8 Ways to Help a Grieving Parent (and 3 Don’ts)

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The 15th is Pregnancy/Infant Loss Awareness Day.

I thought about not writing anything since I’ve already written a couple of posts on my losses (HERE & HERE), but since its something I’ll never likely ever forget, I don’t see a problem with posting something again.  My losses- my kids that went to Heaven- they’re a part of me and they always will be.  Regardless of if everyone else has forgotten about them and figured I should have already moved on, I haven’t and I won’t ever “move on”.  That’s like telling an amputee,”Oh, come on- aren’t you over it yet?  Suck it up.”  People would look at you like you were insane or, at the very least, insensitive beyond belief, but for whatever reason, when you lose a child, you’re expected to learn to “deal with it” even sooner than someone who’s lost a limb.  Why do we accept the difficulties that come with learning to cope with the loss of a body part, but we give a time limit on how long it takes to get over losing a part of your heart and soul?

Every single day I wish I wasn’t a part of this club.  I think about my boys all the time ( I knew the gender of one, and -considering I have all boys now- I’m just going to guess that the other was a boy, too), and, years later, it can still feel as fresh as when I heard the doctor say,”I’m sorry, but I can’t find a heartbeat.”

Yeah, I know that there’s some that will point out that if I had the ones I lost, I wouldn’t have the ones I have now, but can I tell you something?  Telling me that doesn’t help- if anything, it can make me feel even more guilty. (Mom guilt is a real thing and it sucks.)  Besides, I’m a mom- I can multitask.  I can be thankful for what I have and grieve the ones I lost- AT THE SAME TIME.

I know.  Mind.  Blown.

The funny thing about the comments well-meaning individuals will say after you’ve lost a child (or anyone, for that matter) is that, most of the time, they aren’t very helpful.  So, in honor of this month, I’m going to give you a list of things you can say (and do) when someone has lost the most important thing to them in this world:

  1. “I’m so sorry.”  Simple.  Straight forward.  No frills.  No BS.  Timeless.  Its like the Little Black Dress of consoling phrases.
  2. “I’m here for you.”  And then ACTUALLY be there for them.  They need you.  Whether its a shoulder to cry on, someone to vent to, or to just sit in silence to not feel alone, they need you.
  3. “I love you.”  I’m not talking about professing your undying love and devotion during their time of grief- I’m talking about letting them know that they’re loved, even when they might be unlovable and pushing you away because they just want to hide away from the world.
  4.  “Is there anything I can do to help you out?”  And then, like #2, follow through.
  5.  “I’m bringing you dinner- what do you want?” They might say they aren’t hungry.  That’s ok.  Bring them a freezer meal (in a container they don’t need to worry about getting back to you).  They will be at some point.  Studies have shown that humans need food to survive.
  6.  “Do you want company?” Be ready to visit them if they say yes.  Don’t just say it.  If you aren’t able to, don’t offer.
  7.  If their child was out of the womb when he/she died, share memories of things you loved about him/her.  Don’t shy away from mentioning the loss.  Their child was real and alive and breathing and a part of their world.  Their child was there, and then one day, they just weren’t.  They’re feeling that loss.  Don’t ignore it.
  8.  Buy them a gift card for dinner for them to go out once they’re ready to leave the house.  A freezer full of meals is nice, but the ability to leave the place where all the memories are- words can’t express how much that meant to my hubby and I.  The loss of a kiddo- no matter how old- is hard on a marriage.  I dare say, it could be the hardest thing your marriage can go through.  A date night away to be a couple again where you aren’t surrounded by ghosts, well, its more important than you could ever realize, unless you’ve been there.

I need to point out that these suggestions can be combined in any number of ways.  Do some, all- the possibilities are endless.

Ok, mathematically, maybe not, but you get the point.  Also, grief isn’t a timeline with a point A and a point B.  A lot of people will stop checking in on them after a while (because those people feel the parents might have “gotten over it” by now), but, the thing is, that’s when things tend to get a little lonely and when you should make an effort to check in.  See how they’re doing.  Let them know you’re thinking about them.

