I feel the ebb and flow of the grief in my heart, hear the roar of the sea in my ears. By this time, I had expected to be pregnant with my second surrogate baby, but instead, I am nearing a year without my uterus. I had a path, I was walking and enjoying the view and happy to be headed where I was headed, and now that door is closed.
The door is closed.
But there’s a part of me that can’t believe the door is closed. I keep walking past it, trying the handle. I keep rattling it, making that all-too-familiar sound of a solid door, bolted. I lay my hand on the door and feel the unshakable barrier between me and the path I thought I was on.
I thought that I knew where I was going.
The truth is, we cannot know where we are going. At any given moment, something can change. Our lives can spiral away from where we hoped to go. We find ourselves feeling cheated, shocked, angry, flailing at the universe, at God, at our loved ones. Asking over and over again, how could this be happening?
But how could it not be happening?
Everything that happens to us – every single thing, no matter how insignificant or momentous, is a gift. Every moment. Every event. Every person. Those things you plan for – and those things you don’t. The highs, the lows, the in-betweens.
The people you love and the people you hate all wear the face of the Divine – I do, you do.
Do you know what this means?
This means we are never alone.
We are all connected.
My pain, my grief, my emptiness – is not mine alone. Somewhere there is a woman who will never have a child because I was not able to bear that child for her. She grieves for what she will never have just as I grieve for what I lost.
And, bigger than both of us, the Great Spirit grieves for our broken hearts. We are held and loved with a tenderness we can’t even begin to comprehend.
We are all held with love and tenderness.
Even when we feel alone, even when we feel despair.
Even when our hearts are breaking.
Even when we hate the universe, the universe loves us.
There are times when I am drowning in the grief, when I’m so weary and sad that I can’t even raise my head, when I feel isolated. Times when I feel singled out by the universe, picked on and made to suffer endlessly for no reason. I have days when I can’t write a single word, so heavy are my sorrows.
There are moments when I stand in defiance, right outside that door, and I twist and turn that knob, screaming and railing against the injustice of my loss. Moments when I can’t believe I’m on the right path anymore, when I feel like the door was put there just to hurt me, when all I want is to go where I thought I was headed.
And then, something happens. A glimmer of hope catches my eye, and I turn my head. Right here, under my feet, there is a path. If I let my eyes drop from the door to follow the path, I see that there are hundreds of twists and turns. Hundreds of moments where I wanted to go left, but was forced right.
Hundreds of closed doors.
Thousands of closed doors.
And all the while, my path is here, under my feet. I can’t step off it. I can’t go in the wrong direction. I can’t be forced or cajoled or baited. I can’t be pulled or pushed or knocked off course.
I can wish for open doors. I can rail against the closed doors.
Or I can learn that the doors were never open in the first place. They were too far in the distance for me to see – but they were always closed.
The right doors, the doors that take me not where I want to go, but where I am meant to go, will always be open.