Friday, April 2, 2010

Dear Anonymous,

First, please let me sincerely and honestly say "Thank you," for your comment. I truly believe that you are right, in that most people are just trying to do their best. I also agree that there probably aren't any words that would make me "feel better." Further, I'm very sorry that you have had people get angry with you when you told them you were sorry for their loss. You are right, perhaps that may be only comforting to me. Just remember that in their grieving, they too are only trying to do their best, and words that are meant to comfort someone sometimes just don't. I've often said that lots of times; I don't even know what would hurt my feelings until it's actually spoken and my feelings have been hurt. You are also right in that I doubt that lady was purposely trying to hurt me, but casually talking about my son as if he was that replaceable (I left out many other parts of the conversation--like where she's laughing and joking and telling me I can have hers, but they are in college and would be pretty expensive right now--because you know, that's certainly going to comfort me, right?)---well, I guess I just give common sense too much credit. To me, common sense says that when you have learned someone lost their child, you don't try to make them feel better by jokingly offering yours. Just saying.

Thank yous aside, I have to tell you that I'm saddened by this line:

"When you toss out your son died at pass and ID what do you EXPECT people to say or do?" (Emphasis added, yours)

I'm saddened not so much because it hurt my feelings, though I admit, it stung a bit. I'm saddened because you act as if I am just roaming around at any old place trying to purposely make people feel uncomfortable by telling them I have a dead son. Which, for the record, I'm not. In fact, again, the entire conversation was not listed--I really had no intention of mentioning my son died. I merely made note of the fact that I looked as if I had gone through hell and back to John, and that it showed in my picture. She kept pushing, telling me I looked great and we always feel like our situations are worst-scenario but they really aren't. So sue me. I cracked and told her mine was. Because it was. Matthew dying was and will always be worst-case scenario.

And Anonymous, why CAN'T I tell her my son died? He did. Why do *I* have to walk around this earth worrying about what other people think or feel when I am barely making it through each day without collapsing in his nursery and staying there forever. Trust me, I don't casually 'toss out' those words because they HURT. I CRY. I feel stabbed in the heart over and over again EVERY . SINGLE . TIME . I . UTTER . THOSE . WORDS.

I'm so heartbroken that this attitude (don't want to make others uncomfortable) is so pervasive in this world. What about my uncomfortability? What about every time someone asks me if I have any children and I bite my lip so I don't cry? What about every time someone tells me that I'm young (ha!) and can have more children (which instantly devalues my son's brief little life as interchangeable with a child who may live)?

And I'm a LUCKY one! I have support! I have people who have enveloped me with their offers of support and help. My son was born and lived and died. We were smothered with meals and cards and gifts and offers of just about anything you can imagine. Most people give his life validation because he was full-term, lived, breathed and died. But what of women who miscarry? Where are their casseroles or memorial services? What of women who give birth to children born still? In 23 states, those women can't even get a stupid piece of paper that validates their little one's life because a breath was never taken-regardless of the fact that so many stillbirths are babies who are between 38-40 weeks. They STILL have to give birth--it's not like a baby's heart stops beating at 39 weeks and then just disappears. Where is their validation????

Why should ANY of these women have to worry about 'tossing out' information that not only changed their lives forever, but completely stole their identity and forced them into a new one that no woman should ever have to bear--a mother without her child.

They shouldn't. And I'm not ONE . BIT . SORRY if someone gets 'sad' because I 'toss out' heartbreaking news. IT IS HEARTBREAKING. IT IS TRAGIC. And friend, IT IS MY LIFE.

Every day.

For the rest of my life.

So, what do I expect people to do or say? As I said in my post: Nothing.

I don't expect a single, solitary thing from anyone.

I appreciate and am grateful for every hug I am given, every card, letter, email or phone call I get, every tear shed for my son, every "I'm sorry" spoken, every thoughtful remembrance of Matthew and every silence given, every amazing insight shared...I'm thankful for so much.

And I guess I do expect something...I expect that a woman who has three children of her own (though she was trying to give them away, I concede) would realize that MY SON IS NOT REPLACEABLE and would not insinuate in any way that he was. I would be considered insensitive and ignorant if one of her college-aged children were to die in a car accident and I said, "Oh, that's gonna make me sad. You know what? You have another. You just have another."

