Grief on a bicycle

This hearkens back to the spirit of one of the reasons I decided to write so frankly and openly here – to document the dual horrors of miscarriage and infertility and the ways they impact, in the faint hopes that someone, somewhere, will read it and feel less alone; less the way I did while these things were happening to me.

Today I felt almost-alone, but not quite, and that gave me strength, because today, alone, I wasn’t enough to keep going.Stop Crying Your Heart Out

A sneaker-wave of grief came out of nowhere this morning, hidden behind a piece of anticipated news. It tumbled me straight down into the depths of broiling agony, with no idea where the surface was. It hit me about ten minutes before I was meant to be at my boxing class, and by the time I cycled across the park in the middle of town, the shock had given way to pain, and I knew that there was no way I could face a room full of people.

I just wanted to keep cycling and never stop. So I kept cycling.

I barely noticed the aches in my legs. I got warm and took off a couple of layers, stripping down to my vest, glad of the freezing nip in the air which began to chill me, because it felt good to punish my body and make it ache on the outside in a faint reflection of the way it blazed hurt on the inside.

Every few hundred yards, my face would curl into a mask of grief and loss for the babies who died and the ones I will likely never have (never say never, but it all seems so hopeless, still). I cried for my body which couldn’t nurture. I cried for my life which turned out so differently than I’d hoped. I cried for Niece and Neff and the fact that all the love I have for them can’t save them from the difficulties in their lives. I cried for Husby never getting to experience the joy of being a father, when I know he’d be so, SO good at it. I cried for the children we can’t adopt because we wouldn’t be able to provide them a stable home. I cried for the people who DO get babies, and whose husbands aren’t sick.

I cried for the intense, beautiful, eyes-locked, star-gazing moments of perfection with your child and the overwhelming love for them, that I will probably never experience.

I cried because today ‘being me’ hurt almost too much to continue with. I cried because the only thing which kept me going over the motorway bridge instead of listening to the voices which said “It would only hurt for a minute, and then the pain would be over…” was the unimaginable pain my loss would cause to those people who love me.

I cried because even the thought of doing something nice for someone I love, or praying, or remembering that there will be a time in future when I don’t feel this awful, or the idea of going to America, or the rest of my life married to a man I love, were not enough to stem the tide of self-pity.

I tried to find Ten Things of Thankful – emergency ones, in the spirit of the original notion of the activity – because if there are ten things which I can identify as having made today worthwhile, then tomorrow is worth living to. I kept getting stuck at three. Or four. I can’t remember. My thoughts kept dissolving and flowing away as tears, and it was all I could do to concentrate enough to stem the trickles and bubbles of snot which insisted on blocking me from breathing. I didn’t even care if anyone saw as I ruined my cycle gloves on the mess.

Husby gets upset when I’m sad about this. I hate telling him how bad I feel because I know he feels as though he’s taken away my chance of motherhood, by being ill. It’s not his fault he’s ill, and he’d never choose it, and I hate that I make him feel so responsible. His illness is just part of life sometimes being completely shit. I wouldn’t change him. I want to be married to him and keep being married to him until we’re little old uglies. I just wish he was better. So does he.

So I went to my Sister’s to ask for a hug and a drink and a cry. I stumbled in, frozen and unable to feel my limbs, but somehow I could still feel that core of pain ripping at my insides. She wasn’t there, so I stood and cried in the hallway on her doorstep before stumbling out again before anyone found me there.

I cried on the way home, because I had wanted that hug and I had wanted to protect Husby from my hurt, but I knew I needed a person. I crawled into bed with him once I’d put my cycling jacket and snot-soaked gloves into the wash. And once I’d had a shot of whiskey to try to take the edge off (it didn’t work – just tasted vile). He turned over, told me he hoped I wouldn’t catch his cold, and held me – draped himself and his warmth around me as I shook and shivered and cried.

