Tuesday, March 23, 2010

E-Mails Never Sent

Have you ever written an e-mail and just hovered over the send button? I've done it before (many times), gotten worked up over something, written a scathing e-mail, and eventually thought better of it, never sending it to its destination. In most cases, the mere act of writing the e-mail made me feel better. I just came across one of those e-mails (I wrote this when I was pregnant with Faith, with hormones raging and obviously alot on my mind):

While I can appreciate what you're trying to do and you're truly altruistic view of people, you can't just group "mothers" and "maternal people" in the same category and you also can't group people who don't have kids with people who have kids with people who've lost kids. People who've never experienced the loss of a child only have a certain capacity of understanding and sadness for what I've gone through. They can't imagine it, they can't put themselves into my situation and be as empathetic as you'd like to think. Sympathy, sure . . . empathy, probably never. It irritates me that you think I'm not being positive about these moments that I've experienced, moments that you have not been there for. You have NO RIGHT to tell me how I should be feeling. Yes, you're just the outsider. And your optimistic point of view may be due to the fact that you've NEVER lost a child or experienced any of the situations that I'm talking about. You've never been on the other side of that conversation, when you experience the visible discomfort in people's eyes after I've told them that my son has passed away. Even if there's sadness behind their reaction, it's still something they didn't want or expect to hear and, for the most part, it's something that they don't want to discuss further. It's awkward. Children aren't supposed to die before their parents. So how, exactly, do you make the best out of that situation? I wasn't talking about any kind of people, I was talking about all people. What's happened to us is a freak of nature. No one, except those who've been through it themselves, can ever feel comfortable with that situation.

One of the worse things to say to a person experiencing pregnancy after loss is "well everything is going to be fine this time around" or "this baby will be completely healthy". It negates what I've just been through and makes my pregnancy easier for you to swallow, not me. I'm still anxious all the time, I'm still thinking about the distinct possibility that anything could go wrong at anytime. It's not because I'm being a pessimist, it's because I've been there and I know it can happen. If you want to tell me that I'll learn something as a parent this time around, fine. I know I will be learning new things as a parent everyday for the rest of my life. But don't word it like you have NO IDEA about my last pregnancy or about Dylan. For all intents and purposes, I already consider myself a mother. There's no telling me, "WHEN you become a mother. . . " Again, if you do that, you've just written off my son and his life.

You keep reminding me that I'm not being positive or optimistic about any of this. That really hurts and irritates me. You have NO idea, and I can see that in your reaction. More often than not, I give people the benefit of the doubt. What you read on my blog happens to be those times when I just can't. Most people have written both Justin and I off and do not even address it anymore. Fine. That's perfectly fine. They don't know what to say, and THAT I can understand. But I most certainly cannot understand, nor should I have to, the people that find it necessary to say something that completely writes off our experience and what we've been through. WE'VE HAD A CHILD! WE ARE PARENTS! Do I really have to explain that to you? There's no fresh, optimistic approach to looking at childloss. It sucks. And Justin and I have done an incredible job healing and moving on with our lives, never forgetting, and also integrating Dylan into our daily existence. You can't imagine. You can't! Everyone is naive to the situation, do you know something that I don't know? Did someone else experience this? I have been so open-minded about what people say to me. I try not to be hyper-sensitive about all of it. The things that end up on my blog are major to me, obviously big enough for me to write about. I don't just publish posts about how irritated I am everyday, about how for the most part people have found it customary to just sidestep or ignore or avoid situations where they have to talk about Dylan. That's my life, I've come to accept it. I don't expect people to understand, I expect better of my friends that they could have a greater sensitivity towards what we've been through and are continuing to go through EVERY, SINGLE DAY of our lives. Not for our own friends to say things like, "Oh, you'll know when you have kids." or "Maybe you should have a more positive outlook." WTF!

10 comments:

The Blue Sparrow said...

Oh no. I have quite a few of these emails myself that I never sent out but really really wanted to. Are you still friends with this person?

Barbara said...

I have emails, written letters and even thoughts that I have never sent or shared. Like you say, the very act of writing it diffuses the anger. But sometimes I really wish I'd sent/said it before the moment passed.

Very eloquently put.

xxx

PB&J said...

Perfectly said

Holly said...

I think these letters/emails are a good venting session for us. I know there are things that I certainly like to get out that I don't want to say to a person face to face.

Olivia said...

Hi, I'm a fellow babyloss momma (my daughter died at 7 weeks of age of a undetected congenital heart defect). Whew, know those emails all too well. You are better than me though in your avoidance of expletives. :) Love your blog. Dylan was a beautiful child.

SUSI said...

Emails like that really seem to help to let some steam out. I have written some and at some point even sent one that was addressed to my Mom. I just had enough and just had to get it all out. The second I hit that send button, I felt horrible though for venting.

Did you ever talk to the person about what was said in the email?

Jus and Kat said...

Yes, I'm still friends with this person. No, I never talked to her about this e-mail. I guess some battles are better left unfought. I just stumbled upon it the other day and thought I'd post it.

Thanks for all the friendly comments!

Kat

Michelle said...

(((HUGS)))

I left a little gift for you on my blog. www.missingjuanito.blogspot.com

asplashofsunshine said...

I'm a first timer to your blog, and I have to say, GO GIRL! I have never walked in your shoes, nor can most even imagine what it would be like to do so. You ARE one fant-abulous woman and mother!!!!!!

LetterstoClaire said...

Well said! It's been only been 5 weeks since my daughter passed away and ALREADY I've been told, heard things or been treated in a way that makes me feel that sympathy for some people only lasts a millisecond. I have found incredible strength in my faith to pull through this experience and will myself to be stronger because of it. My husband and I know that we have the choice to take the gift of our daughter's life, however short, and turn it into something wonderful. It's sad to me that the initial strength that people admire (surrounding ourselves with her, talking about her, celebrating her, remembering her) will eventually have an expiration date of tolerance or sensitivity with some people. In a way, being so strong makes it difficult for people to understand why there are ever days you need to vent, cry, and disappear. Truly, such a well said email. I may need to refer back to it when people get insensitive with me!