The thing that makes you crazy isn’t that your mother died,
or that you lost custody of your child,
it is that you can’t talk about it.
~ Motherless Daughters by Hope Edelman
It is incomprehensible that BOTH of my grandmothers lived such similar circumstances – both lost their own mothers at a young age and both lost custody of their firstborn child to adoption.
There probably was no time to really grieve for her mother in my mom’s mother’s life – there were 4 younger siblings to be cared for and the enormous labor required of any woman without servants living in the early 1900s. There were likely no words for my dad’s mother since she was an infant of only 3 months old and pre-verbal.
But what of the deeper wound ? The loss of their firstborn children ?
Who could they talk to about it ? Who wanted to hear anything about what happened at the end of their pregnancies ? Most simply wanted to pretend that none of that had happened and just move on with Life.
Yet, it is unlikely that the wound ever healed or that my grandmothers didn’t think about their lost child every single day of whatever life remained for each of them.