Friday, February 11, 2011

Grieving Mother's Assistant for realsies

as each day passes i am more and more convinced that i need, as tiffany described, a "grieving mother's assistant" {GMA}, or at least a tattoo on my forehead that says, "don't ask me about my baby. seriously. don't." time heals all wounds? that's crap. it will be 4 months since i lost Julius tomorrow and the gapping Juju-shaped hole is still just as big. time heals? well in 4 months it still hasn't gotten any easier to deal with the awkwardly painful question "how is your baby?" which is what i found myself dealing with AGAIN yesterday. and the only reason that i feel i survived that question last night is because a dear friend was standing next to me, and absorbed some of that fatal blow. i'm actually pretty sure i heard the exact moment that her heart broke {thank you for being there my sweet jane}.

4 months, and it still hasn't gotten any easier to deal with the silly things people say even though they mean well. "you know you can always have another baby, right?" yes, i know {or at least i pray and beg and hope} that i can  have more children. but that doesn't mean that it hurts any less that i have lost my son, Julius. one does not replace another. Julius is gone forever from this world, from me. so, i'm sorry, but telling me that i can have more children really does not help my aching heart at this moment. and furthermore {you know i'm ticked when i start using words like "furthermore"}, it's shocking that someone can make such a bold statement like that to me. how does anyone know that i'm going to go on to have more children. no one knows that. people may truly want me to go on and have more children. they may feel like i deserve to have more children and be happy again, but they don't KNOW that i'm going to have more children. so making blanket statements about my ability to bear children in the future really really does not help. especially when i already feel betrayed by God and the universe.

yes, i really do think that i need a GMA/tattoo/note cards or something. and while i'm somehow mangaging to alert people that they shouldn't ask me how my baby is doing, i should also pass out cards about what to/not to say to a grieving mother.

this is one of my fav pics of him. he was a boy of many faces!

16 comments:

Jenny said...

I always wanted to get a shirt that says HEY MY KID DIED. Or a hat that says, do i look sad? Proabably am, my kid died. A GMA would be nice to. Its hard and im 11 months out and its still hard, but its not as hard as it was 4 months out. ((hugs))

Tiffany said...

what a cute photo of juju! I can see his personality in his photos. Such a wonderful little boy!

I know what you mean about the "you will have more kids" statement. Someone said this to me just a couple of weeks after Genesis died. I could have punched her in the face. I really should have cussed her out but I bit my tongue and assumed she meant well. But yea, i was thinking the same thing... first how do you know ill have more and second I could have 100 children but I will always be short one. They do not replace each other. And no time doesnt heal all wounds. That saying is a bunch of crap. it obviously wasnt said by a BLM. Im quickly approaching 4 years and I still have the hole in my heart and very soul. The same size. Its not something that gets "better". when will people get that. Its something that just is and it is forever a part of us. An internal scar if you will. You cant see it from the outside but you can sure as hell feel it. You feel it every. single. day. It is always with you. It will always be with you.

Im sorry Im rambling now. I send you my love as always my friend. <3

Rachel said...

Thinking of you, sweet girl! Love your sweet little man! Thank you for sharing his pictures.

Alana said...

What a precious picture!

I can relate a teeny bit to this post....I've had two miscarriages and people would often tell me not to worry and that I could have more kids. A miscarriage doesn't even compare to what you've been through.....but people say the most unthoughtful things at the worst times it seems...

I recently read the book "Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life's Adversities" by Elizabeth Edwards and couldn't help but think of you while reading. She lost her teen son and talks a lot about the grief of losing a child...

Love and light. Thank you for sharing with us.

Brooke said...

My work place wrote up a letter to distribute to parents and sent out an e-mail. Inevitably, there were a handful of parents who missed the memo. I absolutely cannot explain what happened without bursting into tears (as my poor masseuse from two weeks ago can attest to) so when I've had well-meaning parents at work exclaim, "Oh! You had your baby!" I now silently hand them the letter and then go to the bathroom and cry. It's the best I can do. Anyway, the point is that having grief-cards to distribute to anyone you met would be lovely. I haven't actually had anyone say "At least you can have another baby" to me, but the only thing I can figure is that people are grasping desperately to offer you some kind of comfort and instead of realizing there is NOTHING they could say that would make this better and they should just say they're sorry and shut up, they have to keep babbling and end up asking about another baby. Sorry that you have to face that on top of the grief you already have.

