Monday, December 6, 2010

Life isn't fair. Or is it?

D and i have been talking a lot about our future lately. things like: where do we go from here? how many {more} children do we want? how many years apart do we want to space them? how will we parent our subsequent children in light of what has happened? it is the last question that caused us to stop and have an even more serious discussion...

when he asked me if i thought i would treat/parent our next child differently. i said "yes" almost immediately. i think he was a bit taken aback by my response. see, i actually have no regrets about how i parented Julius. when we were together, i was dedicated to being his mom. i gave him all of me. i loved on him every second i could. i never got frustrated with him. i may have been tired, and stressed at times but i understood that he was a baby and that all he ever wanted was for me to meet his basic needs. and without hesitation i tried to do just that. but there are certain aspects of how we parented that will have to be changed/adjusted because of what has happened. there's just no way to go through a loss as profound as this, and not change *something* - your way of thinking, what you plan to do in the future, etc. you are forever changed.

and then he, very sincerely, asked me if i thought it was "fair" to our next child that he/she be parented differently. and then *I* was taken aback...

is it fair?? that question infuriates me these days. that is a question that i have asked out loud every.single.day since october 12th. was it fair to me that my 4.5 month old perfectly healthy baby boy be taken from me?? a mother that devoted herself entirely to him. a mother that would have given {and still wants to give} her life to keep him safe {or now bring him back}. a mother that planned, and prayed for this little boy. a mother that loves him wholly and completely. is it fair to me that i have lost my innocence? that i now have to live with the harsh reality that bad things can and do happen to us?

is it fair that there are women all over the world, good loving women, that have to endure the horrible fate of losing their babies?? the ones that they have planned for, and that they have prayed for.

is it fair that there are people out there that choose to abuse and neglect their children who do not have to suffer this terrible loss?? that they can just take their children for granted with no consequence.

please don't get me wrong, i am not trying to say that i think *anyone* should have to suffer the loss of a child. but it is very hard for me to watch the news these days and see stories of child abuse and neglect and not be filled with rage. it just makes me scream out "it's not fair. Lord, this is SO not fair"!

then i think about that phrase "life isn't fair," and i try to be apathetic about the whole thing. i start thinking that i should just give up hope because no matter what i do, i'm going to lose in the end. i start thinking that there is no one watching out for me, so what's the use in trying. i start thinking that all there is is suffering - all i'm going to endure is suffering for the rest of my life. why even get out of bed?

and then i start to sink deeper into that hole of sadness...

i struggle with this thought process constantly. some days i have the strength to remind myself that while, yes, losing Juju was NOT fair at all. i was given a beautiful son, who was absolutely perfect in all of his imperfections {even though like a typical mom i wouldn't be able to list any of those imperfections}. even though it's not fair. i do have a wonderful hubby that has shown through this whole ordeal how devoted he is to me and his family. even though it's not at all fair. i have some wonderfully compassionate people in my life {new and old} that have come to my side so that i do not have to walk this road alone. even though it's not fair. i do still have the chance to add to our family and bring the joy and happiness that Julius brought back into our lives. even though it's not fair at all. i am still here and do have more to offer this world.

yes, life has moments of being so very unfair. but it also has moments of being overwhelming fair, and happy, and full of love and light. it's not easy for me to see that love and light through this patch of unfair darkness. but i have to attempt to remind myself that it is indeed there. when i'm on the ground being kicked in the gut by life. i have to attempt to pick myself up. i have to attempt to move myself forward. not for me, but for Juju and D...

20 comments:

Abigail said...

You are an awesome lady- thank you for sharing with us all...

Curls O Fred said...

thinking of you as you and D try to figure out what steps to take from here on out. ((hugs))

Trena said...

Thank you for sharing this - this post really spoke to me. I am dealing with "fairness" issues a lot right now. ((hugs)) ♥

Mike said...

I love you tiff!

Kweku99 said...

Amen Tiffy... your last two paragraphs are paramount! Keep it up.

Tiffany said...

I know exactly what you're saying. Losing Genesis has changed the mother I am to my rainbows. How could it not? I don't like that saying either... Is it fair.... It has nothing to do with fairness (to me) how I parent my rainbows. It's neither fair nor unfair... It just IS... If that makes sense. It's not like being a different parent is somehow depriving my rainbows... It's not, it's just different. The only thing they are deprived of is having their big sister here with them. I think it's great that you and D talk about these things though. So many times we close ourselves up and lack this very necessary communication. Sending you love!!

Lindsay said...

None of it is fair. I struggled so much with this, too. I became so angry because I serve a "just" God, but I didn't see the justice in losing my healthy baby boy. I didn't see how it could be fair. I still don't, and I don't think I'll ever have a resolution to those feelings. I eventually stopped asking because I realized that I would have to accept that God's timing and purpose is perfect....even when I can't see it. (And believe me...I still struggle with that...every day. I'm still working on trust.)

