I came across this quote the other day. It so perfectly describes this terrible ache that is adoption loss, even though Lawrence is describing the after-effects of war.
“And dimly she realized one of the great laws of the human soul: that when the emotional soul receives a wounding shock, which does not kill the body, the soul seems to recover as the body recovers. But this is only appearance. It is really only the mechanism of the re-assumed habit. Slowly, slowly the wound to the soul begins to make itself felt, like a bruise, which only slowly deepens its terrible ache, till it fills all the psyche. And when we think we have recovered and forgotten, it is then that the terrible after-effects have to be encountered at their worst.” ~ D.H. Lawrence, Lady Chatterley’s Lover
Losing my daughter was a wounding shock to my soul, but it did not kill my body. At times I have wished it would have. Even now it is difficult to accept I even have a right to exist because damn it – I gave my beloved daughter to strangers. Who does that? God of all the heavens, WHO DOES THAT???? Oh yeah. Me.
As I re-assumed the habits of my life, it only appears that my soul healed. I have become ridiculously adept at maintaining the appearance of achievement, of success, of wholeness. But the woundedness of my soul and my heart remains: bruised, tender, broken. Nothing and no one prepared me for the lifetime triage that is adoption. Nothing and no one prepared me for the ongoing river of tears that seem to have grown more intense with each new child, with each passing year, as I have come to a full knowledge of what I did to you, to us. This is the bruise on my soul that slowly deepens its terrible ache.
Most days I can see a path to healing and wholeness but some days, like today, I am not able to see as clearly.
My only prayer today is that she is doing as well and that maybe she will be smarter than me and get help sooner than later.