My mum arrived, as had been planned, and I dragged myself up and made her some lunch. She hugged me and I cried more. We decided it was too cold to go to the allotment and readily agreed that Scrabble would be better. So we played, talking about the nightmare family situations we’re both dealing with, and all the hurt and frustration and pain. I felt flat. Exhausted. Wrung-out. Headachey. I still didn’t really want to be able to feel.

Once she’d gone, I went to bed, because being awake still hurt too much. I came to, later, with dusty, salt-crusted cheeks and discovered that the headache hadn’t gone. I messaged with a few friends and still felt as though I was crushed under a massive, steely-cold slab of hurt, but was grateful, because I knew they cared and would fix it all for me if they could.

Grief sucks. Infertility sucks. But I’m still here. I know it will be better. I just have to get there. And in the meantime, thank goodness for the people who made me stronger because they love me.

Today love wins.

And that’s all the ‘Ten’ I need.



87 thoughts on “Grief on a bicycle

  1. So touched by this, Lizzi. Infertility is such a ungrateful bitch. Such a terrible current of soul-searing trauma. Most days are decent, good even,but then these (like the bicycle) come roaring and crashing into our tender shores. Sometimes without warning. Most times without an ounce of pity. And I wonder?? Does it get better?? And, if so, when??

    Moments of love.
    Moments of peace.
    Always moments.

    “Grief sucks. Infertility sucks. But I’m still here. I know it will be better. I just have to get there.”

    So do I, Lizzi.

    Forever in heart,

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Ten Things of Thankful #86 | Considerings

  3. My words today will not make what happened that day any better because it already happened because duh…but I’m here now and I love you and that matters…why? Because you matter to me. Remember that ok?
    I might not have the right words to say to make the pain feel less, but I can just be with you. You are an amazing person and friend and wife and writer and auntie and daughter, sister, saucy boxer….and you’re loved.


  4. Oh honey. I don’t want my stupid words to make anything worse. You’re so special, such an absolute gift to this world, I hope you realize just how much. I feel like there is a plan for you, which is probably not comforting because when I tried to explain this same thing to my friend and my Godmother, they were not really comforted by it, but they knew what I meant. My Godmother is in a similar boat, but she knows at this point that biologically it is too late. She thought she & her husband would adopt or foster, but he turned out to be a big old liar who actually never did want what she’s always wanted. Anyway, she is such a help to so many people, she starts programs for needy people in Los Angeles, and I am not a spiritual person really at all, but I feel like that was her calling. She was meant to do that, as unfair as it is to her to devote her whole life to others, she’s needed and I can only hope her reward will be fantastic. My friend Carol tried desperately to foster, and I will spare you the awful details but they had their hearts ripped out, TWICE, and can’t bear to even think about it any more. They bought a farm and they have tons of animals, and they take in old and ill animals and they are truly a gift to those animals, some sick, some abused, and most of which would not be alive right now if not for them.
    I know, I know, this is not comforting probably even one tiny bit, and I’m sorry and I wondered if I should even write this here, but I just really feel you are so special and part of your gift to this world is the taking care of Husby, and Niece and Neff, and your whole family and all of the people that you support in ways too numerous to even TRY to mention! And also TONS of other amazing, saintly things that most could only dream about that you haven’t done yet. Have you ever read “A Prayer for Owen Meany” ?
    I feel like your destiny is special and amazing and it’s all preparation for something so great, something lowly regular normal BORING people can’t even really comprehend. And you also were given this gift of writing so beautifully so that you can share that destiny with the world. It’s going to be one of the best stories, the best written books OF ALL TIME. And you don’t even know it yet. Your writing, your story, DOES help so many and it will help so many more, and that is just breath-takingly awesomeness that we mortals can only marvel at. You know? I hope this makes sense and doesn’t sound weird. You’re amazing, and you’re cut out for big feats of incredible miracles. And I’m sorry that it’s hard and it’s not fair and you’re right to feel the feelings, and let it all come out, and you’re SO smart to look to PEOPLE and not try to bear it all on your own. And oh just SHUTUP now Joy. I love you, Lizzi and I can’t wait to see your amazing story unfurl and I’m so blessed to even know you! You’re bigger than you are, and you’re more than you know.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joy-to-my-world, this is an amazing, SO encouraging, wonderful, loving, incredible comment. All of it πŸ™‚ I feel all glowy and soppy and like I want to hug you and shout and buy cake and run a marathon. I don’t know if I’m destined for anything great, but I feel like I’ve already achieved so much, because I have so many people in my life who I care so much about, even at the other ends of the internet. And I’m so pleased and happy that you’re one of them. I read the synopsis of A Prayer for Owen Meany – I’ve never read it, but wow – that’s one heck of a story. I don’t want to die on a grenade though!

