Tenacity, Resilience and Grit

There was a time when, like Scarlett O’Hara in a scene from Gone With the Wind, I felt trapped in a bad dream — lost in pea soup fog.

I knew I was off course, and it was far from clear how I would find my way forward. There was a visceral sense of being unmoored.  I carried with me an uneasy sense of aimlessness. IVF ‘alpha pregnancy’ losses and disenfranchised grief once hung heavily around me. Without a north star, a beacon, a light house — something discernible, I could not orient myself.

I recalled that anxious and uncertain time recently when I read a blog post by Sarah — a post prompted by early signs of spring. The sentiments have stayed with me.  Her words are poignant and familiar:

Seasons carry much variation but also a level of definition and certainty. Life after loss does not. So as I explore through my yard I wonder, how long will my March last? Another month? Years? Or perhaps this is just my life. Forward flinging sparks of passion and desire forever tugged on by what should have been.”

Eager to quiet her fear, I left this response:

While what I’m about to say does not diminish the emotional difficulty you’re feeling, there may be some intellectual comfort in knowing that the sensation of wandering day to day without a ‘working GPS’ will abate. In the days to come you will find that your steps start to feel more directed.

It is one thing to imagine a life where you can feel the ground solid and sure under your feet. It is quite another to actually feel it.

READ  Identity Lost and Found After Infertility and Failed IVF

That’s when hearing someone calling out reassuringly — even faintly ahead in the distance — provides some solace. That’s where Mali, Lisa, Loribeth, Jody, Jessica, Lesley, Tracey, Klara, Amel, Cathy and other ‘life after loss’ and ‘what I learned after failed fertility treatment’ bloggers provide a collective human GPS.  Now part of the ‘been there and survived generation’ we, too, once wondered how long the vagueness Sarah writes about would last. Mostly through trial and error, we managed to find a way forward.

To those still mired in fog, I hope you see in our stories and blogs tenacity, resilience and grit. Each characteristic serves to propel us ahead even when the path feels uncertain. It takes time and strength to recalibrate a life amid the loud echo of what might have been and without familiar way points.

It is in that vein that I have been working on a new editorial project, an ebook: ‘Finally Heard: A Silent Sorority Finds Its Voice.’ More to follow on this latest effort later this spring. It is fitting, is it not, that out of the cold, dark days of winter comes longer rays of sunlight washing over us, and with it new growth.

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Honored to be included as a contributor to Medium’s ‘Human Parts‘ …  my featured post can be found here.