Things NOT to say and do:

  1.  Don’t say,”He/she is in a better place now.”  Sure they are, but I wanted him here.  Are you telling me that being with me WASN’T a good place?
  2.  Don’t say,”Everything happens for a reason.”  No.  Just, no.  Now is not the time to wax philosophical.  If you say this, be ready to be slapped and watch them say,”Do you know the reason I did that?”
  3.  And, finally, do not- under any circumstance- contact them or attempt to go over there if you can’t keep yourself together.  Their loss is not about you.  This situation is not yours.  I don’t care if you’re the grandparent- it wasn’t your child so you don’t have a CLUE what they’re feeling.  They don’t need to be trying to console you and keep you together when they’re feeling lost and confused and falling apart themselves.   If you love them, get a straw, suck it up, and keep it under control.  They need you to be the calm in the middle of their hurricane.  To do anything else is selfish on your part.  Its ok to shed tears with them, but when it reaches a point where they’re telling YOU that its going to be ok, there’s something wrong there.

These are just my thoughts on it all, but considering I’m speaking from experience, I think I’m a pretty reliable source.

In closing, if you’re readng this and you’ve lost a child, my heart goes out to you.  As a nation, we only recogize the heartache bereaved parents go through for 1 month out of the year, but I know that you don’t just feel that empty feeling during October.  I wish there was more I could do than just offer up kind words, but I also know that unless I could give you back that piece of your heart you lost, there really isn’t much more I could do.

But, boy, do I wish I could give that to you.

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Its been 6 years…

Grief

Grief: n. noun; 1.  keen mental suffering or distress over affliction or loss; sharp sorrow; painful regret.  2.  a cause or occasion of keen distress or sorrow.

Loss: n. noun; 1.  The fact or process of losing something or someone. 2. The state or feeling of grief when deprived of something or someone of value.  3. A person or thing that is badly missed when lost.

My own definition: Grief: 1.  something that can sneak up on you anywhere, at anytime from anything and has the power to hit you like a Mac Truck going 1000 miles an hour.

Grief is a strange thing, and the things we can do to ride the waves can be even stranger to anyone not experiencing our particular grief.  The two definitions I gave don’t say a single thing about time limits or how people should react to each, but it astounds me sometimes how people who’ve never been through it will interpret each one.  It also blows me away how people will unintentionally give values to that which was lost, even though those same definitions don’t state that the person or thing of value that was lost must have any particular value to anyone else.

6 years ago, at 12:10 a.m., I said “Goodbye for now” to my son, Christopher Scott.  He was 15 weeks along when he passed, though I didn’t find out until I went to an appointment at 19 weeks.  Initially, everyone gave their condolences and was there for my husband and I, but -like most people who’ve never encountered this situation themselves- they gave our grief a timeline and a value.  I was told things like,”He’s happy and whole in Heaven now” and “At least it happened before you got a chance to get to know him” and-

Actually, no.  Let’s stop at that one for a moment, shall we?

Have you ever been pregnant?  Even if it was a surprise pregnancy, tell me that you didn’t envision his or her future.  Tell me you didn’t talk to him or her.  Tell me- if you have other kids- that you didn’t wonder what features they would all share and picture them all playing together.

You KNEW them.  You knew that at a certain time every single day you’d get sick, and you’d joke that your little bean was already putting you through the ringer and promise them that you’d pay them back.  You knew every poke and prod and eventually could pinpoint what part of their body was working to break your rib.  You knew when their witching hour was and wondered if it would be the same once they were born.

You KNEW them.

I knew my son.  I knew he’d probably look just like his 2 older brothers and that they’d probably all be wrestling before he was even walking.  I had plans for him.  I pictured his future.  So, tell me again- how was I lucky?

See, here’s where I take issue with everyone’s opinions.  Those that haven’t been in my place- or your place, or anyone’s place that has lost someone.  They think I should conform to those opinions and they make comments that either make me feel foolish or bad about my own feelings.

