As often happens, this video takes a bit of discussion.
I ended on more of a dark note last week, but it's important to keep in mind that that story, that happened a decade ago. Much of the drama of it has faded, has passed... although there is still more to unpack.
That was the opening salvo of what I call "Hell, part 2," but my Global Leadership instructor would call another "Crucible." And so, to be leaders, we are called to identify the lessons we learned in those crucibles, and begin the process of articulating them, telling those stories, in ways that can help to teach others going through the process.
I don't know that I'm to that point yet, on this story. I don't know that I have it in a coherent, lessons-learned format.
I do want to add a caution, from a post a year ago, about Inspiration Porn, because those "inspiring stories of coming through the crucible" can readily be just that.
So, building on that event ten years ago, my theme song for that November was "Wake me up when November ends." Wake me up when 2005 ends.
Because what do you do, after a grief like that?
You breathe. You put one foot in front of another. You live one day after the next. You look for something to work for, or towards. You might bury yourself in your work... or you might have trouble getting out of bed. It is different for everybody.
Also, recall that that was a double-grief for me. First I lost my grandfather, and then within days I lost my pregnancy.
You need to be careful, reading this. I know that many anti-abortion activists want to list mental health issues as a risk after abortion, and that's not medically factual. For many women who don't want to be pregnant, they have no regrets about terminating a pregnancy.
And I? I do not regret living. As much as my adolescent self thought I would sacrifice myself for the potential child... an ectopic pregnancy happens too early, at the wrong phase, I was the only one who *could* survive that situation.
NPR did a great article on Pregnancy Loss, more specifically miscarriage, last year. I'll come back to it again in this "series."
So the official music video to this song is not specifically relevant to my story. But what I didn't mention, last week, was another complication.
Because when all of that was happening, my sister was in Tikrit, Iraq. She was an active-duty Army Officer assigned to accompany the New York Army National Guard... and our grandfather's change in health came about the time that her units were returning to the U.S.
My parents had contacted the American Red Cross to get a message to my sister. I don't know the details, the main thing I know is that, as an officer, she was (partly?) responsible for coordinating the return of the troops - and was supposed to be one of the last to leave.
I don't know the details. I've picked up a bit, second-hand.
I think this part may go back to our Brat heritage, that we were taught not to show emotions. In fact, I can clearly remember that the quickest way to lose an argument with my father, was to shed tears. If I was going to cry about it, then I was not going to get it.
And so, my sister was doing her best to stay on-task and professional in her difficult situation. To not show how badly that she wanted to get back to the states. Except that her superiors weren't getting the message.
In fact, it reminds me of the discussion from MIT that I watched five years ago. The links appear to have aged out now, but this report seems to capture some of that discussion. Specifically, about how resources were allocated differently to men versus women. When women asked, they were 1) less likely to be heard, and 2) less likely to be supported.
Was that what happened to my sister, in the Army? I don't know.
She didn't make it back to the states before Grandpa passed away. She barely made it back in time for the funeral. I think Mom brought her by my hotel room that Sunday, probably after the Visitation.
Anyway, this was the song for that season of my life.