Sunday, September 29, 2013

Saying Goodbye, Mourning a Loss, 28 Years Later

I need to preface this by apologizing to those friends and family who will find themselves reading this, and wondering why this is the first time they are hearing it. I am not sure whom I have told over the years, but know it is not a long list.

In March of 1985 I attended a Depeche Mode concert at the Hollywood Palladium with my high school boyfriend (my first love), and a friend of ours. By midway through the concert I was in and out of the bathroom in complete misery.  I thought I was just having a particularly heavy and crampy period. After arriving home I spent much of my time sitting on the toilet in the bathroom. At some point while sitting there, it occurred to me that this was not my period, it was a miscarriage. At the time I viewed it as a good thing; I was, after all, only 15! I dealt with it, alone--I told nobody at the time, and went on with my life.

I thought about it over the years, but never really processed it mentally or emotionally, never dealt with it. There were times when I felt like I should mourn the loss, but I always felt silly. This was, after all, an unplanned pregnancy. One that happened when I was at an age that trying to raise a child would have quite possibly been disastrous. And before I lost the baby, I never even knew I was pregnant. I guess I felt that I didn't even have the right to place myself in the same category as women who lost babies they had been trying to have and had grown to love.

Flash forward to a few days ago. I am still in contact with my boyfriend from back then, and with our friend that joined us that night. They are both Facebook friends. Last week the boyfriend went to see Depeche Mode play, and he posted about it on FB. This led to a discussion about the 1985 concert. And I found myself sitting here crying.

Maybe things are compounded by the fact that I find myself 43 years old, yet single and childless. Childless despite an overwhelming desire, for as I long as I can remember, to be a mother. I don't really have much time left to reasonably become one, and this is something that constantly haunts me. Lately, I have begun to mourn the possible loss of a chance at motherhood. And I have had to face the fact that the baby I lost might have been my only chance at being a mother. Perhaps it doesn't help that the HS boyfriend now has 2 kids, 2 beautiful daughters, and when I see pictures of them I wonder how similar our own child might have been.

So here I am. I know I have every right to mourn the loss of that child. And to mourn the loss of all he or she might have been and meant. Yet, I have no idea how to even begin. So I thought I'd start here, by publicly acknowledging that this baby existed, and by publicly calling myself that child's mother. I am sorry I never got to know this child, never got to fight through being the teenage mother to him or her, never got to sit proudly at a graduation or wedding or become a grandmother to the children that child might have had by now. It is the only step I know how to take so far.