Dear Grandma and Grandpa…not.

Did you ever wander merrily along in life, thinking everything was okay and sunshiney again, and something came along which knocked you right off your feet and back down into The Dark?

Because that’s what just happened to me. And it was so totally unexpected and so incredibly painful that I can’t even contain it – I’m meant to be going to bed (I need to be up in 6 hours) and this hurts so much that I need to try to write it out of me before I can even begin to think about sleep.

Perhaps a combination of factors, but one major tipping point just ganged right up on me.

I was bimbling around the Blogosphere (as I am wont to do) and I came across Mike’s latest post at Joe Floggers. About his gorgeous granddaughter (and much beloved inadvertent contributor to the TToT hop) KeKe. And I fell completely to pieces. In moments. I can’t even hold Mike responsible, because his post and perspective on being a grandfather are just so awesome, and so beautiful.

Because here’s the thing which suddenly struck me (and I can’t begin to think how this never occurred to me before on such a deep level) – Husby and I are not going to get the chance* to make our parents, grandparents.

For my parents, this would be for the second time, as they already have Niece and Neff, and adore them to pieces. To watch the grandparent/grandchild relationships playing out is beautiful, and I love seeing them interacting together. It’s a very different bond from the parent bond or the aunty bond. A most lovely one.

But for Husby’s parents, this would be for the first time. Their first grandchild from their first son. So special.

And so beyond us.

High hopes and all hopes lying in smithereens as the impact of our diagnosis and infertility ripple outwards to hurt more than just us.

Because, of course, they’re grandparents in the same way that we are parents. Invisibly. With no beautiful child to show for it. No funny anecdotes or lovely photographs to proudly share.

That precious status denied them.

Ironically, today is the day I’m having an older post of mine – ‘My Kids Gave Me Superpowers’ – republished, over at The Day We First Met. It’s exciting to think about how my story is going out and (hopefully) spreading understanding and solidarity. And excruciating to think that just at this time, when the ‘Not Grandparents’ thing hit me, I’m being shared with regard to inheritance.

I shall never see the family traits from our respective sides, reflected in my children. Probably.

Never see whether my great-grandmother’s chin makes an appearance again (as it did in my cousins). Or my Grandad’s nose. Or my Nana’s (Sis and IΒ  got one each of these). Or my Dad’s forehead. Or Husby’s Mum’s eyes. And what makes it worse, is that our parents will never see them either – those physical lines of ancestry being passed down.Β 

Hold onto my hopes, friends – all my sparks just went out.

[Also, in a horrible, weird way, I feel almost like I ‘shouldn’t’ be posting this – ‘shouldn’t’ be engaging with these feelings, because they’re indulgent and just focus on all the shit and ‘can’t have’ of this situation, when instead I should be looking to my blessings or trying to find a way to do some Good. And I hate that I feel there are ‘should’s and ‘should not’s about grief. Because on one level, I know it’s bollocks, but on another level, I’m aware that it’s true, and maudlin self-pity and whining about the ‘shoulda, coulda, woulda’s is no way to go about life. But tonight I just want to sleep. Dreamlessly.]

*Yes, there are three months left. Big whoop. Might as well be three days**

**Damn, self-pity’s unattractive***

*** *sigh*


41 thoughts on “Dear Grandma and Grandpa…not.

  1. Well, IRL I'm keeping fairly quiet, because there are bigger things going on in my extended family, which require MUCH more time and emotional energy than this. But it got to me.

    Thanks for the hopes – hang onto them *hugs*


  2. You can't help feelings to happen, and I'm glad that you are sharing and not suffering by yourself. To be honest, I've never taken the extended families into consideration when such a tragedy strikes, but you are right. Have you ever talked to them about it? I so, so, so hope for the three months to be YOUR months. Hugs!!


  3. Thanks Lisa – Peace found me towards the end of the week (thank goodness) and you're quite right. It's MY party and I'll damn well whinge if I want to πŸ˜‰

    I'm not looking forward to the next 'oh crap' moment. I'm sure there are few more lying in wait *sigh*.

    Thank you *hugs*


  4. Welcome, Meredith! This must have been a bit of a raw, tough post to encounter first, so I'm glad you stayed to poke around – thank you πŸ™‚ I'm often a lot more fun…but you're right – writing is therapy. It's oxygen. It's getting it out from where it torments, and affixing it in pixels, to be boundaried somehow.