      You know some wonderful people, Joy, and it sounds as though their souls are bright and shiny like yours. I know you present yourself as a snarky, hilarious, funster, but I know that there’s also a woman who cares deeply, and who ACTS on that care, rather than just sitting back and letting things happen, and I adore that about you. You are a hugely wonderful example of someone who gets on and DOES, and doesn’t shout about it or make a fuss, just does what needs to be done, and who tries to make the world a better place.

      Fostering isn’t for me. I know that already. I wouldn’t cope with having to give the children back. And I’m so sorry that your friend got her heart broken twice. That’s atrocious. It sounds as though both she and your Godmother are doing amazing things, and although life’s never fair, they’re making it work for them and doing the next best thing, and living life in Silver Linings. I hope to do that. I SO hope to do that. And yes – in the meantime I will do my utmost to be who I need to be for Husby and Niece and Neff and my family.

      As for my story still being written…watch this space! Anything could happen πŸ™‚ I ❀ you, Joy πŸ˜€


      • I DO watch this space! It may take me a long time to get here, and get back to here, but I SO so so wanted to make sure this message was comforting and not well, anything else. I’m glad you saw it that way, as I really meant what I said. Some people are destined for a regular boring life, and some people are just meant for MORE. You do so much for so many, that’s incredible. Those people are so very precious, I’m really blessed to have met you. My spirituality lies in real people, the people who get it, who know it’s about more than just us, and THAT is what gives me strength and inspires me and makes me WANT to be better, to do better, to literally make the world a better place, not with grand, sweeping sexy gestures, but small little words, notes, and smiles. I would LOVE to do sexy gestures (hahaha) but that’s not my place. I’ve accepted it.
        I love you too, Lizzi! This world is so lucky to have you!


        • I don’t think I could do a sexy gesture if I tried. But I do think you’re completely wonderful and I’m so glad to know you. Your comment was VERY comforting and encouraging and I appreciate it hugely πŸ™‚


  5. I’m so deeply for your sorrow and grief. I know it first-hand. Hearing of someone’s pregnancy or getting my period would send me into an ugly spiral. With each period, I used to have a little funeral in my head for a baby that never was. I grieved month after month, year after year for a baby that never was. I resented every pregnant woman (whether I knew them or not) with a passion and avoided them like the plague. Just as you write in hopes of letting others know they are not alone, I too, want you to know you are not alone. You’re in my thoughts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so sorry you know this pain first hand. It can be so awful to live with and try to keep going. Knowing I’m not alone, and that my experience can encourage others is one of the most compelling reasons for me to keep writing about these things as they happen, and to try to live a life which both honours my losses and allows me to continue living. Thank you for your kind words.


  6. Dearest BBFFFL, please do not ever hesitate to reach out to me if you should ever find yourself in such a miserable place again. I know I can’t give you a hug from way over here, but I can listen, console, and understand (or at least attempt to).

    I know reaching out isn’t really your style (nor mine, for that matter), but know that I would do my very best to be there for you and comfort you.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. There’s not much to say that hasn’t been said already. Glad you are feeling better today and it’s an old cliche, but a true one that sometimes the darkest hours are just before the dawn. Glad you got your hug in the end, and it sounds as if hubsy was the right person to give it to you.
    Keep peddling!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks. That helps a lot, actually. Thank goodness today was a better day. I got a ‘biggest hug in the universe’ from my soulie, and just…the grief left me gradually last night, and today was better.


