Guys are typically more stoic than their female counterparts. We all know this. We expect it sometimes... but there are other times when grief bursts forth like a raging torrent - consuming all in it's path. Maybe that's a bit dramatic, but in many ways it can adequately sum up how it feels when it happens.
I guess there have been a couple of things to deal with in this Oddyssey of mine when it comes to grief... How do I do it? Why is it that there are times when I seem to need to grieve but it feels so inappropriate?
I've recently been musing to myself, and a few close friends, about this and phrased it like this..."How do you grieve for something that has never been?". We all instinctively know how to grieve for a loved one that dies for instance, but I would argue that this is no different. Granted I have never known the children that we've never had, but the emptiness remains... If someone dies then we hold a funeral, and the grieving process is expected and encouraged, but this grief goes unnoticed by many - those that know can appreciate that there are times when those of us struggling for infertility just want times to ourselves, but I've found that it's only really those who have been there who are truly able to identify with this hidden grief.
I recently had one of my staff at work approach me because the father of one of her friends had died, and she wanted to travel out of town to be there for her friend at the funeral. I had no problem with allowing this, but it got me thinking - since our first failed IVF treatment I haven't taken a day off specifically for the purpose of dealing with that grief. Should I have? I don't know.
Sure guys deal with grief differently - in some ways I don't think we deal with grief very well at all. For some of us it's simply a matter of survival - it is by no means because we don't care! I hope that I have been supportive enough of Sarah during this process - but there are times when the grief inside is like that raging torrent I mentioned earlier. As guys we need to find a safe outlet for that, because there are many way in which we could unleash it which would be disastrous.
Personally there are times when all I want to do is sit back and cry. Sob my expressions of grief and longing to God. Because only he can TRULY understand what I'm personally going through. There are other times when to be honest I think I'm just down right clinically depressed. But God has been faithful and I know that during the roughest storm of grief God has always been the light of steadfastness which has seen me through. Some may consider that a crutch - to be honest with you, that's fine with me. I need to make it through this and I think he's the only way I am going to make it. We all have to have a foundational statement on which to base all of our other beliefs - for some it's scientific method, for others it's God. Personally I think when testing the theories and theologies of the supernatural - scientific method comes gravely short of being able to qualify or quantify that realm.
How do I deal with grief? I think I internalise a lot of it. I think a lot. A lot of what goes on in my head is much more emotional than can be put into words or expressed in the usual sense. But I think that this blog and other journaling I've done has been useful as an outlet for that raging sea - so that it's less likely to spew forth and consume anything and everything in it's way.
Of course I'd be interested in reading how any other guys have/are/plan to deal with this type of grief process. And I also think it's useful to have female input on this to because you gals have got this thing so much more sorted out than any of us guys so don't be shy to comment or point out other blogs were this is dealt with.