    I'm blessed in that I've not met with judgement here – my harshest critic seems to be myself, and from others, on the whole, I have experienced compassion and empathy, which is wonderful.

    That post was incredible – thank you so much for sharing it with me. I've never seen sadness described from a therapist's point of view before, and it was really interesting to see how the writer describes starting from where her client is, rather than trying to 'fix' things.

    Thanks for being my newest follower, and for your lovely comment *hugs*


  5. I agree with the earlier commenter…your blog is for you. NO apologies. And for what it's worth, a little self-pity isn't the end of the world. You can't move forward until you acknowledge and deal with what pains you. All things in due time. And it may take a while until all of those “oh crap hadn't thought about THAT part” moments pass by at least once.

    I wish you peace.


  6. I'm a new follower (found you through bloppy bloggers). So sorry for your pain. I love how you write it out though. It's something I do too. Although it leaves you incredibly vulnerable to judgment, it is still therapeutic in some way. At least for me. I know we are supposed to be critiquing here, but I found myself just poking around for a long time….which is always a good thing. πŸ™‚ I read this post the other day about sadness that really spoke to me. I think it's OK to feel sad for as long as you need to.
    And those people that don't like it, can get over it. Going to follow you now. Hug!!


  7. I love the honesty – I think it might be one of my favourite things, but such a double-edged sword, because I do feel I've been using more than my fair quota of 'but actually, it's all a bit crap'…just because it has been. But thank you so much – you're right – writing our wrongs is great therapy, and I'm just so blessed by the wonderful community of people here, and the amazing support and encouragement I receive from them. From you – thank you *HUGS*


  8. You know one of the things I love best about blogging. The honesty of the people behind the words whether it be happy or sad or angry because blogging in itself is therapy. At least I think so. Then there is the support and love and graciousness of so many people, all over the world, that read (listen) and support without judgement if they have good sense. You are loved here, Lizzi, by lots and we want you to say what you need to say when you need to say it. Please. Hugs to you and Husby.


  9. This is half the problem with grief (in general) and being an Invisible Mom (in particular) – it's so hard to think of something which seems worth saying…I still get hung up on this when trying to talk to others in similar situations (you'd think I'd have a clue by now) but what really matters in the end, is that you said something…not what it is. And I really appreciate that.

    It's an 'aside' I struggle with quite a lot. I still have many blessings to be thankful for – there are still people I could help more – I could easily 'work out' my grief by doing something Good, and yet I fold in on myself and melt into a puddle of self-pity far more often than not. At some point (presumably) it becomes a 'thing'. Which I'd far rather it didn't…


  10. Lizzi, nothing feels right to say.

    But I want you know, your pain regarding this situation has always affected me and makes me wish there was something – anything – I could do / say / suggest to make it better.

    By the way, I appreciate your honest “aside” in the brackets. I've had questions of my own about extending the life of grief…


  11. I hope I'm not going to stay there! That's not the plan…at ALL!

    I don't do well with 'feelings'. Especially not when trying to understand them. But I guess perhaps they're not understandable…or are totally understandable.

    I think it really doesn't help that I'm wont to tie myself up in knots like this. About this. Or near it.


    Thank you – I shall try to bear your therapist's advice in mind.


  12. Lizzi, the shoulda, coulda, wouldas are valid too. ALL of your feelings are valid. You cannot explain away FEELINGS. You are allowed to have them and allowed to work through them. My therapist says that it's best to LEAN INTO THE PAIN, move through it and you'll come out on the other side stronger. It's OK to wallow for a bit, because you're not going to stay there (right??). So, don't apologize for how you feel. (((HUGS)))


  13. Thank you Natalie – it made perfect sense. And I really appreciate it.

    I suppose that grieving and making those connections is a good way of ensuring I don't go the former route (bottling it up and then reaching for the alcohol) – I'm hyper-aware that I seem to gravitate towards the booze when I'm hurting, and I need to keep an eye on that trend. Thanks for the warning that it doesn't work.

