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!