And I would never have said that before Matthew died, either.

Like I said, I guess I give common sense too much credit. People are not interchangeable. Thought that was an easy one.

Anonymous, you end your comment with "I think that's all we can ask for," which leads me to believe that you (as part of we) have suffered some sort of loss in your life. I pray that it was not the loss of your child, but if it was, I am so, so sorry for your pain. I know that there is absolutely no pain like it, and perhaps you are finding your way in a world that is so foreign to you that you feel like you have entered and will never leave hell. If so, again, I am so very sorry.

Thank you again for your comment, but if you feel as though I 'toss out' information about Matthew too casually, you may find yourself uncomfortable many, many times if you continue to read this blog. It is the story of my family, which includes and always will, my precious first-born son. His place in my life, every day of it, is permanent and unchanging.


  1. Oh, Lori, please feel wrapped in love, prayers, and hugs. You, John, and Matthew are so precious.

  2. Sending hugs to you on this Easter weekend! It won't soothe the pain now, but with Easter comes the promise of seeing Matthew again. Praise God!

    Love and continued prayer...

  3. I'm so glad you were able to respond they way you did. You have every right to feel and act the way you do. You have done nothing wrong. You are an amazing person and I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. May God help you find some peace during this Easter weekend.

  4. Oh Lori--some people are just thoughtless idiots. That's part of the reason I ended up going private--since it is part of my children's history and I do want to protect them.
    No child is replaceable--EVER. To think so shows her ignorance. Sometimes the smartest thing a person can do is shut up and listen. I'm so sorry you had to go through that. Your feelings are valid and you have EVERY SINGLE RIGHT to express them!
    I'm thinking of you and sending hugs your way.
    Love and prayers

  5. Just want you to know I am thinking of you, as so much of what you say rings true, and I am sure we can all relate to the feelings you expressed just now. Take care of yourself.... and I will continue to keep you in my prayers!

  6. Oh sweetie, this is so true. "Why should ANY of these women have to worry about 'tossing out' information that not only changed their lives forever, but completely stole their identity and forced them into a new one that no woman should ever have to bear--a mother without her child." Very well said. XO

  7. Dear Anonymous:

    You do not have to read this blog. And if you do, please do not post things that will hurt our Lori.



  8. Easter love to you. I am sorry people can be thoughtless and hurtful, especially to people who are kind-hearted and loving. XO, J

  9. You DO realize you can disable Anonymous comments, right? UGH. I don't allow them for the very reason that if anyone feels the need to say something to me, by jingos, they better be prepared to "man up" (or woman up, if that's the case) and take responsibility for what they say. Disable it. Save yourself the additional grief.

    Word verification: tedoge as in, "This world is going tedoge(s) [the dogs]." Weak -- but appropriate!

  10. Blogs can be made available for public consumption, but what many people don't understand well is that our blogs are often a place to work out what we have experienced in real life that is not pretty. It is where sometimes we gain peace and understanding ourselves by writing something "out loud", mulling it over, re-reading it again later with a more open heart. We learn much about ourselves through this process and most of the time we have caring visitors along the way to help us as we struggle or rejoice (and how I hope we all have that chance again soon with you).

    I too have been subject to judgment and ridicule, as you know, and it hurts and is very hard to take. Others read what we write and fail to recognize that they are only seeing the bits and pieces we elect to share with the world, and that alone can never tell the entire story.

    The fact is, grace lifts us all up out of this sort of thing. Grace is hard to internalize and offer to others when we are hurting, and yet it is our salvation in a sense, it is what lifts us above the fray and allows us to keep on going.

    The woman at the counter that day didn't have the skills or empathy to be able to respond appropriately, nor did she have the ability to read the situation and recognize the signals that would have told her to back off. Sadly, many people don't have a high enough EQ to do this and it creates some very socially awkward situations at moments for everyone involved.

    Anonymous reads your emotions shared here for the world, and makes assumptions based on this place where you are free to express your pain, your heartache, your struggle. This IS the place to work things out, to spew, to cry out. And this is where you do it. That does not mean you walk around in a state of constant martyrdom with others. Somehow that picture doesn't fit the Lori I know.

