I’ve been quiet as I process grief, deal with the continued isolation of the pandemic, and figure out what life looks like now for me.
I’ve done some work and research on something I feel strongly about, but I was reluctant to talk about it because I had to finish sorting out my feelings before I heard too many perspectives.
My path with grief over the last 8 months echoes some of my earlier experiences, after each of my miscarriages. It’s been interesting to see what is the same with losing a parent, and what has been different. It’s been foreign to share my grief with those around me, when I’ve always felt I lived in that space alone. While I ran peer support groups, or spoke about my infertility and pregnancy loss, I often kept my most intense feelings private. I didn’t lean on my former spouse or my family back in the day. Now, I have an incredibly supportive husband and siblings who are here for all my crying jags.
I was researching bereavement work. Whether it be at the end-of-life in a hospice type environment, or in the beginning, at the moment a parent loses that pregnancy or has to endure a stillbirth; meeting your child as you say goodbye.
I have been fortunate to have some close acquaintances and friends who have shared their experiences with me – whether it’s the loss of their rainbow baby, their stillbirth, their birth trauma, their stillbirth, their NICU experience, and I realize how much grief is in that time.
I’ve been struggling with where to go as I process these feelings. I’ve also been working through a lot when it comes to the work I do. My spirit has always been involved in some kind of passion project, volunteer wise. Whether it was advocacy work or support, my heart feels lightest when I’m sharing my mind and my talents with people who might have similar experiences. While I no longer work as a sexual assault advocate, or run Resolve support groups, I still have love to pour into others.
Tearing my retina, and having to step away from the salaried chaos that was my previous job has given me time to think about what I wanted to do. While baking is a passion of mine, I’ve gotten the chance to work in a bakery now and also run my own cottage bakery. I don’t do a lot, but I enjoy what I do. However, when looking ahead to the later half of my career, and the working years ahead, baking for brides isn’t where my heart is.
I’m pursuing working as a bereavement doula. I’ve done a lot of time reading and figuring out how I want to learn, what I want to gain from it. It’s definitely still a work in progress, as I navigate how to turn it into a career down the road. I’m piecing together courses from both full-spectrum programs and end-of-life curriculums to build something that makes sense for what I want to do. I’m not sure how or when I would transition to doing it for a living, but I’m at least feeling like I’m making small baby steps in the right direction.