Moving On?

One of the most interesting things I’ve encountered since the loss of our child, is the notion of moving on.

When an adult passes, you don’t tell their living loved ones to “move on”, right? No one told me to move on when my sisters passed. No one said, “It’ll be ok. It’s the past. Think about the future.”

Yes, that last statement was said to me in reference to our child. “It’s the past. Think about the future.” Mind you, it has literally been a few weeks since our loss. I couldn’t believe I was being told it’s the “past”, as if it had been a year or longer. And even if it had been a longer period of time, WHO SAYS that!?!

I know people mean well, but it is amazing to me how many times I’ve heard words that were far from encouraging and/or comforting. It’s as if there’s this strange thought that because a child wasn’t born alive, that it didn’t matter at all. Or because no one else saw the child, it just didn’t exist.

Another odd thing that’s been said to me, is that I look “stoic” and that “I’m holding it together pretty well”. I mean, what do these people expect me to be like exactly? Look, I’m not the type to be in a state of perpetual tears. That’s not how I grieve. If others grieve that way, that’s perfectly fine. But apparently, that’s what’s expected from me. If that was the case for me, I probably wouldn’t go anywhere. I really don’t like to cry in front of people I don’t know (that’s just me). (Full disclosure: My DOCTOR, whom I think is awesome, made the stoic comment. I was so taken aback, I just said, “I’m just staying in prayer” and moved the conversation along. But really doc?? Really?? And she really is so great, but that comment was no bueno.)

Please realize:

  1. Our child existed to me and my husband. I felt her moving every day. We saw her during ultrasounds. She was a person. She wasn’t a figment of our imaginations.
  2. I understand you’re trying to comfort me (and my husband). But be mindful that our loss is fresh. It is still at the forefront of our minds. And it will continue to be there for quite some time. When someone close to you passes away, you aren’t expected to just move on and accept that their passing is the past immediately. For me, grief doesn’t work that way.
  3. Remember everyone grieves differently. I may seem strong and resilient on the outside, but trust that I’m not that way all the time. I have my good and bad days, which is totally fine.
  4. BONUS: Don’t be afraid of me/us! I know not everyone deals well with people who have recently experienced a death of a loved one. I’m not saying you HAVE to talk to us if you truly feel uncomfortable. But if you want to talk to us, talk to us! Don’t be scurrrrred. 🙂

And finally, about telling us we can have another baby…

Real talk? I don’t know if I’ll be able to have another child. Remember, you don’t know what it took for us to have THIS one. (Thankfully, we conceived naturally, quickly and without issue.)

Now I know this not what anyone wants to hear from me, but I’m a realist. Yes, we’d like to have a child one day, but I’m being honest in saying I don’t know if it’ll happen again. I’m 37 and I’m susceptible to this same situation again. Of course, the next time around, none of those factors may be an issue. Women have children all the time at my age (or older). And I may not have preeclampsia at all next time.

But… nothing is guaranteed.

Of course, I pray that we can conceive naturally and quickly again, but…I’m a realist. I’m VERY, VERY positive…but I have to be real with myself. That’s just how I roll. 🙂

Long story short, I know that all of our close friends and family want the best for us. You want us to have what we desire. It’s completely understandable. I get it and we appreciate the love (we REALLY do). But I just had to put this out there as a way to make people think before they speak to someone who’s lost a baby. It doesn’t matter if it was a miscarriage or stillborn, a loss is a loss. The parents will not forget and will not move on easily. And even if they would like another child, understand that they will have some fears the second, third or fourth time around. And that’s ok. Fear is natural. For us, I know that with much prayer, our fears will disappear and our faith will take over. 🙂

-t

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2 thoughts on “Moving On?

  1. First, a big warm hug to you and Stephen.
    Second, girl…. I hear you…and not because I know exactly what you’re going through. But, I have been in situations where a person expected me to deal with [insert stressful, tragic circumstance here] in a particular way, or at least “look like” I’m dealing with it in a particular way, and I did not appear to be dealing with it in that way, so I got the “wow, and you’re so…” kind of comment. What I’ve learned (and I’m sure you know too) is that people project their inner world onto others all the time and at no time does this happen more than when an emotionally charged situation arises. I think people are speaking with at least decent intentions when they do this, but I also think that in doing so, they are speaking and acting without empathy. And while empathy isn’t required all the time, I would love it if people would recognize when they are unable to empathize and respect that I’m dealing with it in my way.

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