I was chatting to a workmate at the photocopier the other day. She is in her 20s, gorgeous and successful and one of those people who you can’t imagine bad stuff happening to. She told me she was taking Friday off to spend time with her Mum. I asked her if they were planning to go shopping or do anything special.
She smiled and said that she wouldn’t. She was just planning to spend time with her Mum to give her Dad a break. She said her Mum has advanced alzheimers and barely recognises those around her and can’t be left alone on her own.
How heartbreaking is that? To lose your Mum/wife so early is a tragedy. But most people I know have something very sad in their past. My cousin lost her Dad to a heart attack when she was 25. Another friend was raped when she was 16. Another dear friend lost his life to skin cancer at the 32. And several other friends were sexually abused as children. My aunty lost her son and two husbands to cancer. Goodness knows how she has coped but she did and is ever bright and positive about life.
My personal tragedy has been coming to terms with never having our own biological child(ren) due to my premature ovarian failure. My eggs are absolutely had it – there are just none left. No amount of IVF will ever bring them back.
But I have come to realise that I don’t have the monopoly on grief – no-one does. Everyone has something in their past. Knowing this has helped put my sadness into perspective and made me grateful for my fortunate life filled with opportunities and experiences, my wonderful husband and our lovely extended family plus the great friends we are lucky enough to have.