Wednesday, November 9, 2016

On the Loss of Hillary Clinton

Hello Friends. I thought it might be worth acknowledging that for some of us, today unexpectedly may be one when our grief related to our infertility, pregnancy losses, and babies’ deaths is acerbated. For many of us, the loss of an expectation, particularly when it comes to something very personal and emotional, can bring our grief flooding in and out of us. While losing one’s Presidential candidate cannot be compared to the loss of one’s baby, for some having to say goodbye to Hillary Clinton will evoke similar feelings associated with experiencing a baby’s death—the loss of a hoped for future, the loss of faith in humanity and God, and the loss of a piece of one’s self. We bumble around trying to make sense of what went wrong, how things could initially seem so hopeful only to end in unexpected despair, and how we will ever move forward when our resources are on empty. Many of us have endured so much suffering in relation to getting pregnant because we have dreams of all our children will do for others, for the difference they might make in this unjust world. We hold tight to the hope that they can do anything they desire. The loss of Hillary Clinton as our next President is the loss of the dream that our sons and daughters will grow up knowing that they can indeed be anybody. We grieve the fact that our children are living in a world where sexism, racism, classism, ableism, and heteronormativity are rewarded and a dedication to a life of service to others is not. As some will question our grief after losing our babies with their “good thing you were only a few weeks along,” their “at least you can get pregnant,” and their “God has a plan,” our grief over the loss of our candidate too will be echoed with, “Why are you so upset? She’s such a liar,” “She represents the governmental machine,” and even our own will slap us with, “Think about all those ‘abortions’ she supports.” As these utterances about our babies only serve to further inflict pain, these comments about Hillary Clinton only remind us that those who say them simply do not understand what it is like to lose someone who has become so much a part of us.

Some may be appalled and disgusted that I have the nerve to bring the experience of losing a baby into conversation with the experience of losing Hillary Clinton as the next President. Indeed, the two are not the same. However, I caution against dismissing or shaming those of us whose grief and pain surrounding the deaths of our babies is on high alert today because of the election results. To do so suggests that our grief must exist separate from the context of our everyday lives and that the political is not highly personal.

As those of you who follow my blog and research know, I work tirelessly (sometimes to a fault) to find redemption in the face of the tragedies that have graced my life. When I am ready, I know that I will find the glimmers of hope in letting go of Hillary Clinton as our next President. I will find comfort in all the work the millions of Americans, including my children in heaven and on Earth, will do to make the world the kind of place I dreamed for us all. In time I will allow President-Elect Trump space to try to prove me wrong. But for today, I extend myself compassion as I come to grips with the pain of losing a dream for the future of my children and all those in the world who are suffering.