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Surviving A Death That Never Lived

by Dr Deborah M Vereen 8 days ago in body

A woman can recover from the trauma of a hysterectomy.

Surviving A Death That Never Lived
Photo by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash

My Backstory Is My Introduction

The life-giving flow that constantly and recklessly gushed from my being during my young adult years always reminded me that the hope that gave life was losing its grip. Like a scary nightmare that I could not escape, it haunted me. And it chased me relentlessly.

That was not always the case.

There were happy, playful moments that filled my spirit with anticipation as I looked to the future during my early years. I had beautiful plans to be a mother. From my earliest beginnings, I imagined how it felt to carry a baby inside my body. I know the towels and shirts that I used to stuff under my shirts and into my pants that produced the silhouette of what would be in my future did not compare to the feeling of the child growing inside of me that I had always hoped for. As I also practiced the pregnancy waddle that I observed pregnant women walk, I imitated the perfect pregnancy stride. I perfected it with one hand holding my lower back. Laying on my bed, I also practiced and perfected the pushing and breathing that I used to see on television. I had my dolls, too, and I had a lot of them to practice loving and caring for my future baby.

Little did I know that the make-believe play of my early youth and the dream of biological motherhood that I had would eventually dissipate into the sad realization that forced me to embrace what would never be.

As time began to quickly tick away during my young adult years, my hope for motherhood did not synchronize with my true existence. I lived a life complicated by the reality that I found love many times but reciprocal love did not find me. Since I have maintained the belief that marriage precedes pregnancy, my only option was to fill my mind with faith, hope, and patience as I lived my live.

Suddenly, without prior warning or advanced preparation, my health began to deteriorate. My uterus became filled with several fibroid tumors that ranged from very small to very large. It was alarmingly abrupt and shocking. All the medical procedures including surgeries, treatments, oral and intravenous medications, and the blood transfusions that I went through within a few years only prepared me for the inevitable. I was forced to decide if hoping to give birth to the child I saw in my future was more important than choosing to live. That’s how serious my condition became.

I made the choice to give up my battle to maintain my ability to create life. The steps that led me to give in, to concede to defeat, was a harsh road that I was forced to travel. Sadly, I reached my destination and had a hysterectomy.

My age does not matter because I was young enough to conceptualize hope and old enough to understand what hopelessness meant. I was young enough and old enough at the same time. The time that I dreaded came. Like attending a funeral of a loved one who had passed away and needing to be ready for the day of the final goodbye, I was ready on that day to release my dream. On the morning of my surgery, I was ready to peacefully let faith and hope die. And death visited me that day.

The Steps of My Journey

By Andre Benz on Unsplash

Surrounded by a world that was existing in life-giving vibrancy and haste yet sustained by peace and happiness, I was forced to walk a cold and isolated road. I was forced to carry the heavy burden of sorrow alone as my very real feelings remained obscure to others. I wore my emotions like a cloak securely insolated so no one knew the weight of my struggle. As I lived my life which others were likely to consider fulfilled, blessed, and prosperous, I was preparing for death. I left no footprints behind on my difficult journey that could have been perceived as emotional residue.

Since I was always a strong woman who kept others uplifted, I never let anyone see my weakness. That was an unspoken expectation. I walked the most difficult journey of my life. I walked through the stages of death.

My Stages of Death

1. Denial - My doctor tried a lot of innovative treatments to preserve and heal my uterus and remained hopeful for some time. As the successful procedures were complete and my body was healed, I was encouraged to hurry and try to have a child. Since I was unmarried, that was not an option for me due to my religious beliefs. Sadly, the time came when the same supportive doctor told me that no more options existed. There were no more experimental treatments to try. I had to choose between keeping my deteriorating uterus in my deteriorating body or staying alive. My physical condition was so bad that I was slowly dying. When I refused to believe this news, I began seeking non-traditional and alternative forms of medical attention. These treatments ranged from taking various nutritional supplements in massive doses, acupuncture, massage as well as spinal alignment therapies, to special body cleansings including one that pulled impurities out through foot soaks. While I refused to believe that a hysterectomy was imminent, my emotions changed as no relief was found for me. It was at that time that my denial ceased.

2. Anger - I became mad at myself and made at God simultaneously. There was a part of me that was angry for being the kind of woman who honored child-bearing after marriage. I was filled with irritation for not getting pregnant when I was able to. Then, I blamed the Lord. I quoted Biblical scriptures to Him during prayer reminding Him of His applicable and specific promises to me. Back then I became resentful of the concept of holiness because I believed it failed me. As my anger slowly subsided, my mindset shifted once again.

3. Bargaining - I tried to broker deals with the Lord by declaring that I would become a more devout and hardworking person if He would preserve my uterus. I sowed financial seeds into ministries in exchange for a miracle. Promises were among the bargains I made, too. For example, I vowed to change my eating habits, exercise more, and lose weight. Sadly, there was no compromising regarding my health. Despite the bargains that I made, I continued to grow sicker as time passed by.