Its been 6 years.  Ya know what?  It still hurts and causes my heart to break all over again sometimes.  I think about our family dynamic and how he would’ve changed it; how they all would’ve gotten along.  Ya know what else?  In neither of those definitions did they give a time frame.  If you look up the 5 stages of grief, you’ll see: Denial/Isolation, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance.  Do you know what it DOESN’T say?  How long someone will experience each stage.  Or what order.  Or if one of the stages will be skipped.  Or the fact that even once someone has finally reached the “Acceptance” stage, that a song might come on or a certain date will come ’round that sends them right back into the isolation or anger stage.  Or that, years later, they’re still bargaining even though their loved one is long gone- “If I could just have one more minute with him again- just one- I promise…”

Its been 6 years.  I still can’t listen to ‘London’ by Brandon Heath without remembering that I had been singing that song to him the day before I found out he’d actually passed 4 weeks prior.

Its been 6 years, but some days it feels like yesterday.

Its been 6 years, but please don’t tell me -even now- that everything happens for a reason, because I still don’t see it and I likely won’t until the day that him and I are reunited in Heaven.

Its been 6 years.  I’ve been through every single stage of grief multiple times over.  I’m sorry my grief doesn’t fit YOUR specifications.

 

 

Peggy Bundy ruined the vision of the SAHM

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Somebody said once that it must be nice to be a SAHM because all I have to do is play with my kids all day.  In PJs.  And watch TV.
They might as well have added in “eat bon bons and shop”.
Can I vent for a minute? Because it’s been a long couple of…15 years.

I get up every morning and survey the disaster that lies before me while I make some coffee- the ONLY thing that stands between my kids and death most days. Since I had just cleaned the day before, you’d think there wouldn’t be a lot to do, but you’d be wrong. Even if I finished the whole job AFTER the boys were all in bed, somehow the messes are new every morning. And since none of them will own up, we apparently have ghosts, too, which just leads into a whole new slew of issues I’ll have to deal with at some point.


I clean the living room and in 2 seconds (I am NOT exaggerating) it’s destroyed again. The same with the office, dining room, entry way- don’t even get me started on the kitchen and the bathrooms *shudder*.

*side note: when you have a toddler, always flush and NEVER leave the door open. If you have older kids, disregard this and just buy a LOT of bleach.

Cleaning while you have kids, well, people have compared it to shoveling a driveway while its still snowing, nailing Jell-o to a tree, and other things- might I add to that?  Its like trying to build a sand castle near the water’s edge at the beach: try as you might to get it perfect, a wave is always gonna come up and destroy it.  Another example is: trying to dig a hole near the water’s edge- you can dig for a year and that hole is never gonna get any deeper.  What it all comes down to is, progress in cleaning is slow, if at all, when you have kids.  Some people might say,”Then why bother?  Just wait for them to move out”, and to them I must ask,”So, how ARE your friends Mr. and Mrs. Cockroach and all of their kids?”
And, let’s just get this out of the way, the only TV that I get to watch regularly is Nick Jr.

What I’ve mentioned doesn’t even go into the fact that I do all of that while trying to take care of meals; driving to places the boys or I need to go; any appts.; breaking up the multiple daily fights; attempting to keep a toddler alive- which is NOT as easy as it seems.

*Side note: there’s a reason why, the younger the child, the more daycare providers are needed for any institution. You can’t take your eyes off of them. Think about that before asking a SAHM what she does all day, you know, if you value YOUR life.

But besides that, us SAHMs do this job willingly. Why? Because we’re crazy, masochistic, and we prefer that if anyone is going to screw up our kids, well, it’s gonna be US, dang it. No one is going to take our place- not even in their therapy sessions later.  We also don’t get any benefits of any kind.  We’re all kinds of crazy.  Or hard core.  I’ll go with hard core- sounds better.