  8. I absolutely hate those unpredictable throws of grief that strike you down… I’m wanted so badly to be right there, RIGHT there holding you and loving you through those dark hours. And yet, somehow- you did it. You SURVIVED it.

    You did.

    Do you see your strength? You didn’t cycle off the bridge. You didn’t drink yourself down. You didn’t damage or destroy a thing… you somehow managed your way through the fight to survive, to endure, to reach out, to feel your way through the desperation, the sadness, the hopelessness, and the pain- and you landed in soft places, that carried you while you waded through those deep dark waters.

    YOU are becoming your own lifeboat. Have you noticed that? I know, I know… you don’t think you are strong enough to stay afloat. But I do. I can see more clearly from here. You are getting stronger, my love.

    I’m so grateful you let Jesus take the nails out. *LOVE you*

    Liked by 1 person

    • You were there. Know that. Very gradually, with help and support and encouragement every step of the way, I’m getting there. This was a dip. A relapse. They will happen. That’s grief. But it’s not the everything any more. It is displaceable with other things. Good things, like love and friendship and care and hugs and being looked after and rallied around and knowing that it WILL be okay again, somehow.

      I’m getting there. Slowly. And today I was back on the beach, far away from those waves πŸ™‚ ❀


    • Thanks so much. It’s awful when it hits, but somehow I seem to have lived through enough therapy to be a bit self-aware and that helps, somehow, even if I can’t change the feelings, I can think them through to a logical conclusion (most of the time), even as they swamp me. Thank you for the love πŸ™‚


  9. I hated HATED not being within cycle distance from you yesterday. I knew there was nothing I could say, and that you just needed to process the grief and get past it. And I knew you would. Your strength, clarity, compassion and perspective will always get you past it.

    *holds sign cuz that’s all she can do to help, hopes it’s enough*

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s SO enough, my BW. You were one of the people who came first into mind amongst my friends. You kept me going.

      And no, in the end there was nothing anyone could say until much later in the day, and the thing which saved it all was hugs and I can’t even remember what else! Just distance, I guess, and time.

      Had you been in cycling distance I would have been there, bawling, on your doorstep. But you were here in my heart instead, and that helped. Hey, I’m still here. Between everyone, and the thought of how awful it would be, I’m here, still. And today has been a day of a few revelations on a different front, and so I feel almost rather hopeful that a few of my darknesses might get pushed back a little further.

      Oi. It’s FEBRUARY. 8 months to go *grins*

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I get it. I understand. Please remember, with all of that love you may feel is wasted, it is not. Many more can benefit from the love.

    This is how I keep on waking up and living, by knowing I’m sharing the mom love with all sorts of others.

    Liked by 1 person

    • We take up the pieces of our broken mama-hearts and use them to love other people, as much as we can, right?

      No…it won’t go to waste. Today I discovered that. Thank you πŸ™‚ (so sorry to hear you understand this, though. That sucks.)

      Liked by 1 person

  11. These are the times I despise the distance. I know nothing I can say will take the pain away but I can tell you L-word you. A bunch.

    Love wins every day even though we may not always realize it. And that is worth way more than ten.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Love wins every day, and it makes us stronger, and is the ‘enough’ when we aren’t. Definitely.

      You know what though, my DA, in spite of that distance, the relief I felt when I read your update “Home.”…oyyy! I think I’ve taken a little bit for granted how much it means to have you in my world, and although I enjoyed seeing snippets of your holiday and it made me so happy that once you got there, you had a lovely time…I missed you. A lot. L-word you back, even more bunches than *I* knew…


  12. When I read of your pain I wish I had a magic wand to make it go away. That incredible sadness for a situation you cannot change. I’m sad for you, and hurt for you and offer you love and support. A hug from someone you love is just what you needed. I’m glad Husby could give it to you. And I know you’ll pull yourself together and spread love, joy and sparkles, till the sadness comes again. Hang in there.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Val, I left you a reply yesterday – NO idea where it went! How odd!

