Wednesday, March 31, 2010

This is what I am talking about...

So, in the mail, I receive my American Baby magazine. (One of the many magazines ordered under a 3 year subscription, planner that I am.)

And my Infantino Recall notice. (Guess they didn't get my letter?)

And my Similac 4 Month Milestones packet: "Those conversations you are having with your baby aren't one-sided any more! Just listen to that cooing."

I think they mean crying. At least, that's what I hear at my house. Me. Crying.

And then, to top the day off, John met me at the Pass and ID place (because although I apparently am good enough to pay the taxes that fund that office, me looking just like the picture on my government issued ID is not enough to prove I am who I say I am and John in all his Major glory has to vouch for me) this afternoon. My ID is about to expire in 2 days. The base has been going through some big security check in the last week, and oddly enough, due to various situations, I have been on the base more in the last week than probably in the last three years. I have had my ID checked more times than probably in nearly 14 years with the Marine Corps. And yet, not one single person EVER stopped me and said, "Ma'am, your ID is about to expire." Not one. All those people 'checking my ID' for WHAT? That I had one and I look reasonably like the picture?

(Okay, I realize I am a bit disgruntled. I'll get to the point.)

So, when the lady takes my new picture and I compare it to my old picture, I realize I look OLD. Tired and OLD. Like I've aged a lifetime. And I have. My son's brief 8-hour lifetime. Over and over again.

I even said, "Wow, I look like I've aged a lifetime."

The lady said, "Oh, you just think you do. You look great."

"No, I really have had a lot happen since that picture."

"Oh, we always think it's worse than it is."

"No, my son died 4 months ago. I've aged a lifetime."

She didn't even skip a beat. She said, "Oh, now you're gonna make me sad. Have another. You just have another."


I didn't even say my baby son died. (Because, you know, somehow people feel like since it was just a baby, it couldn't hurt that much or mean as much as a 'real' 5 or 6 year-old kid, right?)

I just said my son died and she said, "Have another. You just have another."

THIS is what I am talking about when I say people say insensitive things. John said it was because I threw her and she didn't know how to respond.

How about DON'T? Or, simply say, "I'm sorry," and let that be that.

But don't act as if another child replaces my son. Or replaces the hurt in my heart. Or the ache in my arms. I ache for MATTHEW. My heart grieves MATTHEW. MATTHEW'S nursery is upstairs, full of MATTHEW'S things. Things with MATTHEW'S name and bought specifically for MATTHEW. Not another child. Not another brother or sister. MATTHEW.

I know that people are so hopeful for us to be blessed with another pregnancy. We are too.

Because we ALWAYS wanted children. Not a child, children. Whether Matthew had lived or not, we would have and still want more children.

But we want Matthew too. We wanted Matthew too. We had Matthew too. And there will never be another child who replaces him in our hearts or our memories or our love.

And that some people just don't get that hurts my heart.

No one would ever tell a mother who just lost her 5 year old child, "Have another."

So why is that ok to tell a woman who lost her newborn son? How is that comforting? "You'll have more. You'll be parents. It'll happen again."

I am a parent. I would love to have more. I pray it happens again.

But another child or more children won't make Matthew being gone 'better'.

Nothing will.


  1. lori, you are so, so right. no one would ever say that to a mother who lost a five year old or an eighteen year old son. but, for some reason, it's just fine to say things like this to us. like they don't count - our babies just don't count. for awhile, i always worried that mothers who actually gave birth to their babies and then lost them thought that my loss wasn't as important because of the length of time i was prenant or the fact that i never delivered by child. but, every child counts and their lives are all irreplacable. comments like these are so insensitive, but those people probably never even think that what they've said have injured our souls a tiny bit more. i'm thinking of you...

  2. Lori you couldn't be more right. People just don't get it. Just because my son didn't live on the outside doesn't make him any less real or wanted. People don't understand the hurt and pain we feel. I am hoping and praying for you to find peace in your heart. I hope you can have more children and they can learn all about their big brother. They can know him and love him for the guardian angel he will be to them.


  3. How awful for you! I am shocked that people can be so completely insensitive and STUPID! Thanks for all of your encouraging comments on my blog lately. It means the world to me :) Still praying for you and for John. I'm so glad he's home now.

  4. Sweet Friend,

    I am sorry that you encountered a woman who opened her mouth and inserted her BIG foot. I've encountered the same and it sends me into meltdown mode. The worst was on Dec. 4th when I was in a rather large men's store and the clerk helping me had taken my things to gift wrap. As I waited a nice lady, probably in her early 50's, harried up next to me and said uggghh, I'm doing birthday shopping and Christmas shopping!!! Then she said "never have a baby in December, you'll regret it". I was crushed, as Christian's EDD was Dec. 2nd. I became a puddle...and the woman had no clue why. All I could do was walk away.

