The third week of February is my least favourite week of the year. It is a week where wounds that I wish would just heal already get ripped open and bleed as if they were new. It is a week where I just want to hide and do nothing. It is a week normally filled with tears. But this year, I just feel dead and exhausted.
Whilst most people spend February 14 celebrating their relationships, or stressed out over finding the perfect gift, or depressed that they are not in a relationship, I spend it thinking of my grandma. She died on February 14, 1993. Every year, I spend that day honouring her life and wishing I had the chance to say goodbye.
Normally, I spend the day in tears. This year, not single tear was shed. Instead, there was a void. Inside of this void was renewed wishes that she would finally be buried so I have the opportunity to visit her and say goodbye in the way I feel I need to in order to get closure. Inside this void was anger and resentment over being the only family member not allowed to visit her in her final days. Inside of this void was a building animosity towards those were not cheated in the same way that I was. Inside of this void was a self-loathing as I thought that I was being petty and not doing the memory of my grandma justice.
Every year, I would write a letter to my grandma or I would blog about her. This year, I didn’t. I just didn’t know what I could say that I hadn’t said already and I didn’t want to repeat what I had already said because it was just too painful. I thought I would point people to the audio of some of the things I had already said about her but I thought that would be in poor taste. I now regret not re-sharing with the world how wonderful this lady was and why she was the most important person in my life.
So, please take the time to listen to some of the poor attempts I have made at sharing who this lady was, the person who shaped most of who I am today. Click the clips below to listen.
And today is the seven year anniversary of my hysterectomy. I’m still not exactly sure why it bothers me so. The fact I once had a uterus never defined who I was. In fact, I hated the fact that I had one. If you discount the fact that it was nothing but a source of physical pain and torture for 16 years, some of that pain resulting in emergency medical treatment and exploratory surgeries, the mental anguish of having female reproductive organs was more painful than the constant bleeding, cramping and cysts.
I never hated having a vagina but I did hate having a uterus. But hating my uterus caused other sources of mental anguish because it allowed me to have children. Being a parent was the only thing I ever really wanted to be when I grew up. I didn’t hate pregnancy. In fact, pregnancy agreed with me and being pregnant was the healthiest I had ever been, so it was a relief. I just hated the necessary organs that made pregnancy possible.
When I was first told that I would have to have a hysterectomy, I celebrated, even though I was given this news around my 29th birthday. I stopped celebrating when shortly after I was told I had only a couple of week to mentally prepare for it. I went numb. Then, as I was being wheeled into surgery, the flood gates opened. And again, it wasn’t because my uterus was about to be removed through my vagina that had me upset, it was because I had just turned 29 and I felt broken and worthless because my body was behaving like that of an old person’s. It was also in the first few years of my lupus diagnosis and it was just one more absurd thing to happen to my body after years of absurd things. I had someone leave me due to these absurdities and I was more concerned over the fact that, in my mind, it was just one more reason to get rejected.
Yet again, I felt like an entitled cow. I couldn’t reconcile the joy over having this organ that I loathed removed with the pain of feeling broken and discarded. To this day, I still can’t.
Every year, I hope that I can finally come to terms with these two losses. They are the only losses in my life that have had a profound impact on me. They are the only two losses that I’ve yet to find a way to grieve them properly.
Maybe I need to learn to accept the fact that it is okay to be angry about both of them.