      ANYway…to reiterate, I said thank you, and that I wish you had your magic wand, too. Because that would be awesome, but the sucky thing is that we never get to have that – we just have to live through and hope that somehow the hurts can be used to help and begin to be redeemed that way. Thank you for your love and support. And yes – the hugs from Husby and mum yesterday were definitely part of what held me together.

      I’ll be back. It will happen again, but I’ll be back then, too.


  13. Heart cracks into a million little pieces for you. You are so generous and brave to share these things. Someone is finding much needed solace in your words, I just know it. Something, something good and amazing WILL come your way. I believe that’s how the universe works. Eventually the good comes back to the people who continue to put good out there. I have to believe that…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have so, so much good already. Honestly, I’m really thoroughly blessed with good friends and a wonderful husband and some amazing family relationships, a good job…and really this thing is…not small by comparison…but not the be-all and end-all. If that makes sense. It’s awful but eventually I know it’s bearable, and that even in the hurt, I can help.


  14. If you lived near enough to cycle by, you could bang on my door for a drink and a talk and a hug anytime. Since you don’t, we’ll just pretend and you can bang on the chat thing if you need to. “Hidden behind a piece of anticipated news” struck me very particularly. I can only guess at it, of course, but I do understand. A few weeks ago we got some news in the family that rocked me to my core and I didn’t even know it was something that would upset me and yet I spent some time being upset for quite a few days. I understand how that can happen – it is like a wave that just knocks you on your ass with no warning. But as you already know, the wave does pass and while you might be exhausted and soaked and out of breath…you get up again. I’ve seen SO much change in you over the time I’ve read you and gotten to know you. SO much. You are doing just fine. And on the days you’re not? You know what to do and where to go and that’s half the battle. Hang in there. Hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad there’s been change! I can only hope that it’s for the better. I feel like I’m in a better place on the whole these days, but this day caught me out. Like you say – the wave just knocks you over. I’m sorry to hear you’ve had that lately, too. Geez it sucks when that happens. And yes – knowing where to go helps immensely.

      I shall bear in mind your offer of knocking at your door for a virtual drink and a hug and a chat. I really appreciate it.


  15. Sweetie!! Love and hugs. As always, your gloomy post is filled with silver linings: biking, cold nipping at the skin, snuggles, tears, Moms and choosing life for today.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I’m so sorry that you are going through all of this, but I am also so impressed with your ability to take care of yourself. Cycling, seeking out hugs from friends and family, getting sleep, and realizing that you WILL feel better again–all are healthy ways of dealing with pain and hurt. Warm California hugs to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    • For once I didn’t blame or hate myself in it – I was just so, so sad. And that was the whole all of it. Terrible, awful sadness.

      I’m glad of that, at least.

      I’m already feeling a little better, just drained and wrung-out still. Thanks for the warm hugs πŸ™‚ (we put the heating on, and I’m in about five layers and a blanket. I’m toasty and loving it).


  17. I wish I could wrap you up in some kind of warmth that would comfort you in these moments . . . All I have are words and those tend to fail me sometimes when I seem to need them most, like now, when I wish there was something I could say . . . What I can do though, is pray and listen and hopefully find little ways to encourage you in this journey which is far, far from over. I know it isn’t the journey you’d hoped to be on by now, but there are still many paths to explore. Hugs my beautiful friend, hugs and prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I felt the hug. Thank you.

      We all have hurts and griefs in our lives which chuck us over the edge. Expectations are naive, and hopes can be sharp and full of jagged edges. Blessed is the person who can traverse life without them…

      But your words, and the intention behind them, helped. Thank you. I do so appreciate your friendship and encouragement πŸ™‚ Onwards and Upwards, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  18. You are of a certain sweet disposition that you share your weakness to give others strength, and that is your gift. I’m sorry you have such grief to share, but I reckon you will touch many others. Saint Lizzi has a nice ring, don’t you think? Maybe someday your face will appear in a bowl of corn flakes.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I just want the world to be a bit better. Knowing I’m not alone in these feelings has been one of the most vital things – the aloneness was crippling, and the isolation I felt was horrendous. If I can do ANYTHING to stop that happening to someone else, by sharing these hurts, then I will. I kind of feel it helps to redeem them, in a way, too.