I know you’ve heard it, but most people rarely think about exactly WHAT SAHMs have to deal with all day- I know I never did before I took on this job (and make no mistake- it IS a job).  Heck, even women that used to be SAHMs and then went back to work outside of the home forget what we ACTUALLY deal with.  I think its kind of like that amnesia that we get after we give birth- if we could remember the pain, its very likely that the human race would cease to exist.  Its a survival mechanism.  Or something.
So, the next time you see a SAHM, think twice about asking her what she does all day or, GOD FORBID, try and tell her about a great work from home opportunity you’ve heard about since she has SO MUCH time on her hands.
Oh, who am I kidding?  If you’re a SAHM, you understand everything I’ve said and are nodding you’re head.  If you aren’t, you don’t get it, likely never will, and you’ll continue to think that we live the easy life and that your job is harder because, well, the government pays you to do it, so it MUST be more important.
I tried, at least.

Your Sparkly Life is Blinding

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(Image courtesy of Google & Norman Rockwell)

I’m sorry, but we can’t be Facebook friends anymore.

Its not you- its me.

Well, actually, its me being jealous of the perfect life you portray.  EVERY.  SINGLE.  DAY.

Normally, I can try and be happy for you.  I WANT to be happy for you.  I LONG for the feelings of genuine pleasure when I see your posts of your perfectly portrayed life.

I’ve even told myself to “fake it til I make it”, but today *sigh* today was the last straw.

Today- after I found cat food dumped into the toilet ; found cat litter (and poop) strewn about the bathroom floor; dealt with a toddler meltdown of epic proportions because I wouldn’t let him suck down an tube of Oragel; listened to fights over video games that started before any sane person should get up during the summer; stepped on THE SAME BLOCKS I had already told the boys to pick up 50 TIMES today; and then found my purse, with all its contents scattered over ever inch of my bedroom floor- I logged onto Facebook and got a virtual punch to my gut from your post.

There were your sweetpeas, like a  Norman Rockwell painting, in all your perfectly portrayed glory, doing something perfect-

And I just can’t deal.

I know- I’m behaving irrationally and making hasty decisions.  I’m blaming it on lack of sleep since- while your little darlings slept through the night with visions of sugar plums dancing through their heads, allowing you to wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed enough to go get a fancy coffee after eating a hearty, homemade, organic breakfast and then get in a workout sans kids- my night and morning was a TAD less smooth.  I went to bed with a toddler who took up half my space, got woken up in the middle of the night by a kid who had a nightmare and wanted to sleep with us, too, and then realized that my small amount of space had grown even smaller with the addition of the family pets.  I was then woken up WAY too early, made coffee myself, justified my coffee as my breakfast since that was all I had time for, and prayed for nap time.  And while your husband gets normal days off, mine works EVERY SINGLE DAY, so getting his help isn’t an option.

So, yeah- I’m tired, and bitter, and jealous, and MAYBE acting a little childish- call it a side effect from dealing with 4 imperfect boys in all their imperfection.

You’re a nice person- sickeningly so- but I’m just not mature enough to be happy for you 24/7- but, at least, I’m mature enough to admit to that.

And maybe I’m wrong.  Maybe your life isn’t perfect.  Maybe, like most of us, you’re just posting the highlights, and you keep your dirty laundry hidden away; but, while your highlights include you being crowned Miss America for the 5th time in a row, my highlight reel might sound more like,”Yay!  I made it through the day without any kid poop incidents!”  Which also leads me to believe that your dirty laundry is just that- you have a load of dirty laundry that *gasp* you haven’t done in 3 days… because you were building a house with Habitat for Humanity.

I’m honestly NOT a “misery loves company” kind of girl, but your sparkly life is blinding me.

Like I said, its not you, its me.

But if a day should ever come when you really do have a crisis in your life, you’re always welcome to call on me.  We can hide in my laundry room, sit on my oversized pile of dirty laundry, and attempt to block out the sounds of my boys trying to off each other, and I’ll listen as long as you need me to.  Chances are I’ve been there.

And I’ll try REALLY hard not to silently cheer if I see spinach caught in your perfect teeth.

Smart Toys, huh?

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Whoever thought that it was a smart idea to make loud, obnoxious toys for toddlers, never had kids themselves.

Probably the same people who made clothes for kids…

…another topic for another day.

