Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"no, no kids yet"

*sigh* i have read the books, and heard the people say that there will come a time in my grief journey where i will come to a cross roads in determining what to answer when people ask me the question "do you have kids?". i kept that in the back of my head, all the while thinking that i most likely wouldn't be one of those people. as painful as that question has been, i have always found myself answering truthfully. as much as i stammer through the answer, i do answer correctly. until today...

in my last post i mentioned that i had gotten a flat tire {effin' tire!!!!!! sorry, i'm still a bit mad at the world}. well, i drove the car over to the dealer to get a new tire. but they are short-staffed, so because i didn't want to sit there and wait {because if i sat there and waited, i would have to be reminded of the last time i took my car in WITH JULIUS and how we sat in the waiting room and watched tv, and i bounced him to sleep, and later feed and changed him.  and how we had so much fun together even though we were *just* waiting for my car to be serviced.} i told them that i would leave my car there as long as they needed it, as long as i could get a ride to work. so they paged their driver, and a few minutes later, i was on my way to work.

a minute or two into the drive, and i can tell this is not going to go my way. he was a talker, and was asking questions. i managed to deal with the chit chat. i even thought that i was about to dodge the bullet that i knew was going to pierce right through my heart. and then came the following series of questions, and i knew i didn't stand a chance:

Him: "do you have any family here?"
Me: "no, just me and my husband" {here is where i think i've evaded THE question}
Him: "o, so you're married? how long have you been married?"
Me: "umm, 6.5 yrs."
Him: "you like married life?"
Me: "umm, yea"
Him: "ANY KIDS YET?"
Me: "no, no kids yet"

we actually pulled up to my building as i was answering the last question, so i quickly jumped out of the car and ran fast toward the front door. i feel so so terrible. not because i denied that i have a child to a complete stranger. i feel terrible because the fact that i had to deny that i have a child today to this complete stranger speaks volumes to me about how i'm doing today. the fact that i didn't even have the strength to utter the words "yes, i have a child, but he has passed away" tells me that i really am not doing well today. i knew this morning, after one of my "grief bursts," that it was going to be a tough day. but i thought i was feeling a bit better. i thought i had pulled myself together enough to be able to handle the rest of the day. i guess i was wrong. sometimes i really feel like i'm damned if i do, and damned if i don't.

if you are out there reading, would you mind sending up an extra prayer for me today. i'm thinking i might need them to get through the rest of the day, especially since this guy is going to have to pick me up to take me back to the dealer...

**update: thank you guys so much for your prayers. a dear friend, and coworker offered to drive me to the dealer to get my car this afternoon so i wouldn't have to deal with, as another friend put it, "chatty charles."**

30 comments:

Denise said...

Sending you lots of good thoughts and prayers. The "how many children" or "Any kids yet" questions are by far the hardest. I remember practicing saying it over and over in the car whenever I had could to build the strength, and I still can't answer while looking in someone's eyes. I always look away. I hope your day gets better.

Rebeca said...

sending you so many prayers, love, hugs, kisses, warmth and thoughts. today and always. i love you, tiffany.

Elaine said...

Oh sweetie, I'm so so sorry. Please, please don't feel guilty about this. I understand a bit about what you're feeling. Right after Brielle died, people would always ask when I was due. When I said March, their eyes always bugged out of their heads and they always asked, "Is it twins?" For a while, I answered truthfully too and I would explain about Brielle's passing and still having to carry her for Evie's sake. Then I started just saying, "Yes, twin girls." You don't have to explain it to a complete stranger. Honestly, i think most people really don't want to know or wouldn't know how to handle it if they did. Please don't feel guilty. You have to do what you have to do to survive each day and there's nothing wrong with that. I will definitely be lifting you up today sweetie and please know that you are so loved! Love you honey. Hang in there and I'm only a phone call away if you want to talk about it, ok? ((hugs))

Wendy said...

Saying a prayer for you!!! That question will always be an akward one to answer. At this point in MY grief, I can say that it's a little easier for me to answer. I simply tell them I have a child in heaven. I have a hard time saying he passed away and I sure can't say the D word. Never have been able to. But it's more akward for them because they feel bad for asking. Again, at THIS point in my grief, 17 months later, I enjoy telling people about him because he is such a huge part of my life. We all deal with grief differently and it does change over time.. some days better, some days worse. Hang in there and remember you don't owe anyone anything but being yourself! HUGS!!!

Angie said...

Ugh, those questions are the worst. There are definitely times and situations where it's just too hard or doesn't feel right to explain. I can't say it gets easier because it doesn't really, but I've gotten more comfortable with myself and giving myself permission to answer it however feels right at that moment. But, like everything else, it's a process and really just takes time to get in that place. Don't be too hard on yourself.

Sending you thoughts and prayers that today gets easier.

Megan said...

Oh Tiffany, I have ran that conversation through my head many times. How many kids do you have?

Do I say three, and deny Savannah's rightful place AS one of my children?
Or do I just muster four, and leave it at that. After all, they probably don't REALLY wanna hear about me afterall...
Or do I do it. Do I say four, but one passed away. Leading to devastation on both parties involved. Me and the questioner.