      I make no pretensions to sainthood though (although, I hear that some of them were absolute nutters…I’d take a glowing arm over my face in a bowl of corn flakes though (just finished having my face in a bowl of coco pops, and they were goooood)) πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’m getting there. Floating back up. I can see the sky above the surface, and there’s even some sunshine. Thanks Jamie. I’ll keep existing…keep reaching out to others…keep grabbing the proffered hands which lift me back again and again and keep me somehow going.

      That tide will recede. It always does. I just didn’t expect it to hit me so hard today. I broke. *sigh* It happens.

      Thanks for being here πŸ™‚



    Liked by 2 people

    • I love that you shouted the whole thing at me. That’s awesome and it made me smile. A real one, not just a kind of half one.

      You are always welcome to sing to me. Or send me ‘schnookered’. But I would take the hugs in a second, and thank you πŸ™‚ I shall imagine a virtual hug. Meanwhile, yes – Vince has it covered In Real. And Husby’s had it covered today, and thank goodness for them!

      Love to you and Mr Mystery ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      • FUCKING IVY YOUR SHOUTING IS HEARD HERE IN VA AND YOU ARE LOVED!!! (and I must say again – I KNEW IT I KNEW IT. I knew the Ivy over there was my-ish Ivy…

        And Lizzi sweets. Fuck fuck. I hate that you were so incredibly sad and I’m so in awe of your strength and wisdom to keep riding over that bridge even while the tempting whispers of no more pain tickled the most saddest given-up places in your mind… and oh how I wish I could just like I dunno. Make it so that life is more fair. Kind. Balanced.

        I’m glad you’re here. Sharing. Being. I’m sorry there’s so much pain. As Tucker would say “magic show magic show – make it disappeared!” (instead of alakazam which really is better anyway)

        Love and hugs and the knows and the feels. xxoo

        Liked by 2 people

        • I once had a very wise friend who sent me out on a balcony and told me to think carefully. I thunk carefully and I realised that love wins, because there are too many people who would miss me, and too many people I would miss, even though it hurts SO much, sometimes. Keeping going was worth it.

          And you do make it better. Not completely, because who could, but you HELP. You make a difference. And Our Land makes a difference on a bigger scale, and #1000Speak, and the TToT and all the things we’re part of which focus on making the world a better, kinder more connected place. Because nothing will make life fair or balanced, but at least if we have friends, then we have enough to keep us going.

          Thank you for the Alakazam, and for you, and for your understanding and your knowing and your love. You matter huge. Thank you for choosing me to be your friend πŸ™‚ ❀


    • for some reason my phone needed to scream that last comment at you. It could be because I am such an ass that I accidentally typed it into the search feed… or it could just be mimicking my singing voice…. Im not sure!

      Liked by 2 people

  20. If only I could hug you from now until forever, for once someone knows what it is to crave human contact when they need it most and not have it they know what it is to have their own compassion grow. To hear you story pains me deeply, yet I cherish the hearing in the hope that in the telling there’s a measure of solace. All my love to you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you. It’s definitely been that kind of a ‘breaking into pieces’ day, and I’m so lucky that I’ve had people around me who HAVE picked me up and begun the process of putting me back together. I never in a million years thought that grief would be so hard. Never, ever, ever. Because it’s loss of a past, a dream, a present, AND a future, when it’s infertility. And I never understood that. I wish I didn’t now, but I hope that it helps someone else, somewhere. Somehow.

      I really appreciate your warmth and compassion. Thank you.

      Liked by 1 person

        • Seems like the dips are getting briefer, but somehow deeper. I’m just glad of the brevity of them. And we hurt because we care. I wouldn’t have it the other way, but sometimes it feels too much. I just need to hang on to the knowledge it won’t always be like this. And it IS less – coupla years ago I was a MESS. Now this happens more infrequently, but when it does, it seems to make up for lost time.


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