It was 11/11/2023. I was expecting my period and it didn’t come. Normally my cycle is 25 days, so essentially I was 5 days late. I had noticed on days 25-29 that I had symptoms of my cycle coming, but it wasn’t showing up as expected. Then on 11/11, I had a dream of a healing hand reaching over me and touching my left ovary. That’s when I knew. My cycle is no longer coming.
I had been anticipating the cessation of my menstrual cycle for the past few years. And since I’d turned 50 in December last year, I figured it was close to the time I’d be out of the menstrual phase and entering the crone years.
I just didn’t expect to feel this way. I’ve read people’s stories on the internet about one of the physical symptoms of menopause being overly emotional. I’m wondering if the emotions are less about hormones and more about the grieving process of letting go of one’s youth.
I find myself having feelings about the first time I started my cycle when I was 11 or 12, when my father asked my stepmother if starting my cycle meant I needed to wear a hat, like the Mennonites in our small Idaho town. My menstrual phase began with shame from my father and continued for the next 38 years filled with mostly the same shame that originated from him.
I think about my childhood before I began my cycle and how I spent those years longing for the love of my father and never receiving it.
I ask myself if I did what I should have; if I lived my life the way I wanted to; if I’m happy with the experience I had. I’m grieving the pain and suffering I felt as I mourn the past that will never be lived again.
I’ve been going within more in the past year or two, focusing on myself and my own healing. When I opened my shop on the Steenstraat, I had already felt guided to stop looking at things that aren’t my business and to focus on the energy and experiences that I am creating for myself. My father passed away in February 2023. I have done a lot of healing since his passing and since starting to write my book in July. I’ve had glimpses of the future when the book is complete and I’ve integrated the therapy I’ve received from writing. I imagine myself in a silent retreat from society. Quietly reflecting and enjoying simplicity of being and living.
Now that my cycle has changed and I am not missing a period due to pregnancy which is all I’ve ever experienced in the past, I am grieving the feelings of loss and transition. I can see the divine timing in all that is taking place, has taken place and will take place and I feel a sense of trusting. Trusting divinity and trusting myself.
I have nothing left to prove.
Becoming a crone is a rite of passage. One that is not decided by the woman herself, but is bestowed upon her whenever the goddess feels she is ready.