Seriously, though, toddlers can’t speak in full sentences yet, can barely walk, and don’t yet have a full grasp on depth of perception, much less fiction vs. reality, sooooooo…..

YEAH!  Let’s give them a talking doll that laughs, all the while rolling around on the ground like its possessed!

Needless to say, Tickle Me Elmo didn’t tickle Nicholas pink when he was younger.  He basically screamed and threw it on the floor, after which he eyed Corey and me suspiciously like we were Satan’s helpers.

Close.  We’re SANTA’S helpers.

I learned then that I needed to take him with me when we went toy shopping and stealthily sneak it into the cart when he wasn’t looking if the toy passed the Toddler Test- i.e., didn’t make him pee his pants in terror.

Listen,  I’m all for the holly and the jolly.  I love Christmas and all the things Christmas-y.  But can someone tell me why it is that during this most-wonderful-of-seasons, someone didn’t stop to think that MAYBE a toy that jumps, bounces, laughs maniac-ly, and/or chases after you while doing all of the above doesn’t EXACTLY scream Christmas spirit?

And let’s not forget what I’ve mentioned before- when some toys start to run out of batteries, they can sometimes become possessed.  The last thing I want as a parent is to walk into the boys’ bedroom in the middle of the night to check on them and have Elmo standing there, cackling like a mad man.

Just a simple musing from a SortaSuperMom while you’re out Christmas shopping for your little hooligans- or, maybe you’d want to give that instead of coal…?

You aren’t ready

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I was 19 when I got pregnant with my oldest- 20 when he was born. He was a “surprise” baby for my fiance and I. Definitely NOT in our plans- God’s plans, yes- ours? No. I wasn’t what anyone would consider “ready to have children”. Actually, if I remember correctly, I believe my motto was “The words ‘Amber’ and ‘serious’ don’t belong in the same sentence.” Kinda funny when you think about the fact that i was engaged (to my now-husband).

I was 19. A baby myself. I had just graduated high school about a year before, basically. I didn’t know anything about raising a kid. I’d had siblings, but neither of them were much younger than I was. I grew up in a Christian home (I know- SCANDALOUS!), and it was always assumed that marriage and kids would come after college. After college, I’d be “ready”.

I’ve read numerous posts on FB lately stating a similar theme: “If you aren’t ready for thus and so, you aren’t ready for kids.” Well, we’ve already established that I wasn’t ready for my first one, but I can tell you- after 4 kids- you’re NEVER ready.

You won’t be ready to see that 2nd line show up- even if you were actually TRYING.
You won’t be ready financially- ever. Even after they move out.
You won’t be ready for potty training- just throw those “how to” books out.
You won’t be ready for “The Talk”.
You won’t be ready for their first day of school.
You won’t be ready when they finally head off to college… or if they flunk out.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to experiment with cigarettes or alcohol or drugs.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to bring shame upon the family.
You wouldn’t be ready if they crashed your car.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to go into the military.
You won’t be ready for them to get married- even if you love their future spouse.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to give their life for our country.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to tell you they’re gay.
You wouldn’t be ready for them to denounce their faith and walk away from all you believe.

You. Won’t. Be. Ready. None of us are- EVER. There’s no instruction manual and no 2 kids are the same- think “cheesy snowflake” comparison. In fact, the closest you’ll get to “ready” is to absorb all the knowledge you can from those who’ve been there, but, even then, you need to take all advice with a grain of salt.

To tell a mom (or dad) that “if they aren’t ready for this and that, thus and so, some possibly improbable possibility, then they shouldn’t have kids” is, in my opinion, mean and confusing- especially for first time parents. And (because I just read this) to say ‘don’t have kids if you aren’t ready to love a gay child’ is just plain stupid. I understand why the article was written, but she took a comment that someone had made -that never stated either parent wouldn’t LOVE their gay child, they just wouldn’t handle it well- and made an entire post about how everyone should be ready to love their kids before they have them. Well, duh. But why not also say,”If you don’t think you can and you’re pregnant, choose adoption.” The article was pretty much an opinion piece bashing others’ opinions of homosexuality. The mother had questions; she was confused; and understandably so- whenever your child isn’t what you imagined them to be, there’s an adjustment period. But everyone touts tolerance and understanding and acceptance, but only as long as its what they believe- and if you don’t have it when they expect it, then get ready for a verbal assault.

