That’s Not What You Say


I published my piece How It’s Supposed To Be on Facebook yesterday, both as a note on my page, and to a group I belong to called M.E.N.D. (Mommies Enduring Neonatal Death) (their FB page is here) . Most people were extremely supportive, and just said things along the line of “I’m thinking of you” which is wonderful. But my mother wrote this:

I miss Jamie, too. I hope you, someday, have a child to enjoy. You are BOTH wonderful people whom we LOVE SO MUCH!

Now I don’t know if I’m reading too much into this, but her response kind of rubbed me the wrong way. You don’t tell someone who is mourning their child that you hope someday they have another child. That’s like saying “You’ll find someone new” to a person going through a divorce. You don’t want someone new, you don’t want a new child, you want the one you lost.

Yes, Rob and I do want to adopt a child some day, but that in no way diminishes the pain we are feeling now. And it will in no way take away the pain we will feel for the rest of our lives. The pain of losing Jamie. No child can replace another, and it offends me that she even suggested that. That someday, by having a baby in our arms, our hearts will be healed. Because that’s not how it works. Jamie will still be gone, and we will still miss our baby. We will be overjoyed at this new little life, but that love makes a new piece of your heart grow, it does not refill the piece that is taken when your child dies.

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5 thoughts on “That’s Not What You Say

  1. I think sometimes it’s hard to interpret how something is intended when it is written rather than spoken. I really dont hear her saying ‘have another and get over it!’ More like, I hope this doesn’t happen again for you, I hope you have this wonderful gift in your future. Not to diminish your loss or replace Jamie, but to help heal your heart. Big hugs to you xx

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    • I agree that it is harder to interpret writing, and I really don’t think it was meant as “have another and get over it”, I truly don’t. I genuinely think it was said from a place of good intentions. However, I feel that so many people don’t know how to respond when a person is mourning their child, and I simply wanted to point out that “I hope you have another child someday” is not what the parent needs to hear.

      All they need–all Rob and I need–is to know that people understand that our hearts are hurting. Because we will always miss Jamie. Even if we have a house full of children some day, we will still miss Jamie. Just as if someone had lost a toddler, teenager, or full grown child. I am thankful for her sympathy and her wishes that we get to share Christmas with another child someday (and actually many people have wished us the same), but that is not what we need. We need understanding and sympathy. That’s all.

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      • Oh i know, i just think theres an inevitability about being hurt by what people say because its just so hard to know what the right thing to say is. People want so hard to make you feel better that they say careless things. I just meant at least it was said from best intentions rather than mailiciously. It doesnt minimise the impact you feel at all xx

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  2. Unless someone has lost a child, it is difficult to understand …And therefore hard to find the “right” words to say.
    I lost both my babies early on in pregnancy, but they were most definitely my BABIES not a ball of cells, as some would insist as though this would make there deaths easier to bear …They just couldnt understand it. Every living human at some point was at the same stage in life as my babies were. I had all the symptoms of pregnancy, my hormones were raging and I loved them, I dreamt of them and had high hopes for there futures.
    When I look back, I can see many comments were made that were completely unhelpful & hurtful …Some are made even now …but they didnt & dont come from a bad place… They come from lack of understanding.
    For example my sister said, after my second miscarriage, 7 weeks after a D&C, an ectopic pregnancy and removal of my right fallopian tube “Hey its ok, at least you have the other tube, and its not like you’ve lost your womb!” :-O …& what about my baby? …I know what she means is, its not over, there is still hope for the future …but really? Did I need to hear that as I lay in the hospital bed post surgery?
    Its definitely not easy for us, the people going through it… But the people who truly love us, do find if difficult too. Sometimes I think they just want the cloud of pain and upset to go away so badly it leads them to be OVER eager for the sufferer to heal.
    Im sorry for your loss x

    MsCarry On x
    http://www.mscarryon.wordpress.com

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