    I shall try to bear your words in mind – I can learn from you (I hope). *hugs*


  14. If there is anything I've learned about feelings and grief, that denying them because they're self-indulgent or somehow unproductive can be damaging to your soul and psyche. I've had to learn how to have feelings, because they were never acceptable so I stuffed them. Then I couldn't anymore, and tried to stuff them with alcohol (which I learned doesn't work, by the way).
    Of course there is focusing on the positive, but sometimes we need to grieve/feel anger. It's a natural response to pain. Plus, that's how we connect with each other. Reading this, my heart positively broke for you. And now, I feel like I know you better, and I wish I could give you a real hug while you cried.
    I hope this made sense. This post was touching.


  15. That's sweet of you, Mike. I did really, thoroughly enjoy the post. I love the whole 'grandparent bond' – I had it with my Grandad; Niece and Neff have it with my Mum and Dad…and I'm just absolutely gutted that I'll likely never be part of making that wonder and joy happen in our families.

    Writing definitely helps, and I have many WONDERFULLY supportive friends (thank goodness – because without their support…it doesn't bear thinking about).


  16. Thank you for sharing that with me, and that it gets easier with time.

    Husby and I always wanted to adopt as well as have our own children (greedy ideas we had about family, huh?) and now that will be denied us as well, because of his depression.

    I one fell swoop, we've gone from dreaming of a family of 4+ kids to none, ever, and the grief is massive and unbearable. I really hope it gets easier soon…but I've a sneaking suspicion this will take a while to get over.

    Husby was reading in the book “What colour is your parachute' (which is apparently quite famous) that for hope to exist, you need two options, minimum. It helped to know that, because with our small,small window, my feelings of hopelessness make more sense.


  17. I actually had mixed emotions when writing that post. I knew you would most likely read it and it would bring up some painful memories for you. I am sorry for what you have gone through and hope things get better. Writing seems to help you with it all and it looks like you have a lot of supportive friends out there which helps.


  18. I understand how you feel. I went through the same thing a few years ago and there definitely is a grieving process. I always thought I'd have children, but that just isn't going to happen unless I adopt and hubby isn't into that. As time passes it does get easier.


  19. Thank you so much for the dose of common sense. I still have so much to learn about grief, and keep forgetting that I need to let it be whatever it is, sometimes.

    Yes. Onward to just the next step. And just the next one.

    I rested, thank you, and thanks for the prayers and hugs. They help.



  20. Thank you! I so needed to hear all of that. I get horribly conflicted about 'whining' in public, and yet, it's such a good outlet for getting this stuff out of my head and affixed elsewhere so it doesn't bug me any more (or, so much).

    The words of encouragement and prayers DEFINITELY help. Hugely. And thank you so much for yours *hugs*


  21. Thanks Rebecca. You're right. Feel, acknowledge, immerse, then get out again.

    I've never seen Elizabethtown…perhaps I'll look it up. Sounds like it has some beautiful lines. Sorry to hear about Counting Mutant's brother 😦


  22. It helped a lot. Stopped it from rattling around in my head. Ish. Still needed hugs and chamomile tea and a chapter of a good book before sleep happened. But hey, who needs sleep, right?

    Thanks *hugs*


  23. Sweet Lizzi. I'm so sorry for your pain. You feel how you feel. You should not feel bad about feeling that way or for sharing your pain. And you are grieving. Grief will blindside you sometimes, in new ways or old things you thought you were doing better with will resurrect themselves. You are an amazing, beautiful person. You are loved by many and you are going to keep putting one foot in front of the other. I pray you are resting and that you feel the love that we are all sending you. Praying for you and sending HUGS to you.


  24. I know what it's like to get sideswiped like that. Not for the same reasons, but I do know it sucks. I also know that just getting it out, writing it, making it public helps so much. I often feel the same way as you about “whining” (so to speak, because I don't think you are… you have a legitimate reason to feel sad), but you know what? Our blogs are for us and others can take it or leave it. And believe me, you will have a lot of people praying for you now. And hopefully many words of encouragement, that always helps. Many hugs to you! Life is so hard and we're all in this together. It's good to share, even when it doesn't feel so pleasant.


  25. I am bringing cupcakes and balloons to this party. It is so important to sit and cry it out in order to grow beyond it, otherwise it festers.

    Elizabethtown says it the best: “I want you to get into the deep beautiful melancholy of everything that's happened.” (This is Counting Mutant's go to movie when he misses his brother who committed suicide.)


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