Grief Handbook, Part IV

My mother desperately wanted grandkids of her very own.

She had numerous godchildren, as I’ve mentioned before, and she loved each of them so much.  They loved her, too–it was impossible, I think, not to love my mother–but of course they had a different relationship with her than I did.  All godparents do, of course, because we can return the child for the hard part of parenting.  We get to be the fun aunt or uncle, in some sense, responsible for the religious education, true, but mostly for the fun.

My husband and I have been coming to a decision for some time now, and as it stands, right now, we have decided to remain married without children.  I thought for a long time I wanted to have children, but now, some part of me wonders if I wanted what my mother wanted.

That’s the problem with grief, you see, is that it haunts every part of your existence.

Of course, there is the other part of grief, the “guilt” part of it, and deciding to remain childless is flooding me with guilt.  It’s not what my mother would have wanted.  But it’s not what I want, either, at least, not right now.

A friend recently told me, upon my announcement that I was going to “cut all of my damn hair off,” that one shouldn’t make major life decisions the first six months after a major loss.  But of course, I feel like that’s all I have been doing, because I want my life to have order.  To have meaning.  To create calm from the chaos.

It’s all chaos, inside.  All of it, raging, all the time.


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