No, I don't mean that fear-inciting moment when you realise it should have happened 2 weeks ago...
Two years ago, I started the menopause - about 15 years before I expected to if it had been natural, which affects around 5% of women. I had no choice. But one benefit, I had thought would be never having to have a period again.
I had terrible periods: lengthy, leaking, painful, draining. Every single month. For 22 years. There were short times when for hormone induced reasons (fake menopause, and the myrenna coil) the symptoms reduced but later on even the added hormones couldn't keep my period at bay.
Who would miss that?
But recently, for the first time since my hysterectomy, it happened. I suddenly felt a loss for this monthly menace. I missed the blood and regularity of a cycle that reminded me time is passing, and more importantly of my biological sense of womanhood. And it's something that isn't talked about very much.
I guess it makes sense not many of my peers would talk about menopause yet, as it's too early for them, but we never talk about periods either. What they mean to us as women, and all the things they relate to, such has bearing children. Perhaps the grief was more about losing that biololigcal ability, because, really who would want to go through the periods I had suffered even one more time?
It's strange to think that something so unpleasant and painful for many is the flipside of the joy of creating life. And losing one means losing the other.