T o My Dearest Friend,
Life thrust us into the same situation. You were there before me; while I was waiting to meet my bashert, you were already journeying, trying to achieve the goal we all want to reach after marriage.
Finally, I met my wonderful husband and on my wedding day, you were in my tefillos all the time. I had no clue what it meant to wait for children but I understood that it’s painful, and I did not stop davening for you. At my mitzvah tantz, when I cried for my own life, you were foremost in my mind.
I innocently believed that within the next few months we would both be en route to parenthood. Little did I know that my blissful dreams would be shattered, that month after month would became year after year. You, too, remained in the same situation as the years went on. I turned to Hashem, crying to Him, begging Him to help you and me. I cried into my pillow late in the night.
More time passed, we started going down the medical route, trying other alternatives. Our hopes rose and then fell, as month after month, the answer was negative. There was pain, sorrow, the bewilderment of a life that wasn’t following the prescribed course. We worked on emunah, on strengthening our connection with Hashem.
“You’re so strong,” people comment. But what do these people know about being strong? I’m not made out of stronger stuff than they are. To the world, I look just fine, I smile and my chatter is carefree, but my heart is shattered, full of unshed tears. Being strong is a full-time job; it takes lots of self-talk and emunah to be able to forge onward, focusing on your unique path in life.
Throughout all of this, though we didn’t share much with each other, you were a silent anchor, another ship journeying on the same confusing and frightening sea. I never uttered a tefillah for myself without having you in mind as I’d think, if this is my pain, how much greater your pain must be. I eagerly waited for the day you would tell me good news.
B’chasdei Hashem, that day has arrived. You shared the news I was so waiting to hear from you. My heart filled with happiness.
So why am I writing?
I’m overjoyed for you, my dear friend, thrilled that you’ll soon be a mother. Yet I want to tell you that once you’ve stepped over the bridge into that glorious role, you are no longer in my situation. The memory of the immense pain will forever be lodged in your heart, you will always be sensitive to those still waiting, but you are not journeying anymore. Baruch Hashem, you have entered a new realm.
If you see that I’m not in a responsive mood or that I’m unhappy, don’t ever think that I begrudge you. Just remember that I’m still living with the ups and downs of infertility. A world of painful procedures that drain both body and soul. A world in which it sometimes takes great effort to simply smile and go about daily routine.
If I seem distant to you, please don’t take it personally. I may have had a difficult day and I’m angry at nobody and everybody. Anger happens; it’s part of the grieving process. I may be asking that painful question of Hashem: “Father, when will it be my turn?”
As friends, we’ve been through much together. Please continue to be my friend, give me the space I may need, and the understanding in your heart that I’m still hurting, working to accept my situation. And with Hashem’s help, hopefully one day soon, I’ll have some wonderful news of my own to share.