4. Depression - The sorrow I struggled with spoke for itself. I desperately wanted to be assured that I would be able to remain fertile to become impregnated when the time was right for me and the spouse I hoped for in the future. I read motivational books and listened to uplifting songs and sermons to no avail. Feeling sorry for myself did not help, either. The truth was that my uterus could not be healed or preserved. Keeping it was no longer an option.

5. Acceptance - As if a power source had suddenly turned on within my body, acceptance flooded my being. I finally came to terms with the extreme seriousness of my health condition. It was at that time that I decided how desperately that I wanted to live and remain healthy. My acceptance was fueled by my extreme exhaustion. I was tired of rushing myself to the emergency room where I was personally known by name for treatments, I was tired of all the procedures and surgeries I needed to receive, and I was tired of being so sick. Once I accepted what was best for me, I scheduled my final surgery. As I walked into the hospital early on the morning of my life-changing surgical procedure, my heart, mind, and spirit were filled with peace that exclusively came from the Lord. I remember waking up from my successful operation with a smile on my face because I immediately felt much better. It was as though energy and positivity had been miraculously poured into my entire body. The very deliberate smile on my face was boldly communicating how ready I was for my life to move forward.

There is much more to my narrative.

Life After Death Became My Miraculous Reality

By Mustafa Omar on Unsplash

After I had my hysterectomy, I continued working as a school administrator in a highly diverse region. Poverty, trauma, violence, and family distress were normal within the lives of most of my students. A high rate of parental incarcerations confronted nearly half the student population. Additionally, more than one-third of the students enrolled at the school neither started nor ended the school year at that building because transiency and homelessness percentages were considerable. After realizing how desperate conditions were within the homes and communities of my students, I developed an unconditional love for them.

My love for my school children needed to be a tough kind of love that came from the depths of my caring soul because they needed to become survivors in their cruel and unfair world. They needed to become resilient. I was a protective principal who wanted my students to become responsible and contributing citizens to their community and world. I wanted my students to overcome the evil hand of life that was erratically dealt to them.

This love built a capacity within my spirit and soul to open my heart and life wider to fully embrace one unfortunate child. That capacity grew and rekindled my hope to become a mother to an orphaned child. This capacity ignited my authentic passion to give more love to a child who needed me to be their mother. I was determined to make this my new reality.

After all the required personal, legal, and financial preparations had been fulfilled, I adopted my beautiful baby daughter when she was two months old.

Dr. Deborah M. Vereen is shown with her infant daughter. This picture captures the moment they first met.

All the desire I had to be pregnant with my child was overshadowed by my heart filled love and anticipation at her arrival that I could not contain it. I was filled with the same emotion that a mother who had delivered her child through birth had.

When I saw my precious baby laying on the sofa at her foster mother’s home waiting to meet me, her forever mother, I rushed to her, fell on my knees, and cried genuine tears filled with the purest form of joy that I have ever known. At that moment, all the dreams I had in the past became my new reality and purpose. I became the mother of the most perfect little human being God could have ever created and gifted to me.

Being A Mother Is My Happily Ever After

Dr. Deborah M. Vereen is pictured with her daughter.

I have remained the single parent to my gifted, thoughtful, kind, and sweet daughter. There are not enough beautiful words to describe her.

There has been no need for me to look for the love I once looked for in a husband because the love that my daughter and I once needed has been found. Being her mother has made my life and her life complete.

At age 15, my daughter is a hardworking student who aspires to become a surgeon in the future. The path that she aspires to take to help accomplish this academic and professional goal is by becoming a collegiate gymnast.

My daughter developed a sustained love for gymnastics from the age of two years old. I am blessed that I was able to retire early to remain devoted to her development as a student who is regularly cyber schooled and a gymnast as well as a decent human being.

My Final Thoughts

By Jeffery Erhunse on Unsplash

I dedicate this story to women who lost their ability to bear children.

May the words that I share release healing and hope. Perhaps this story which is my story will help other women translate their mournful narrative into one with a happy ending.

If women who have lost hope due to any physical condition that prevents them from becoming pregnant will simply open their hearts, they will be able to become a loving mother as I have become. Adoption will make that possible.

If your heart was deeply touched by reading this story, consider sharing it on your social media platforms. Also, please consider adding a tip to help fund my work to increase family engagement in education.

I am also a content creator on YouTube. Be sure to visit my "Ignite Family Engagement" channel to view my videos related to the role of parents in education. Here is the link:

Thank you.

This story was originally published on in ILLUMINATION-Curated.


Dr Deborah M Vereen

As a mom, former family and consumer sciences teacher, and school administrator, I write about parenting, family, and education topics. Visit to view my work as a family engagement influencer & my YouTube channel!

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