The house had a seashell room.

The entire ceiling of a bedroom was decorated with a mosaic of seashells and mirrors.

Picture frames made of shells.

Lamps filled with more shells.

Glass tabletops filled with even more shells.

Then we found the moldy boxes full of seashells, at least four of them, buried in the basement.

They loved seashells.

As we cleaned out the house, we threw them all out, along with their years of painful hoarding and our years of three lost babies and a lifelong dream.

Reminders of the Past

And yet, we see seashells every day.

And, I feel my lost babies every day.

The shells continue to come up in a certain part of the yard.

And, my scarred heart and soul ache and yet, feel whole every second of every single day.

Both like a buried treasure, that isn’t worth much and yet is a constant reminder of the past.

Just like every day moments or comments in my life that are constant reminders that I will never be a mother; will never quite fit in, will always be considered not whole, will always be judged and pitied.

Because, I am not a mother with living children.

And yet, I am more whole than I have ever been through my recovery from infertility.

Just like the every day reminders that I must practice my recovery: working on self care every day, reaching out and asking for help, doing the things that help keep me healthy and practicing courage, compassion and connection. Because, I am recovering from infertility, scarcity, comparison, anxiety and depression.

And yet, I am whole in my practicing recovery from these, and from myself.
Our buried treasures of our past, of our losses, traumas and tragedies, will never stay buried forever. We will always have emerging seashells in our lives.

Embracing Our Past

I guess this is where practice comes in. We must practice to use these reminders for us rather than against us. That they are not there to haunt us forever. But, rather to remind us of where we’ve been and how far we have come.

Within the buried treasure we can find our whole.

Within the buried treasure we can embrace it all.

Within the buried treasure we can be found.

Because, the buried treasure of losses, junk, gold, seashells and all, is our story.

Our story of the work of recovery.

Our story of the work and practice of our ever upward.

*To read more about my story, my recovery and Mason House make sure to pick up a copy of the soon to be published Ever Upward: Overcoming the Lifelong Losses of Infertility to Own a Childfree Life.*

If you found this post enjoyable, inspiring, helpful, hopeful, interesting or even infuriating 😉, please take the time and the chance to share it through your social media! More shares means more eyes, means more people helped and the message heard on a wider scale. Thank you! Justine

13 thoughts on “A Buried Treasure of Emerging Seashells

  1. junebugmo1949 says:

    I love the comparison — the seashells turning up, and the pain of loss turning up when you least expect it! Excellent!


    1. Thank you Patrice!! Been thinking of you! ❤ J


  2. michele rost says:

    That was beautiful, as always! Thank you! It’s nice to hear that it’s okay to still grieve and think about my grandson, while I work on MY recovery. It seems that everyone just wants me to forget he ever existed, or else I’m dwelling on something (or someone) I am supposed to forget. It reminds me of an old saying, that I try to go by in tough situations, you need to go through something instead of around it. My family has always been big on ignoring the elephant in the room. I try to acknowledge it, deal with it, and then move on.


    1. Thank you so much Michele for reading and commenting! We move through, not around and not sit in! J


  3. raphaela99 says:

    Reblogged this on Hummingbird Redemption and commented:
    A stunning piece on infertility and the road to healing.


    1. Thank you so much for sharing this to your readers and for your kind words, amazing! Justine


  4. Healing Grief says:

    A friend of mine once told me “You are what you decide you are” it can be victim of circumstance or a brave warrior who embraces the unknown. I remember those words when I’m feeling a bit sad in life and know, that your world may not have evolved as you thought, but its evolving as it should. You are an amazing person.


    1. Karen, Thank you so much for these words and for taking the time to read and comment! As I say to my clients, we must choose to not be defined by the things that have happened to us or our mistakes. Thanks again, Justine


  5. Jane says:

    I like the thought that I need to use these reminders as for me rather than against me. It’s difficult thinking I might have these ‘shells’ turning up the rest of my life. But I know that it is a real part of life & if I embrace the whole it works so much better.
    I like the thought of shells being just the shell. It’s empty because I’ve moved on. I’m healing.


    1. Jane, Thank you so much for reading and leaving these kind words. And, I love it, you are right, the shells are empty, just the reminder! Justine


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