Today is Worldwide Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance day. Obviously this is close to my heart and I am sure many others. Do you know that 1 in 4 mothers experience miscarriage, stillbirth or infant loss? That is a lot. I have always wondered why it is such a “taboo” (for lack of a better word) subject. When I lost my son it was like people came out of the woodwork telling me they had a miscarriage or stillbirth. The florist delivered some flowers to my house one day that someone sent me and told me that both she and her daughter experienced a stillbirth. When I lost my son I was working at the largest clinic in my town as an appointment coordinator, so when I went back to work I had tons of people coming to my desk giving their condolences and I was surprised to hear how many of them had been through something similar. But there are also people that really think “it” shouldn’t be talked about. What the what?
I just can’t wrap my head around why no one talks about this subject. I get the whole thing about not knowing what to say. (I am the worst when it comes to saying the wrong thing or having things fly out of my mouth) But for God-sakes say SOMETHING. I mentioned that I had a lot of people give their condolences but I also had people flat-out avoid me or even quit talking to me. I didn’t and still don’t expect people to know what to say but they could have at least talked to me. You don’t even have to talk about what happened just talk about the weather or mutual interests. When I would be at work or in the grocery store I would have people turn to avoid me or zip down a different hallway or aisle. I mean what the crap is up with that? It made feel like I did something wrong. I wasn’t asking for hugs and condolences I just wanted to be treated like a normal person. Even saying hi or some kind of weather we are having would have been fine. Except there were those people who avoided me like the plague. My first day back to work I had three male co-workers come up to my desk. The first gave his condolences and said he was happy to see me back. The second and third talked to me about everyday stuff like fantasy football, work and the weather. I was very happy that they came and talked to me and treated me like I was a normal person not someone with a festering sore on her face.
Yes I may start crying if you bring up my son but you did not say the wrong thing. I might be crying for various reasons. Reason #1: I miss him. Reason #2 I am happy you felt comfortable enough to talk with me about it. Reason #3 Sometimes it doesn’t matter what day or time it is I just cry about it. Reason #4 I DON’T need a freaking reason!! Now there are some people who do say the wrong thing. I had it happen to me. One incident sticks out in my mind like it happened five minutes ago. That woman was not very smart and I don’t think she even realized that what she said was very offensive. So if I do start crying try very hard not to feel bad. If what you said didn’t make me cry I probably would have cried that day anyway. A lot of the times it’s not what people say that makes me cry it’s that I was just thinking about him or maybe I was going through his pictures that day.
Now I know there are people who are just so uncomfortable in sensitive situations it makes their skin crawl. I get it but you don’t have to treat me like I was just diagnosed with some type of contagious disease. Just smile, say hi and move on. Or don’t say hi just walk past me instead of taking another route.
No one person is going to understand exactly how you feel. Everyone is different including your spouse, family and friends. One person said to me after I lost my son “Welcome to the club that nobody wants to be in” That couldn’t be more true. I sometimes kind of feel like I am in a “club” or something. I have made some good friends since losing my son that otherwise I probably would have never met or talked too. We all have one thing in common we lost our child or children. I would rather be in a club where everybody wet themselves or something but this is the “club” I was forced into membership for life. That’s right I said for LIFE. Some people think that after it’s been a couple of years you should just get over it or it “gets easier” I on the other hand think that as time passes I learn how to live with my loss and deal with it better. Like this year for my son’s Birthday we had a balloon release. Best idea I have ever had in the history of my ideas. His Birthday became a little more of a celebration instead of a sad day.
Sometimes you run into those people who have the audacity to say things like “She isn’t upset enough” or “She isn’t crying enough” To those people I say “How in the world do you know what enough is?!?!” Everyone is different, if we were all the same life would be pretty boring and everyone would have the same job and wear the same clothes. When you have something happen to you sometimes you have to be strong even if you don’t want to be. I wanted to crawl under the covers and never come out but I HAD to be strong for me, my family and my son. I didn’t want Mason to look down on me from Heaven and see me in my pj’s bedridden for days. Don’t get me wrong I had my days and still have them but I try my hardest to get up and put on a happy face.
Now there are those people in my life that are so wonderful and I probably don’t tell them enough. People that went running to my side instead of turning away. Those people are special. If you have them in your life keep them and keep them close. For example the nurse I had the day when I had Mason was wonderful. She is one of the most awesome people I have ever met. She was with me all day, she stayed late to be in the delivery room and shortly after. She was the one that discovered he wasn’t breathing anymore and she was the one to bring me my son for the first time. Never once did she say the wrong thing to me. I wish I would have expressed to her more what a wonderful nurse and person she is. I even told her I felt bad for her having to deal with me all day. She just smiled and said no problem. Now that is a great person. Of course my friends and family were wonderful and have been to this day. They brought me food, books, treats and were there for me when I needed them most.They gave me memory stones and angel figurines and other mementos.They also listened to me and hung out with me when I didn’t want to be alone.
Sometimes I know I need and I think other mothers need to know that other people think and still think about the child or children that they lost. It’s nice to know that your child is still remembered by people other than yourself. It always fills me up with a great feeling when someone says “I stopped at Mason’s grave” or “He brought so much joy” Because you know what He Lived sometimes people forget that. He lived in my belly for eight months and he brought me a happiness that I had never experienced before. So if you know someone who has lost a child or children light a candle or give them a smile today. That might just be the thing they need 🙂