Freedom From a Bathroom Cabinet
Have you ever felt overwhelmed by your burden of grief? I posted earlier about the 10 year anniversary of the end of my active infertility season. A decade ago, after my third and final miscarriage, I cried uncle.
Sobbed and mourned and eventually took baby steps on the new path opened up by God. (Ironic, right?)
Yesterday I had a phone conversation with a younger relative who is also a close friend. She commented on how she has seen and heard a new side of healing from me in the last few months. I realized she was right. The milestone of events (my dad passing, fertility pursuit ending, motherhood dream dying) provided an awakening for me.
In that moment, I recognized that 10 years is enough.
10 years later I have passed through so much grief over what will never be. I still have moments that take my breath away with the pain of “nevers” but the pangs are now brief and occur less frequently. It is time for me to fully embrace the future and move forward with purpose.
Today I opened a cabinet in the bathroom and a half-used bottle of lotion fell out. I had some extra time and decided to do a general clean out. As I looked over the wooden shelves, I noticed the long-neglected infertility corner on the bottom—miscellaneous treatment items that had been quietly taking up space.
For 10 years I have reached for items beside and above the boxes of medicine, the unopened syringes, and other leftover infertility paraphernalia that has cluttered my cabinet and life.
I became so used to seeing them I didn’t see them any more.
This morning, as my gaze fell on that corner I thought back to my yesterday conversation and something clicked. I immediately began a total clean out of that cabinet. As I went through the shelves and threw away old lotions and sunblock, recycled old boxes of hair gadgets and products, I kept glancing down at the corner of my painful past.
Then I stopped and reality hit.
As long as I avoided the expired infertility corner I would never be free of it.
The time had come.
I gathered up all of the supplies and put them in a bag to take to the pharmacy for biohazard disposal. As I threw each package in, my internal load lightened bit by bit. When I let go of the last item I felt momentarily and completely unburdened. I felt the invisible infertility chains clatter to the floor.
Never in a million years would I have guessed the freedom found in disposing of the medical reminders of the years of pain, disappointment, and loss.
I will never “get over” not being a mom but I can take charge of how the loss affects me and not let the loss enslave me emotionally, physically, and spiritually. God doesn’t want me paralyzed in pain. I was created with a purpose and my life has meaning. The longing for my motherhood dream will never disappear completely but it can be redirected.
The corner of my cabinet is now bare and I feel a freedom I haven’t felt in a very long time.
(When have you faced a time of freedom from your burden of grief?)