Just A Little Bit Like Harry Potter
When my mom and sister died, my life was forever changed, but my life plan was not substantially changed. I still had a sense of certainty as I knew that their deaths were final and that I had no ability to change the events of that day. Real life isn’t Buffy the Vampire Slayer where you can bring people back to life through magic (it’s a little bit more like Harry Potter, where you can look into the Mirror of Erised (aka my memory) and see them again.) This event changed my life in countless ways, but it did present me with a choice on how to live the rest of my life.
At 14, without really knowing it I had a vague life plan – going to high school, going to university, meeting the dream guy and then having a family. The life plan was based on expectations from my parents and very little actual thought on my behalf. It was just what I was going to do. I didn’t even really think about alternatives. So, when my mom and sister died, my life plan didn’t really change because I chose to continue with the plan. While they were no longer alive to be part of the execution of the plan, I could still live the plan. I could have easily tried to hide from the pain of my new reality through drugs and alcohol. But, instead, I distinctly remember making the conscious choice to live my life in a way that would make my mom and sister proud of me. This seemed like a no-brainer to me, and really wasn’t a hard decision. So, I chose to keep reaching for the stars, through continuing to achieve top academic results. I chose to continue to be a good person and to live my life based on the positive values I had been brought up with.
But, my most recent struggle with recurrent pregnancy loss, is entirely different. Although, each miscarriage result is the death of a baby we never knew, the choices before me are much different. Specifically, that we still have a choice about what’s next. We can choose to try to create a healthy child again, we can choose to adopt or we can choose to have no children. We have choices before us, each with daunting statistics and possible outcomes. But, unlike the certainty that I felt after the death of my mom and sister, the death of our babies through miscarriage has resulted in my world being consumed by uncertainty. I am not good with uncertainty. Evidently, I liked the plan and I liked knowing what’s going to happen next.
So, now, how do I live in a perplexing state of uncertainty? This has been one of the hardest things for me to do. How do I move from living the certain life plan, to living a life of uncertainty? How do I make this transition? How do I find a way to live in the moment, and not in the planned future? How do I accept this new route and come to peace with the fact that my future may be very different from what I always envisioned?
I’m told I need to practice mindfulness. I’m told I need to learn to live in the moment. I’m told I need to learn to not think about the future. I am told I need to live for today.
I am trying. But I am also struggling.