    Keep writing, Lori, keep sharing with those of us who want to walk with you through this valley. Know that not everyone is judging you nor has the desire to do anything more than offer comfort and a listening ear as you claw your way back out.

    We also want to be there the day your head peeks out over the edge and cheer you on.

    Much love,

  11. Ugh - the infamous anonymous. I have seen these types of anonymous comments on several of the blogs I follow. I'm sorry you were one such recipient.

  12. Dear Anonymous,

    Back off my friend!!!!


    We all love you, John & Matthew. People are cruel and thoughtless sometimes. You did nothing that you need to explain or apologize for. Last time I checked, honesty was something to be valued.

  13. So sorry, Lori. Praying for you! <3

  14. Sending you lots of love...

    I have been praying for you. I am sorry that people are insensitive. Sometimes it is better if they just backed away from the computer, rather than post a comment "straight off their hip." We are to "build each other up." Not "tear each other down."

    Oh, I liked your first label for this post...

  15. What a gracious response. You're right that common sense isn't as common as you'd think - I'm constantly amazed. I agree with John and Anonymous about giving people the benefit of the doubt about not knowing what to say, to some degree, but there any response someone should give after hearing your story other than, "I am deeply sorry and truly hope things get better"? Hopefully Anonymous learned something from this post that they'll carry with them from now on.

    I so wish you didn't have to be an "advocate" for mothers without children, but you do an amazing job teaching the rest of us about the journey and what we can do to help (or at least not hurt). And by the way, I've posted as Anonymous once or twice but won't do so again - for fear of being confused with another :)

    I hope you get a break from being blindsided by insensitivity and that the promise of Easter brings you some comfort this week.

  16. Anon - I second Amber's comment!!! Don't add grief to a broken heart!!!

    Lori - your post is so well written, and you're right just about everything. We CAN tell our babies stories, if we don't who will? You are an amazing mother!


  17. OMG I am floored by what I just read, It never ceases to amaze me at the ignorance of some people Seriously anonymous my friend’s heart has been ripped out and that is not something that can be replaced. She has the just as much right to speak about losing her son as anyone who brags about their baby. You really don’t need to read her blog if you are so insensitive and can’t comprehend that it is “Lori’s blog” and Lori’s heartbreaking story. She can mention the loss of her son to the man on the street if she wanted to. Apparently somebody’s mom did not teach them that, if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all. I’m so sorry Lori that you had to deal with such hurtful and insensitive words. Ugg… I need to count to ten backwards and go pray!
    Lori I pray that regardless of some insensitive people that you and John can find comfort in knowing that you have hundreds of people lifting you guys up in pray and wishing we could do more for you at this time.
    Ps. I like Julia have posted Anonymous before but will not do so anymore. I would not want to be confused with the insensitive Anonymous person.

    Love and Prayers

  18. lori,you are gracious and well spoken!

    and so, so right on!!!!

    (and you made my day by your comment on my post, thank you!)

    don't EVER stop telling stories about matthew. i love to hear every one.

  19. Lori!!!!!! OMG! I hate being all behind on my blog-reading.

    We want to hear everything. EVERYTHING!

    No-one understands unless they have been through it, so you just carry on and don't listen to the 'ignorants'.

    They don't like it? They shouldn't read/comment.

    I love you! xoxo

  20. I read your posts everyday. I pray for you, John and Matthew. Please know that there is not a day that goes by that I do not think of you.

  21. Lori, I love both that you responded to anonymous and that you did it with such grace. You have such a kind spirit. I echo the comment about you being such a wonderful advocate for mothers who are living without their children in their arms. You give all of us a voice when we struggle to find our own, some days. Peace to you, friend.

  22. WAY TO GO LORI!! This response was awesome. I am proud of you for it! People never cease to amaze me. I once overheard "why don't they just get over it and adopt" Oh, ok, let me just run out and grab a kid. Thanks. Ugh!

    And I love the tag you put for the post :)

  23. I think that those mothers who have lost their children have every right to talk about them whenever they want.