The truth is that losing a child is not "a problem". It's not "one of the bad things we all have to face in life". It's not comparable to any other loss anyone can experience. Period. When you lose your child, you lose a part of your heart and soul. They are not replaceable, they are not forgettable, they are not something to get over. Once your child dies, you are forever changed.
Yesterday, lots of people had lots of comments about my grief and my desire to protect myself from further hurt. Some were helpful and loving, others were only focused on the way my grief affects them. What I don't understand is that I wasn't telling anyone to change or to be unhappy. I was saying I needed to remove myself. Why was that hurtful? I have no idea. I'll never understand why people complain to me about how my grief if affecting them. I have never once told anyone they have to read our story or be a part of our pain. If you choose to read this, that's up to you. I'm always appreciative of people who care. If you don't like what I have to say about our life, then stop reading. Why, instead, go I get people telling me how I should or shouldn't be feeling and/or acting? I don't get it.
What I came away from the FB debacle with is this: most people I know don't get it. Most people are more concerned with how I treat other people than with how I'm feeling. Apparently, it's worse for a person to unfriend you than for a mother to lose her baby and need to distance herself from other new parents. The people about to be unfriended were defended, while I was made out to be hurtful, mean, and unable to move on. That's messed up. I guess it's too hard for people to realize that babies die and mamas hurt. I guess it's easier to speak out against their pain than face it. What boggled my mind was that many of the most offended people don't even have new babies! They were never going to be deleted to begin with. (Although I can't say they are not on the cutting room floor now...)
When your child dies, you learn a lot about life really quickly. You have a new and more real view of life. You know the truth. Most people think they have control over their lives. But you only think you have control until something happens outside of that control. Then you realize you never had it to begin with. This is something I know now.
When people say to me, "everyone has problems", I realize they don't understand. To say that losing a baby is a problem and everyone has problems, is to reduce the severity of the situation. It minimizes it so they can handle it. Yes, everyone has problems, but this is not a problem. This is the death of our loved and wanted child. This is the loss of our reality, our dreams, and our beliefs. It's also, apparently, the loss of much of our former support system.
Yesterday left me feeling sad that people are so caught up in their own little issues that they can't find compassion for people who are truly hurting. Yesterday left me ever more grateful for the people who have stood by us, no matter what.
I'm also grateful for the new friends I've met in the babyloss community. The ones who understand immediately and, despite their own pain, are more than willing to love and support us when we need it.
I heard a little story the other day that illustrates this perfectly:
- This guy's walking down the street when he falls in a hole. The walls are so steep he can't get out.
- A doctor passes by and the guy shouts up, "Hey you. Can you help me out?" The doctor writes a prescription, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
- Then a priest comes along and the guy shouts up, "Father, I'm down in this hole can you help me out?" The priest writes out a prayer, throws it down in the hole and moves on.
- Then a friend walks by, "Hey, Joe, it's me can you help me out?" And the friend jumps in the hole. Our guy says, "Are you stupid? Now we're both down here."The friend says, "Yeah, but I've been down here before and I know the way out."
I love this because it's so true. Parents who have lost their children hurt the most, but are the first to actually help when it's needed. I love that and I'm so glad I have made these new friends, in person and online, to help me.
Today, I'm thankful for a couple things.
1. For babyloss parents who support me when no one else understands.
2. For my true friends who have stood by us even when they don't understand. It takes a special kind of person to say I may not understand, but I'm going to try. I appreciate those friends.
Today, just like every other day, I miss my baby and love him endlessly.