Grief, Dreams, and a Rocking Chair

Grief, Dreams, and a Rocking Chair

by: Suzanne Kane

The day after my husband and I returned home from our honeymoon, we closed on our first home. In a short few weeks, two of my dreams had come true and I was glowing inside and out. As we settled into marriage and homeownership, I quickly became consumed with finding the perfect pieces to make our home our own. I scavenged through garage sales, estate sales, and Craigslist. I was inspired, and my passion was fully alive through decorating and creativity. One afternoon at an estate sale, I came upon an old red rocking chair. It captured my attention. We certainly did not have the need for a rocking chair as we were planning to wait a year before actively trying for children. Despite our plans, I decided to give the chair a try, and once I sat in it, I immediately imagined rocking, nursing, reading, and singing to our children in it. It just needed a little work for my vision to come to life. I paid for it, packed it in the car, and unloaded it in the garage where it sat and collected dust. After a few months, my husband had enough of it taking up space and asked me to follow through with my plans. It felt premature to have it reupholstered, but I gave him my word. I packed the chair back in the car and drove it across town. As I searched through the hundreds of fabrics, it felt strange to be planning a nursery for children who were a distant dream away. I decided on a pattern and the once old red rocking chair became a green rocking chair perfect for our someday family. Three years later and long after our plans for having children, the rocking chair sits in an empty room collecting dust again.

 As my social media fills up with pregnancies, births, and little one’s milestones, I am reminded over and over about the emptiness in my heart and my family. The word infertility invokes my deepest fear. I fear that to think or say the word aloud would be damning, because the answer is yet unclear of whether I can or cannot bear my own children.

Control is my default when my truth is ugly. When shit hits the fan, I pick it up, make plans for it, organize it, and meticulously clean it off the fan. Control treats my grief just the same. Control lies to me. It tells me that my grief is not real. It tells me that my God and body are failing me. Control convinces me that I cannot grieve something I have never had. Control persuades me not to share my pain with others, and it assures me that I can handle it on my own. Control tells me to ignore the exhaustion, frustration, anger, confusion, sadness, and tears. Control turns me away from the beauty of my infertility.

Today, I throw control out the window. This gift of surrender gives me the permission to be fully in grief and to feel all that comes with my infertility. It gives me the courage write about my infertility. It reminds me that I am not alone in this journey. It allows me to continue hoping and dreaming of motherhood and the day I can make use of the green rocking chair. But most freeing of all, it permits me to trust the plans my God has for me are far better than my own. 

  • Stacey Wolfe Boral

    Thank you for sharing your journey to Motherhood. I can relate to every feeling you had and the feelings of grief you are now able to allow yourself during your struggle to become a Mother.

    Infertility is heart wrenching.
    It took years for me,5 years to be exact before I was able to achieve my life long dream.

    I always had a back up plan which allowed me to deal with the growing sadness as I watched my friends become Mothers.
    I knew whether biological or not that one day I too would become a Mother.

    When the day came that I finally became pregnant, I knew it was a gift from G-d which I wasn’t going to take for granted. I was blessed with a health baby boy who today is an independent 22 year old young man.

    My vision of a family was Always to have two children. After many more years of struggling to achieve my goal i finally had to come to terms with the reality that It was not G-d’s plan for me.

    I had come to terms with the reality however the grief continued for many more years. It wasn’t until I went to a Living Centered program at Onsite that I was able to allow myself to Truly feel the loss of a dream that was not to be.

    After many years of pent up tears I allowed myself to grieve the loss of my dream. I came to terms with G-d’s plan and to this day I can laugh when I say to my friends who have daughters that I understand why having a daughter was not to be part of G-D’s plan for me.

    I have since remarried a man who has one son. Perhaps it was part of G-d’s plan that I have two children after all. Two sons that is!

    I have been blessed with the most precious gift, a son who I cherish every day. And an 18 year old stepson. My son had always wanted a brother. G-d works in mysterious ways!

    I wish you continued strength and prayers On fulfilling your dreams.

    Stacey B. Onsite 2009