    Yes, people are insensitive and they do all the wrong things. I agree and I wish I could make excuses for them, but I'm so exasperated that I can't even do that.

    Much Love sweet friend and know that I continue to lift you up in prayer.

    PS Thank you for all your sweet words to me and for always being so thoughtful :)

  5. i absolutely *hate* that people assume another baby makes the loss any easier. It DOESN'T. Our joy has been stolen, robbed of us. We had hopes for the child we buried. I am so sorry about your day. I hope and pray your heart gets to feeling better. It's like when it rains it pours. Thinking of you, Lori


  6. Wow! I must say that was really insesitive. I'm at a loss for words even hearing you retell the story, that just seems so heartless to say have another just have another. You should have asked her if she had any kids and if she thought one of hers could replace the other. OMG! My heart is aching with yours and i hope tomorrow brings a better day and eases your heart. KNow that you are in my prayers. Hugs to you Lori.

  7. Lori,
    I think about you and pray for you and John and Matthew everyday. I pray that as much as it hurts to not have him here, that at times when you look at his picture, you can smile, knowing that from you and John came that sweet beautiful baby, and oh how you miss him...don't I know that feeling, the ache is more intense that anything possible. "Having another" will NEVER replace him, he will always be your first son.
    I hope you gave her the "evil eye"

  8. Lori - Matthew will always be your son. I am sorry this woman's insensitive words hurt you. I wish I could give you a hug in person ... XO, J

  9. Lori, I'm so sorry about that woman's insensitive remarks. Perhaps your DH is right--maybe she didn't know what to say. But I don't know what compels people to say these types of things. Praying for you!

  10. I'm so sorry for the extra pain you suffer from others' comments, unintentional or not. I wish for so many things to be different for you.

    Your consciousness-raising is invaluable.

  11. I read this last night and ddin't get to post. But, wow...I am saddened for that person's remarks. I am sure they stung. They sting me just hearing about it. I am so sorry that she said that to you. So sorry!

  12. I hate hearing about these kinds of comments. We had someone say that to us right after we lost Madelyn, that we could just have another, and it infuriated me! It angered me not only because no child can ever replace Madelyn, but Madelyn is probably the only genetic child we will ever have. Not that I'll love our adopted embies any less, I'm sure I won't, but here they were telling us to go have another child when we had just found out about the genetic issue. And then, of course, no child can EVER EVER EVER replace the children we lost. When a parent dies, it doesn't make it ok because the other parent is still living. Or if Nathan died, would people tell me there will be other husbands? Ugh, people just don't think. I hope she realized that later and stayed up all night worrying about how it affected you. Ok, that's not very Christ-like of me. But I do hope she realized her error.

  13. That's awful. Aside from the way-off-base comment that another child will replace Matthew, I can't believe she said that you were making her sad! What did she expect - for you to apologize for making HER sad?! ...Gee, sorry that two minutes of your day were sad, lady. Shall I tell you how often I'm sad?...

    I guess I'm a little sensitive to people telling me how I should feel or thinking I should be over it, so that lady's comment really gets me! Hugs to you, Lori.

  14. Oh Lori, I am so angry and upset at the same time. People do not think before they speak. I had an old family friend tell me the same thing last week. She said she didn't know what to say to my mom when my mom told her what happened because "we can have other kids" She was acting as if my mom should not have been upset and she was acting as if we should just go on and have more kids and be fine. She even proceeding to ask me if we were trying. I just walked away. I was so upset and angry the rest of the day. How are we supposed to respond to people when they say things like that to us?

  15. People really don't think. I cannot imagine ever saying that to someone. What they WANT is to say something that will make it better and they THINK that having another child will make it better. I'm sorry she said that. I really like to think that people aren't that stupid. I'm just sorry you had to experience this.

  16. I don't think there are any words anyone would say that make you "feel better". When you toss out your son died at pass and ID what do you EXPECT people to say or do? Just take her comment for what it was. When I read your post I thought she was trying to make you feel better, not trying to hurt you. If there were a formula on how to respond to grieving folks I think we'd all learn it so we'd know exactly what to say, but some people has gotten angry at me for saying "I'm sorry." just like you suggested. They have responded, "What are you sorry about? You didn't kill my son/husband/daugher/child?" Most people are just trying to do their best. I think that's all we can ask for.

  17. Just sending love and prayers on this good Friday and thinking of you.


  18. It is heartbreaking to realize that some people will just never get it. I also wrote a post shortly after our loss about coming to the realization that as much as I try... some people will never understand. It is so disappointing. People that came to the twins funeral, still didn't get it.

    I agree... I am sorry is a wonderful response to our stories. Trying to replace our children with another is not. As we both know... Ethan, Jacob, and Matthew will never be replaced.

    Big hugs dear.