alternate universe again (self-defense much?). In my alternate universe, I'm walking around with a stroller with my baby and my stroller is filled with bright patches of colours with small cute cat photos in each patch ha ha ha ha ha ha ha...And it's the kind of flexible stroller where I can just easily switch the colour and design according to my mood.

Boy, it's SO MUCH FUN trying to think of myself in an alternate universe (my childlike self is loving it). Oh, and let's not forget that in my alternate universe, I have a very loving cat and my husband has plenty of hair (not because I mind, but because I know he'd love to have more hair on his head) HE HE HE HE HE HE HE HE HE HEHHHH...

Where would our cat be? Sitting on top of the cover of the stroller perhaps. Hey, I can do anything I want. It's my story LOL!!!"

The text ended there, though I'd like to add some other things that crossed my mind that day: 

"For the life of me, though, I couldn't even figure out the look on our child's face. I tried to peep into the stroller but the baby's face was blurry. Probably because it's always been a mystery. Will the child look more Finnish or Asian? I don't know and obviously I still can't decide yet.

But then my wild imagination took over again and guess what happened? We took off, flying with the baby Mary Poppins with her umbrella ha ha ha ha ha ha ha..."

Ahem. Yeah, so that's the extent of it. I'll tell you one thing, though...thinking about this cartoon version of our alternate universe took my mind off my close friend's baby and parenthood. So much so that I was even surprised at its effect. Maybe next time I should do this trick again he he he he he...After all, the imaginary world is always much more interesting. :-D Maybe in the real world, if I could ever have a baby, I'd be cranky and the baby would be a difficult one, but in my imaginary world, I can fly away to the sky with my baby, husband, and the stroller. Nothing can beat that, not even reality! :-D :-D :-D 

P.S. This is how I looked like after having fun creating my imaginary world:

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Grief Cycles

I've been reading about grief cycles for quite some time now from different women across the globe. I remember being frustrated every time I felt that grief was knocking on my door again. I just wanted to say, "Not againnnnn?" 

I've been wondering about grief cycles in my own experience lately. I don't think that each cycle is the same, though. I think that if we allow ourselves to open the door, sit a while with that grief, listen to it, and give it room to share its wisdom, we'll learn different things each time because there are so many different layers of losses that we have to deal with in this type of journey. And I feel that each time the cycle starts, the starting point is getting further and further away from the point of origin.

I also think that each time I learn a new trick on how to deal with the grief wave as it comes. Sometimes it's a learned trick that I've honed for a while, other times it just comes out of the blue (natural self-defense instinct), other times I come up with an experimental tool to deal with a new wave of grief.

All I can say is that when I switch my perspective into "What can I learn this time (about myself, other people, or whatever)?", I can even feel excited about inviting grief inside (may be kinda weird to put it this way, but I'm telling it as it is here). It's like grief is an old friend coming for a visit and I'm looking forward to getting some insight. And we can even enjoy a relaxing chat over tea and sweet buns. :-)

In this post I'd also love to share some brilliant links:

1. Ten Things I've Learned About Trauma.  

2. You Can't Please All The People All The Time

3. Why Miscarriage Matters When You're Pro-Life.


Warning: This post is full of my thoughts and feelings related to my journey as a Christian. 

When you feel like you've done everything right and you've prepared yourself for a dream and then you find that the dream isn't in reach over and over and over again, you're struggling to find the meaning to this "waiting" period while secretly you're scared whether or not you'll ever reach your dream.

When I was struggling with God in my infertility journey, it was hard to get rid of the thought of "the unfairness of it all" when people who seemed to be abandoning or abusing kids could have kids so easily. I also struggled with the whole idea that "God is good". 

Why didn't He fulfill our dream? At that time I felt that it was one of the most selfless dreams of all*. After all, we didn't ask for riches or fame or power (not taking anything from anyone else - position or money - so to speak). We only wanted a person to call our own, our own flesh and blood, to love and to cherish (that normally would only take making love to create). It didn't help that in the Bible there were lots more stories of miracle pregnancies and answered prayers for barren women. 

* Side note: Though, ironically enough, some people claim this to be a selfish dream (with all the many abandoned children across the world).

I remember being angry at God at the unfairness of it all. Why did He answer some prayers but not others? It was the thought that He didn't deem us fit as parents that also haunted me for a period of time, even though I also knew that if I truly believed He was a sovereign God, then I should have known better.

“You never know how much you really believe anything until its truth of falsehood becomes a matter of life and death to you. It is easy to say you believe a rope to be strong and sound as long as you are merely using it to cord a box. But suppose you had to hang by that rope over a precipice. Wouldn't you then first discover how much you really trusted it?” 
- C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
While struggling to make sense of my journey, I found some quotes that have helped me. If what I believe about God is solid, then I will never doubt God's goodness at all. Yes, the world is so full of stories of injustice, but the world is full of imperfect people with free will, so it's only natural that injustice exists because people do make mistakes. (And when I say people, that includes me)

“If God 'foresaw' our acts, it would be very hard to understand how we could be free not to do them. But suppose god is outside and above the Time-line... You never supposed that your actions at this moment were any less free because God knows what you are doing. Well, He know your tomorrow's actions in just the same way--because He is already in tomorrow and can simply watch you. In a sense, He does not know your action till you have done it: but the moment at which you have done it is already 'NOW' for Him.” 
- C.S. Lewis (Mere Christianity)
"My idea of God is not a divine idea. It has to be shattered time after time. He shatters it Himself.” 
- C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)

“God has not been trying an experiment on my faith or love in order to find out their quality. He knew it already. It was I who didn't. In this trial He makes us occupy the dock, the witness box, and the bench all at once. He always knew that my temple was a house of cards. His only way of making me realize the fact was to knock it down.” 
- C.S. Lewis (A Grief Observed)
Further along in my journey I also found more comforting quotes from Glenn Packiam's book Secondhand Jesus.

"He will do everything in His power - everything - to make us His. So if giving us stuff achieves that goal, so be it. But if allowing things to be taken away gets us there quicker, He may just opt for that route."

I took comfort in the idea that God is and will be using my infertility journey somehow. I surrendered to Him unwillingly at first. Along my journey, these Bible verses have also helped me a lot in making sense of it all...
Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort;

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.

For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.
- 2 Cor 1:3-5

Last but not least, this was one of the songs that comforted me during my toughest moments...I sang this song over and over for a period of time because I felt my faith slipping away and I needed to hold on to that frail and thin thread of faith left in me...and this song has blessed me tremendously.