Before I even started thinking about what college I wanted to go to, I knew I would never attempt to join a sorority. Not putting down those who did, I just always knew that wasn’t going to be a thing for me. I knew I would be bad at it, actually, and didn’t have any desire to test those waters. In retrospect, it’s kind of funny: our grandmother was the epitome of a sorority girl at her time in college, but not a single one of the granddaughters ever went that direction. Anyway, I do have a point to this, promise.
When we lost the baby, several other women who had gone through this reached out, which I really appreciated at the time, because on top of the monumental grief I also felt pretty isolated — like this was some kind of secret I had to keep but also get through in a specified amount of time (thanks, society). One of those women followed up with another message apologizing for trying to relate her experience to mine, because when she had gone through it she remembered being really irritated when people did that. She didn’t need to apologize — I appreciated hearing her story. [Side bar: I would appreciate hearing anyone’s story, so if you have the need or want to share yours, I’m here to listen]. And then she said: Your hurt is your hurt. This is not some sort of horrible sorority. Which made me laugh and cry simultaneously.
It isn’t a sorority — but it is a group that is bound to each other. A group no one wanted to join. Women who, whether they know each other or have even ever met, are connected by this loss. I’m not discounting the maybe-daddys, they are irrevocably affected by losing their baby as well, but right or wrong women experience it in a different way, because we were growing that baby. It is an amazing thing, to be growing a new life — but it makes us feel extra responsible for whatever happens. It makes us afraid to attempt something so miraculous again; because if we don’t know what went wrong the first time, how the hell are we supposed to fix it?
It isn’t a sorority — but it’s changed my perspective. I know things now that I never wanted to know. I understand a level of sadness and grief and loss that I never wanted to understand.
It isn’t a sorority — but I am so amazed and in awe of all the women who go through the kind of pain that is unfathomable to most people, and then pick themselves back up and show the kind of resiliency and strength and perseverance to try again and again and again; whether that effort goes towards creating a life, or enriching a life though fostering or adoption, or carving out a life for themselves that they never imagined before.