Disclaimer: After reading this post several times and pondering over whether to take it off or not, I've decided to leave it but with a disclaimer - This was not in any way meant to be accusatory of anyone! We have have been so blessed to have people surrounding us who have taken that step forward to come speak to us and share with us. So many have reached out and continue to reach out. I wrote this after relating to many of the words I read in a book I was reading.....they struck me, and I guess I wrote from the perspective I was in at that moment. So, please know these words are not meant to offend...just to portray an honest, real outlook.
So, over the last few days, I've had this really indifferent feeling. I don't know what it is. But I know what it isnt:
- Acceptance of the situation
- A sense of "moving forward" or "getting over it"
None of those apply to me at the moment, nor will they apply to me anytime soon. I hope people understand that with grief, there is no timetable...there is no point that marks the day I will "get over this". So, when you see me, please don't look at me as if you're afraid of me....or as if I'm going to just break down in tears at any second....and please don't avoid me. I get that you don't know what to say, and I get that it might be hard for you deal with.
Ahem: I'm living it, people....
So many people tell me they just don't know what to say. Neither do I. What am I supposed to say, other than thank you, when you come to me and share your condolences? Thank you for having the courage to come to me and say anything. Saying something is better than saying nothing. Otherwise, I feel as if you are avoiding me.
I don't know why I felt the need to type all of the above. It wasn't what I intended to write about tonight, but it just came out. I guess it came from reading a book for most of the day - The SIDS and Infant Death Survival Guide. Many of the contributors mention being made to feel as if SIDS was contagious because people avoid them or give them "that look" (and yes, "that look" is real, and many people have given me "that look" since all of this happened).
SIDS survivors don't need pity; they don't need anyone to feel sorry for them. We just need people to check in on us, tell us you're praying for us, get us out of the house from time to time, send a card that says you're thinking of us today.
It's easy to feel as if I'm not a part of the loop anymore. At church, I'm no longer part of the "baby club". Do you know how hard that is for me? Walking into church each Sunday without Ayden just kills me. And as I walk through those doors, I'm reminded that no one looks for Ayden anymore, but people look for the other babies...the ones who are still here. I watch the other parents with their babies....reaching milestones, celebrating holidays, dressing babies up for Halloween (Ayden was going to be a sock monkey - we bought his costume last year. I was so looking forward to seeing him wear it), getting excited about Christmas.
I'm not excited about any holidays. Honestly, I wish we could just skip them. I don't want to celebrate. My child is no longer with me; how can I celebrate?
I'm part of the "Mommy Club", but I don't fit in there anymore. I'm still a mommy, but I don't have my baby to show for it. I don't have a baby to be a mommy to. Do you know how incredibly heart-wrenching that is to me? To feel as if I don't fit or belong anywhere....to want to mother my child as I so naturally feel lead to do, but I can't because he isn't here with me anymore!
And then there's Jeremy, who is in the "Daddy's Club" - a group of men at our church who are such wonderful Dads. He so looked forward to joining the Dad Club, and now, he's a member, but with no child to father. Do you know how painful that is for him?
We only fit into one club right now.....the club NO parent ever wants to be in. But, by reasons beyond our control, we are now in the Bereaved Parents club, and I hate it every day. I imagine Club sign-ups....all the lists of clubs and the lines waiting to be signed. All the sheets are filled up, except one - no one wants to be in that club. So, members are chosen at random, without being asked, and that's how we've ended up here, in this club. This is a club of brokenness, tears, suffering, pain, isolation, loneliness, anger, bitterness, and longing. When you're in this club, you have no choice. You've entered into a lifetime membership.....
I didn't mean for my post to be all about what we don't have. I didn't intend for it come off offensively. If you took it that way, I apologize. However, if you can try to imagine yourself in my position....I think you'd completely understand where I'm coming from. I do not in any way feel badly towards other parents. I'm glad they haven't had to suffer as we have, and I hope they never will.
This is just hard. I didn't ask to be here. I didn't ask to be a member of this club. But, I'm here...and I'm trying to do as well as I possibly can with it.