I WILL be praying today, as I do everyday! <3
All my love today and always!

Kristin said...

That's the worst, Tiffany. I HATE when I can feel *the* question coming. I seriously get all hot and sweaty and nervous and like I am going to throw up. Lately, I've just said, 'no' because it's usually asked in front of multiple people, and I don't want to have to get into it (or cry) in front of them. It's such a lose-lose situation. Either your day is ruined because you have a big melt-down in front of strangers, or your day is ruined because you feel guilty for 'denying' your child all day. :(

Sorry you're even having to deal with this. I sound like a broken record, but it's so, so unfair.

Love ya!

Rachel said...

Praying so hard, sweet girl!

Susan Hamilton said...

Praying for peace and strength for you.

Deanna said...

Said a prayer for you! Sorry you're having a rough day. :(

paula said...

you are in my thoughts and prayers...

Michele said...

Praying for you everyday, I will say a few more today.

Deanna said...

Thinking of you today, praying for you always, and remembering sweet Julius.

Brock and Shana said...

There is immense pain with feeling you denied the existence of your child. A friend of mine once told me that I shouldn't feel bad if I had to do it sometimes in able to not fall apart, the people who mattered knew the truth and it didn't mean that I loved my baby any less at that moment. I'm praying for your strength every day. Much love to you.

Jamia said...

Extra prayers for you today, Tiffany. I hope your day gets better and that you can find some joy today. (((HUGS)))

Mary said...

I know this won't seem true, but this question does get easier to answer. 18 months ago when somebody asked, I would just cry or not answer. Now, I can strongly include Gage in this answer. But I still HATE the way people look at you when you answer truthfully. It's a terribly moment and I am so sorry you are having to go through this. Something that helped me (and this will sound silly) is that I can up with a standard answer that I give everyone. It's like a little sentence I have memorized and when someone asks how many kids I have, I just automatically say it. It kind of makes it less out of my control if that makes any sense. But I know none of these things make it better. I am sending lots of hugs your way today. Feel free to write me anytime. Love, Mary

Jessica said...

Extra prayers for you for sure! Sorry that you are having a hard day. (((hugs)))

Angie said...

Tiffany, the first time is always the hardest. I've started just being honest and if it makes them uncomfortable that my son died, then that's their problem.

I'm sending you all my love and strength and praying that God is able to ease your sorrow today and give you comfort.

xo

Rhiannon said...

((hugs)) I am so sorry that you had to be put in this situation. I am praying that your day gets a little better and that they send a different driver to pick you up today.

Tiffany said...

oh tiffany! i am so sorry you are having a bad day! i too fear this situation! i never want to allude that ellie didn't exist but sometimes just don't want to get into it with a stranger... sending you good thoughts and strength today!

Our Journey said...

Thinking of you. I hope the rest of your day is better!

sarah said...

Sending prayers up for you.

We had this exact thing happen to us today (well, not the car, or the tow truck, but the exact question and the exact response.) And as soon as it came out of my mouth, my heart sunk, it felt like a betrayal, to my son and to myself...

I know why I did it - it was easier, I was talking to a stranger, it was almost reflexive...but it's made me feel sick all day.

Marie W said...

Sending up prayers. I too have said "no" to that question. Not because I am denying them, but because I was protecting my fragile heart and as not to burst into tears. One question usually leads to another if I say yes and here comes the waterworks! You did not deny Juju, you were simply protecting your heart. {{HUGS}}

Brooke said...

I know there is no answer to that question that doesn't hurt. Sending prayers and love your way.

Missy said...

It's a little late, but sending love! I've started answering that question with "I'm not comfortable discussing that?" I don't care where people's mind go when I say that.

My New Normal said...

I just found your blog through some other blogs I follow. I am so sorry that you are having such a tough time right now. I still say no when asked if I have kids. For me it's not about denying my son, it's just to protect myself. I am worried that I will burst into tears and not be able to stop.

So go easy on yourself. I also have a lot of places I can't go back to just yet. The most recent is the yoga studio where I did my pregnancy yoga. I really want to go back but for now it still has too many memories. But maybe someday I'll be strong enough to go.

Tanashia said...

Tiffany, u are in my thoughts & prayers.

Jenny said...

Tiffany. ((hugs))

The very first time i was asked that, I stumbled. I said just one. I bawled and bawled after that I swore I would never do it again. I don't care how awkward it is. I don't care if means I might tear up for a minute, I will never again say I only have 1 child. When people ask I say I have a 6 year old and 18 month old that will forever be a angel. Sometimes they ask me to explain and sometimes they dont. You are in my my thoughts today

rebecca said...

Ugh, I'm so sorry...I HATE that question too. It's the worst when you can tell it's probably coming and you can't avoid it yet don't know how to reply. Impossible situation, I'm so glad your friend was able to take you.

Leanne said...

I hate those days and the questions that come with them. Sending you a hug honey!

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