Monday, September 14, 2009

The Things People Say...

I think all of us who have bean dealt the tragedy of losing a child have experienced awkward moments or things that you can't believe people say. Having said that, we know that no one really knows what to say at a time like this. No one. However, I also don't know how to react to some of the things people say. The truth is, though, sometimes there are no words. And sometimes things are better left unsaid. And that doesn't mean to fill the silence with nonsense, but just that silence is golden. I don't know about other moms who have lost babies, but there are times I don't want to talk at all. If I can't talk about Chase, I don't want to talk. And most people don't feel comfortable talking about dead babies. I don't want to talk about other people, things, or what is going on. I don't want to talk about anything. There are times I do want to talk. And I babble. Or I think out loud. But because of my personality, I have tended to withdraw from society. I turn down offers to get together with large groups. Small groups are okay. And I have to feel comfortable or I won't go or worse yet, up and leave. But I wanted to share a few things that people, not knowing what to say, or thinking they have words to help, have said to me. Words that I ignore, or act like they were never said to protect them from feeling bad. And why? I'm the one who is hurt. Why must I feel the need to protect others. Protecting others is what got me in this awful nightmare. That's the way I feel, anyway. Those words though meant to be of comfort, are sometimes words that make me disappear to my own little corner of the world, grab my Chase blanket and cry....

"So how are you doing?" I don't know why, but just a simple & typical, "How are you?" would be a lot less likely to invoke tears.

"How does it feel to have some free time to yourself?" Are you kidding? Think about it, please, before you say this to a baby loss mama.

"What is your mom going to do, no one to babysit now that the kids are all in school?" My mom comes to take care of the kids for a week every year during our annual event we put on. This year, she was going to get to take care of a 4-month-old baby, feed, bathe, take care of and just oogle over for a whole week. Not so.

"Is your tummy leftover from the baby or are you pregnant again?" I know. You can pick your chin up off the floor now.

"Remember, don't tell anyone you were here." This doesn't belong here but it's one that haunts's what my doctor said to me after he attempted to "secretly" break my water at 38 weeks; instead, however, I bled like an animal and 13 hours later he finally did a stat c-section to a lifeless baby that took 6 minutes of resuscitation to breathe on his own. This is why I have not yet written "Our Story" for my blog. My nightmare is very traumatic.

"Oh yes you did. Believe me, you felt it." Another one--what my doctor said after I awoke from surgery when I told him that I didn't really feel much pain during surgery, even though I did not have any anesthesia. "Your memory will eventually come back," he told me. Another haunting bit of information I could have done without.

Here is one that I got 3 different times when I was about a month after losing Chase from people who were merely acquaintances and certainly did not know of our tragedy. "Congratulations!" with a smile and pointing to my post-baby bump. Oh, how I wanted to be congratulated...but for the birth of my son, not because I still looked pregnant. Another one, "so when are you due?" Ouch.

I think I'm going to keep this list going. The things people say are just unbelievable sometimes. It's usually because they just haven't thought about how I might take it. But maybe it's because I just know so much more than I ever needed to in my lifetime.


  1. It wasn't said to me but about me:

    "If she has another girl, do you think she'll use the same name?"

    That's insanity. Right?!

    Or that same person told my friend she felt bad for me because "it's like she lost a child."

    Or at the funeral a distant uncle held up the procession of people in line to console us so he could tell me "you just need to have another one and you'll feel much better." He said it AT THE FUNERAL. Give me a break.

    I'm sorry people are so insensitive. And the stuff your doctor said sounds disturbing. I read through your blog the other day trying to find if you'd written about what happened. I started mine bur haven't finished.


  2. Silence is golden. I feel like a hermit too. There are times I just would rather stay in bed and sleep. Facing the world is HARD.

    At Jenna's funeral we had my husband's uncle and aunt laughing and carrying on about their grandson that was due soon. AHHHHHHHHHHH! So NOT the place to talk about baby names! I would have punched them but I was in a zombie mode and in complete shock at the funeral.

    But... people really don't get it how HARD it is. They are dumb most of the time. Just dumb. (That's what keeps me from telling them what I really feel)

  3. Okay...some people are just STUPID! But I think others who don't actually know we lost our babies say things innocently because the thought of losing a baby has never crossed their minds. But like I said...some people are just IDIOTS!!! I am so sorry people say these hurtful things to you Christy. I know it breaks your heart again every time. xx

  4. I have heard every single one of those with the exception of what your doctor said. I know that people need to be educated on how to deal with someone that's buried a child. There are so few tragedy's in our society -- no one has experience.

    One day I want to make a list of all of the ignorant comments that I received. I remember them all!!!! I have no idea how long it will be but I'm guessing that it will take me a while to write them all down.


    ps - Just wanted to let you know that I'm right there with you on this journey. My son's death was horrific also. Like a trama episode on ER and I watched it all. Also due to a medical mistake. Just wanted to let you know how much I do get you.

  5. I get the traumatic birth experience...mine with L was that, I have been trying to write out his birth story for me, for 3 months now. I just keep stopping. I can't get past certain parts. I've said if I have another child they may need to just sedate me and take the baby from me because i'm not sure how I will go through the process of giving birth after what I went through. My husband said he was traumatized from just watching what happened, he couldn't imagine actually going through it (meaning me, physically).

    Now, back to the comments...oiy, we've had some doozies. After we lost E, at his funeral an aunt of my father-in-law kept asking me if "He was REALLY in that sure? Your baby is in that small box?". No its all a lie, we made this all up because we were bored this week. We had nothing better to do, so why not plan a baby's funeral. Someone asked me shortly after we lost him, if "I was all better now". Suuure, why not. All better. *roll eyes*. And there were more. After we lost L, we got more. At his funeral, I had 2 seperate groups of people come up to me and tell me I should stop having babies. In fact, I believe one actually asked me if I was done now. Um...yea, sure. The most appropriate time and place for that question, beyond the fact that I would never talk to you about it. My mother (whom I don't speak to and haven't for over 2 years), told my Aunt that she was sorry things didn't work out. Riigh, cause I had just lost out on a job I applied for. Or my vacation was cancelled due to weather. My son was now an "it" that didn't work out. I think people just need to shut their mouths. There needs to be classes to take for how to deal with losses people go through. I know before I ever lost my own children, when I attended funerals (never of a baby or child), I would simply just say "i'm sorry". I didn't know what to say, and instead of saying nothing or saying too much, I figure i'm sorry was to the point and so they knew I cared. I've learned so much about others through my how others seem to worry more about themselves then those going through the pain. That others would rather ruin a relationship them stand by your side.

    People suck, grief sucks, words suck.


    PS...that was quite the rambling eh? xo

  6. I don't understand why people say such things. I wish I didn't understand your pain, but some of the things I've heard said to myself also, and it just hurts so much. I hid from everyone for quite a while after losing Lachlan, and am still in semi-hiding, trying to keep myself as safe as possible. It's just so hard. Who SAYS that stuff?? I'm sorry your doctor said such hurtful things. I can't imagine how traumatic that is for you. :( ((hugs))

  7. It's appalling the things that come out of people's mouths in a tragedy such as your baby dying.

    One I heard often was "I'm sorry for your loss", which would've been perfectly fine if my daughter had died but I was being told this when she was still alive. She was still kicking around in my belly. It just disgusted me to hear those words.