Angie said...

I think about 6 times now I've had a nurse or medical professional (even at my ob's office and high risk ob's office where they should kind of know better), glance at my thick chart and say, "Oh, so you have a little girl at home?" The last time was just a couple of weeks ago. It does suck, although I guess I've been asked so much that I've become numb to it. I'm sorry you were asked about Julius. Sometimes I wish we could wear a sign. I've already threatened that I'm putting a giant sign on my hospital room door "this is not my first pregnancy. Our first daughter died after she was born." so I don't get asked if this is my first pregnancy, ad nauseum, while we're in the hospital.

Tara said...

Hi Tiffany--I've been reading your blog for a while now, and you friended me on fb a few days ago. :-)

My son died almost 4 years ago, and I look back to those earlier days after and can't even comprehend how I functioned. How did I go to work? how did I take care of my girls? Everything is very foggy for the first few years.

Last September, about 3 1/2 years into the journey, things finally started to feel a little different, a little better (finally), not so raw, more manageable.

Right after Xavier died, my aunt (who had lost a baby years before due to a cord accident on the way to the hospital) said the same thing, it gets better over time. I really didn't believe it, but now, on most days, I would agree. Maybe it's not that things are "better" but it's easier to function, to be happy with a little less guilt, and to remember him with happiness and peace instead of just tears.

Take good care of yourself :-) the road is rocky the first couple of years especially, and SO many people ask/say the wrong things...

Love and Peace :-) Tara

My New Normal said...

I've often thought about making a button that said, "Hi, my name is ______ and my baby died so please don't ask me about him." It would be so much easier wouldn't it???

Susan said...

Can I buy one of your buttons MyNewNormal?

Although it is wonderful being pg (and nerve wracking hoping all will be well), it is especially irritating that people seem to think that having another baby will erase my daughter's death from my pain bank.

It infuriates me. Catherine and Julius and all our children were unique individuals. How can anyone imagine they can be replaced. If you have another child you will love them both - you don't stop loving your children just because they are dead.

Maybe we should help people understand by extending the same principle to them. The next time a friend tells you she is worried because
Little Johnny's speech isn't developing properly - you can say, oh well, maybe your next child will be more fluent... or they complain that Sally has done badly in her exams, you can say, "oh well - maybe your youngest will study harder"....

Rant over.... (sorry - don't know what came over me!)...

New Blogger said...

My heart hurts for you.

Emmy said...

While I will admit that I often don't know what to say to someone that has suffered so, so deeply, I can not imagine under what circumstances anyone could be so utterly stupid as to say "BUT YOU KNOW YOU CAN HAVE ANOTHER BABY?" to a grieving mother. I can't wrap my head around what on earth anyone would be THINKING to say something so completely and utterly heartless and cruel. Would someone say to a woman who's husband died "You know you can find another man, right?" OF COURSE NOT. I just don't understand how someone could say this to you.

I'm so sorry you had to hear that.

Lisa said...

WTF is wrong with people! It makes me so mad. Sorry you have had to endure the stupidity of others while already having suffered the most diffucult of losses. XOXO

Natasha said...

I'm so sorry Tiffany....people can be so insensitive. They just don't understand if they haven't been through it. I'm praying for you.

xx

Tiffany said...

Some people are seriously stupid. I think as grieving mothers we should get to smack at least one stupid person a week. No questions asked. No consequences. Maybe people would start thinking before they opened their big yappers.
I'll be thinking about you tomorrow. I'm sure it will be a hard day (i guess they are all hard aren't they?).

MrsH said...

I can't believe people actually dare to presume that they know God's ways or read the future. I think it helps that I look very scarily fierce and they don't have the guts to talk to me like that, they know I am going to rip them to shreds. Start looking mean, I tell ya!

rebecca said...

In her book An Exact Figment of My Imagination Elizabeth McCracken talks about this very thing, how we should have a card we can hand out to people explaining our loss and grief.
People really are unbelievable, that comment about having more children, well you know that one REALLY makes me angry because we can't. And if people are stupid enough to make that comment to me I tell them that point blank, we'll actually no we can't just have another child, she was our IVF baby and it is far from that simple for us. People are just so freaking stupid sometimes!

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