We know the societal norms for grieving. It helps all sides adjust to a situation of major change. Those directly affected by the loss of a family member, a marriage, a pet perhaps are given ‘permission’ through these norms to behave in a way not normally seen. Tears, of course, loss of interest in things, not feeling fully able to participate in daily life etc. Those around the affected person have guidance on how to help, through customs, rituals even organisations. After an unspecified time citizens drift back to their lives and a kind of normalcy returns to life, on the surface at least.
On the other hand, I would be treated with concern even suspicion if I were to spontaneously burst into tears or have periods of apparently inexplicable low mood. But how do I process these feelings?
I have just as much right to grieve for not having had the children I had hoped for. This is no minor disappointment. This is a deep, heavy hurt that impacts every aspect of my life. Just as much as if I had had babies. From my home life to my social life. From my finances to my health and well being. For many, too many, they feel they simply have to surpress their feelings and move on, on the surface at least.