Hey Lou Writes

The Grey Matters

This is What Grief Looks Like (I’m Exhausted)


For the fourth year in a row, I won’t be able to announce a pregnancy during the holidays. That was my stupid pipe dream, my light at the end of the tunnel, my thing to hold on to. My dream that I was willing to risk a whole lot for.

Now that dream is over, and I will enter the holidays with a flat stomach, an aching heart, and withered spirit.

I want to keep this post short, and not so sweet. This is what grief looks like, for me. I can hardly write. I can hardly think straight. Most days are survival days – though I am always able to laugh and love and find some moments of quiet joy. The sorrow I’m feeling is so encompassing, it’s hard to adequately express. It’s the deepest pain I’ve ever felt or imagined feeling.

I don’t know if the loud wails or the curled up silence are more indicative of what I’m feeling. Perhaps it will always fluctuate, meeting toward the middle a little more each time I let the pain out.

For now, I am leaning toward distraction in every moment. Fully experiencing the pain of our final failed fertility treatment was more than I could bear. I allowed myself to feel it, and I would have died of exhaustion if I had let it continue to overtake me. So if you see me, you’ll probably see earbuds stuffed into my ears, a podcast playing. Or you’ll see me embroidering, knitting, painting, or organizing some silly drawer that I don’t actually care about. I’ll be doing normal things, too. Taking my stepkids where they need to go, supporting them, and cooking dinner for my family that I love. I’ll survive this, but I’ll never be the same.

I considered throwing HeyLouWrites away altogether. I feel like a phoenix who is still deep within the ashes, not really wanting to rise up again. Just let me be, I want to beg and plead. Right now I don’t want this heartache to be for something. I don’t want a redemption story. I don’t want the death of my lifelong dream of motherhood to have some glowing other side – I want it to be the awful reality that it is.

That might not make sense to you, dear reader. It might make perfect sense. And hopefully one day, I’ll feel slightly differently.

I’m changed forever, and there is now a sore spot in my heart and soul that I know won’t go away. I’ll build around it, I know.

I am someone who loves support and friendship. I have many in my life who have been in my shoes and get it in a way that I am so thankful for. Others have no clue whatsoever. But what I can tell you is that I don’t need anyone ever telling me to hold onto hope. I don’t need advice on how to adopt and then magically get pregnant. I don’t need anyone to tell me how sometimes it takes more than 4 years and a series of treatments to get pregnant and maybe I should try one more time. What I NEED is love and time.

So I did what I know how to do….. I cut off all my hair to symbolize a new chapter. I slept a lot (and still just want to be in bed all day, most days.)

And I’m finally doing what I didn’t know how to do… allowing my husband in and leaning into the warmth of his presence. I’m not letting blame and jealousy have a seat at the table – not anymore. I’m softening my edges and telling myself over and over that I am loved. And I’m believing it.

Love Lou,

Who can still smile

Author: Melinda Haas

Melinda is a writer, blogger, artist and teacher. She lives in Wisconsin with her family.

12 thoughts on “This is What Grief Looks Like (I’m Exhausted)

  1. Love you.

  2. Hey Lou,

    Katy from Chasing Creation. Just wanted to send you some love. I remember vividly the days you’re describing. I know how profound your grief is and just wanted to send some warm vibes your way.

    Also, there’s a book called “Journey to the Dark Goddess” by Jane Meredith that’s my favorite for grief.



  3. sending love to you

  4. Job’s friends, Eliphaz, Bildad and Zophar were at their best when they wept with him…and sat silently with him in his grief. Your insight is holy… and ancient.

  5. Dearest Melinda, no words, but know that I send my love, you are so in my thoughts. Rest now.

  6. I am feeling your pain. If you feel like just visiting call me. Sending our love and prayers. CL & Karen

  7. Deep grief and joy can co exist in the same person. Grief is draining, and the splashes of joy help you know that you can learn to live with the grief. ( I don’t want to learn to live with the grief, I want things to be all better) Talking about the grief is important, too. when you feel it, say it. I’ve had it with people trying to ‘be strong for others’ through the grief. What good does that do? I’m sick of platitudes. I’m truly sorry for your real and deep loss. I wish good things for you always.

  8. For whatever reason, these are the only words that provided any kind of respite to me in my lowest points. Maybe they will help.
    β€œEven in our sleep, pain which cannot forget
    falls drop by drop upon the heart
    until, in our own despair, against our will,
    comes wisdom through the awful grace of God.”-Aeschylus

  9. Pingback: Ode to Arrowhead – Israel and Melinda

Tell Lou What YOU Think!