Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A (not so) Little Soap Box

A friend of mine posted this quote on facebook:
"If you know someone who has lost a child, and you're afraid to mention them because you think you might make them sad by reminding them that they died- you're not reminding them. They didn't forget they died. What you're reminding them of is that you remembered that they lived, and that is a great gift." -Elizabeth Edwards

This is so well put. People who have lost a child don't forget. We think about it every single day. Having people avoid the subject hurts worse than talking about it. We want to tell everyone about our amazing children, not push the subject into a closet and lock the door never to be spoken of or remembered again. We actually fear having our child forgotten.

I find, too often, when I meet someone new and we're trying to get to know each other better something like this happens:
They ask how many kids I have.
Well the answer is four. Yes one is dead but he is still my child. I'm not going to leave him out. I have FOUR kids. So I always answer four.
Then they inevitably ask how old they are. This is where I always run into trouble.
When I get to him in the line of kids, I say something like: "He'd almost be three but he passed away when he was a baby."
Then they respond with something like, "Oh I'm sorry." or "Oh that's hard." Followed by something like, "Well it was nice talking to you." And walk away.

Really, just because I have a dead child you can't get to know me. I don't understand why people feel the need to end the conversation because I mention my dead baby. Is it because they're uncomfortable? Cause I'm not. If I were uncomfortable talking about it I wouldn't have brought it up. I would have told them I have three kids. But I didn't. I told them I have four.

Maybe people feel like if they are going to continue talking to me they have to console me and fix the emotion problems that come along with losing a child. Well you don't. I'm not telling you about it so you can tell me something profound to take away the sadness. I'm telling you because that's just part of who I am. Aren't we trying to get to know each other?

I am an angel mom. That's just part of me. Don't feel uncomfortable about that.


Val said...

Well put Jes. I think those of us who haven't lost a child forget that. Thanks.

Jenni said...

Very well put!!! You are one amazing person and mom. I still think about you often and Isaac who will always be remembered!!

Jake & Stephanie Ellinger said...

I wish that you weren't an angel mom. But the thing I appreciate most about Isaac's life is that I met someone who I would have never known otherwise. Its always so fun to see you guys at the IHH events.

Your post is a good reminder of those of us who forget the things you said.

Melissa said...

I hear ya!!! Glad I found your cute blog!!