It's completely normal to feel the need to do things differently with subsequent children...especially after losing a child to SIDS. Sleep habits, the way you feed them, milestones....everything will be analyzed and overanalyzed by you. After we lost Ayden, we knew we could never put another child in daycare or leave them with anyone else for an extended length of time until after they were a year old. While I try to believe that it would have happened no matter the circumstances, part of me still believes that if I had been home with Ayden, it wouldn't have happened. But then you get into the whole, "but then you wouldn't have Collen...."...and then it just gets too complex. Anyway, don't worry about whether or not new parenting styles and choices will be fair....because I know you will love that child just as much as you love Julius. You will provide for, nurture, and support that child just as you did/do for Julius. If you do things differently, it's because you need things to be different or you're just trying to protect them in any way you possibly can. Do what is right for you. :)

Jen said...

anytime 'fairness' is brought up I want to just scream.. I feel like a child throwing a hissy fit, screaming how its not fair that my child died..and its not, at all, its not right, and certainly not natural.. however all we can do is try..one day at a time, some days are harder and trying to move is not an option, I personally, allow myself those times, to grieve my loss, to miss my baby girl.. I accept defeat for the day and try harder the next day.. so don't feel bad or guily if ((every now and then)) trying just isnt enough.. be gentle.. thats my advice anyway.. xoxo

Rachel said...

Thinking of you, Tiffany!!!

Denise said...

No matter what anyone says or believes, I do not think it is possible to not parent a subsequent or surviving child differently after the loss of a child. You cannot help it, your innocence is lost, you know the worst that can happen, you have lived the worst case scenario. And, it sucks, it isn't fair. It is not fair at all that babies die and pedophiles, rapists, murderers, and horrible human beings get to continue living. But, it is so incredibly healthy that you at least face and recognize that you will parent differently. That is what will keep you from crossing that invisible line in the sand between healthy and unhealthy. Sending you lots of hugs.

Angie said...

Just an FYI for when the time is right, there are books for rainbow babies/subsequent children out there to explain everything. We bought it for our rainbow baby and it explains everything simply without going into too much detail "Mommy and Daddy fell in love and wanted a baby, Mommy got pregnant and loved talking to the baby, "But then something happened and their very special baby died"...so it works for all kinds of situations (It's called "Someone Came Before You").

None of it is fair. Hang in there.

Megan said...

This is a rock, just waiting to be broken into stepping stones. <3 Juju WILL always hold that spot in your heart. Each day a little more healing will come to you mommy!
Always praying for you my sweet Tiffany!
Megan

croleyc69 said...

Thinking of you so much. {{HUGS}}

Caroline

MELISSA said...

You are such a remarkable woman! I know you think you are not strong, but you are the essence of strength. For: not giving into the temptation to stay in that dark place and fighting your way to the surface, for being able to even fathom that there is still good in the world, for truly honoring your Julius in so many special ways to keep his memory alive...

I agree with you 110%. I cried hard at the injustice of it all when the SAME day little Julius was taken, a really horrific local story broke about a "mother's" heinous act. How can these two things happen simultaneously in this world???

I don't know any answers, but I am in absolute awe of the way you are carrying yourself with such grace and an unbelievably open mind through this tragedy.

Love you to pieces my friend >3

(did I do the heart thing?) LOL

Jamia said...

Beautifully written, Tiffany. <3

rebecca said...

So beautifully written! You & D are amazing parents and as the others have said it's impossible for this loss to not change who you are at a very fundamental level, but regardless of those changes you will again be incredible parents to your future children. It is a very lucky world that inhabits the children of you two because I know they will help to make this world a better place just as you both do. Love you both so much ((hugs))

Debbie said...

Thinking of you and knowing that God is right by your side.....none of these feelings catch him by surprise. You are loved with an everlasting love. I am so thankful that you have such a wonderful husband! Julius will ALWAYS be remembered. Love you my friend.

Darcel @ The Mahogany Way said...

Tiffany,I am so sorry for your loss. I will pray for you and your family. I feel horrible that I'm just now finding out.

MrsH said...

It is not fair. Not fair at all. And thinking this, unfortunately, only deepens my anger, so I try to let go of this thought as soon as it raises its head, because I know it will take me further from where I want to be: peaceful, serene, happy as much as I can.

OF COURSE you will parent the next child differently. If you had a child who burned their hand on the stove, would you not keep all of your subsequent children away from the stove as much as you could? nobody wants to relive this awful trauma. The problem is that the stove does not exist in your case, you don't know what exactly causes SIDS, nobody does, so you will look for dangers everywhere, and be paranoid. Welcome to the basket case club, I plan on belonging for the next nine months and beyond. And that is ok. It really is. We parent with all our heart, and our experiences shape us as parents, so yes, you will be different. Not worse, just different. Maybe even better. But DIFFERENT. It cannot be any other way. Gulp. Hug.

Susan said...

Try to be strong through these questions. As the oldest "rainbow" child of my parents, I can't imagine how difficult it was for them and for you and D to decide how to parent them. I remember hearing my mom tell stories about how she used to sneak out of bed and go sleep in the floor by my crib to be sure I was still breathing. But overall, my parents did a fantastic job and I don't feel that they would have done anything differently long term had they not lost their first child. Try to trust your insticts while allowing yourself to be a little over-cautious with any future children. You are such a good mom and it seems like D is such a good dad. Trust your insticts and don't let the engineers in both of you take over and overanalyze things or create a demand for too much research. Still thinking of and praying for you and D. May God continue to guide your footsteps.

Post a Comment