Friday, July 11, 2008


I keep struggling with the idea of meaning of life. (I seldom do anything small-scale, do I?!) I lost my LH - a great guy who was overall an wonderful husband and would have been a great father - before he was even 30. I struggled so hard with the grief (both for LH himself and for our hoped-for family) - the worst of it took up almost 2 years of my life, and then it only gradually ebbed after that (it's now been over 3 1/2 years, 4 years this fall).

In the grief, it was hard to hear about widows with kids saying how they didn't think they would be able to continue or find any meaning in drawing the next breath if it weren't for their kids. I knew that was their reality and that was great for them, but conversely - what is the PURPOSE of a 20-something widow without kids? What reason WAS there to go on, without kids to take care of, or some all-consuming consmic mission to carry me onward?

But I believed that somehow, some way, there would be some form of okay life in my future. I fell in love again and took the chance to get married again. I guess I just figured, somewhere subconsciously, that because of all I'd been through but despite the likely PCOS, I would at least ovulate occasionally and thus not be trying to decide on fertility treatments only 7 months after going off the pill. That I could at least go 9-12 months believing we had SOME chance to have a baby without serious intervention, before having to take the next step if nothing worked during that time. I know life doesn't work that way, as far as getting a "free pass" or some amount of a break if you've already been through a lot... but I guess somewhere deep down I believed that somehow, I would, anyway!

So now that I'm having to accept that ovulation (much less a positive pregnancy test) is not happening on its own and we'll need help, I guess my house of cards is coming down emotionally, and I'm really having a very hard time. It was already hard for me to be the medical patient when I had two sinus surgeries over the last couple of years - far too many memories of what I went through as the caregiver, both with my LH and before that with my mother. Starting into the fertility realm will probably be even harder on me emotionally.

DH and I have talked about not letting the meaning of either of our lives (but especially mine) be wrapped up in having kids. But given that I haven't found a job situation I'm okay with for more than a few months running and have sufficient interest in, and if it takes us a long time to get our BFP, and/or we have to go through the adoption process (which can take years), what is my PURPOSE in the meantime? Is it now to make my DH happy, only? (No, according to him, we've had this discussion.) Is that any better of a reason for my existence than being almost solely focused on being a good mother for kids to carry on some piece of me into the future?

The truth is, having kids is more central to my sense of meaning (not to the exclusion of everything else, but it's a HUGE facor) than my DH would like... he is a guy, he had started accepting that he might never have kids because we didn't meet until he was in his mid-30s, and because he hasn't been through what I've been through. I think having been widowed, and knowing that I am one of the few people who could be said to be carrying on my LH's legacy, has only highlighted the temporary and ephemeral quality of human life and human legacy.

I desperately want something, or several somethings, to survive my existence on this planet. Whether that's just a couple of well-raised bio kids and the memories of DH, family and friends, or maybe finding some way to contribute to the help and comfort of people beyond my own circle of friends and hopefully eventually adopt (and raise that child well) along with the DH/family/friends' memories, I just have to feel like there is some REASON to my being here on Earth.

And I feel like I carry my LH's meaning with me too, doubling the urgency. I feel like some part of him lives in me spiritually, so in a sense my having kids is also a small way of carrying my LH's spirit forward as well. I can't fail all three of us - LH, me, and DH - in such a fundamental way without it tearing me apart.

I hate being old before my time, as I am in some ways.


Lollipop Goldstein said...

I was so moved by this post--and thinking about how we still carry parts of people and pass them forward even after they're gone. You're making me sob on a Sunday night.

Julybug said...

Awww... sorry about the sob! But yeah, this is just kind of my reality. My LH comes with me, that's just how it is. It's a complicated thing, but that is how it is and always will be for me, in one way or another. Thanks for reading, though!