Like I said, I came from a Christian home, so *gasp* I don’t agree with homosexuality. Does that mean i hate gays? NO! And anyone who says that Christians HATE gays hasn’t ever even seen a Bible, much less read one. I’ll admit that there are some wackadoos that are, well, wacko, but -for the most part- Christians believe as Jesus taught- to LOVE people, because HE does. He LOVES people. Short, tall, skinny, fat, Hebrew, Gentile, hetero, homo- he LOVES them. When he walked the Earth, he didn’t surround Himself with “perfect” people; He hung out with those that really needed Him- Sinners. And some of them were murderers, which is far worse than finding the same sex Shag-worthy. Just sayin’. He didn’t agree with their sin, but He loved them so much He gave his life for them- for US. All of us- even gays.

All that to say, would I be ready to love any of my boys if one day they came home and introduced me to their partner “Steve”, of course. Would I be ready? No. I wouldn’t, but I’d wing it, just as I have every day since that 2nd line showed up. Prayers and lots of winging it. Does the fact that I wouldn’t know how to act immediately or know all the right words to say mean I don’t love them and shouldn’t have had any of my boys- as in, never tried or had an abortion instead? I think not. I mean, honestly? Seriously? Come on. Every person has a purpose in this life, and holding off until you’re the Gestational Guru is nutty. I’m pretty sure that all of humanity would cease to exist- and all because, in a few peoples’ eyes, no one should have kids until they’re completely 100% ready to talk about the birds and the bees… or the bees and the bees… or the birds and the birds. My head hurts.

So, yeah. In case you’re now confused as to what this post is about: you aren’t ready. You’re friend- she isn’t ready, either. Your mom? Nope. She didn’t have a clue. Regardless of what any of them might have said, they all freaked out pretty regularly. Not knowing it all doesn’t make you a special little snowflake- you come from a long line of Know-Nuthins. But not having a clue and jumping in anyway? That makes you a-freaking-mazing.

Counting Kids

How many kids do you have?

Its been 5 years and I STILL don’t know how to answer that question.

Such a simple question- unless you’ve lost a child- and it really doesn’t matter at what stage you lost them, too.  In any case, they were, and then -suddenly- they weren’t.  Does it REALLY matter if 2 of mine never lived outside of the womb?  Does that mean I loved them less?

Sometimes I get jealous of the moms that can answer that question with ease.  They tick off the names of their kids on their fingers, as if checking off a list.  Its so simple for them- all their kids are standing in front of them- or running around like midget insane asylum patients.  In any case, its not an issue for them as they count all their kids.  For moms that have lost a baby, though, we have the option of either going into detail (which can be akin to picking at a scab), or naming off all but the ones we lost, carrying with that the mom guilt of not acknowledging the life- however brief- of one of our own children.

Moms of miscarried or stillborn babies, though, we’ve got a club all our own.  We had a “non-baby”. a baby that didn’t live long enough to “count”.  Since we never had to stay up late with those babies, kiss their boo boos, deal with colic, worry about fevers, laugh at their antics, etc., our babies don’t “count” in the eyes of many.  Sure people will say they’re sorry for our loss initially, but after a while, people feel we need to “get over it”.  They tell us to “look at the bright side” or -if we had kids after the one we lost- they remind us that we wouldn’t have the ones we have now if our other baby had survived. 

Don’t they know we know that?  That every time we mourn the loss of our baby, we get to feel a stabbing pain of guilt because its like we’re saying we wish we had one over the other?  That when we’re having a truly happy moment with our babies we have now, that a thought of our angel babies can enter our mind and it feels like a betrayal?  And then we feel bad for feeling bad?

We aren’t wishing we had one over the other, though; we’re just wishing that there could have been a way we could have had them both.  We know “everything happens for a reason”- it was our mantra in the heartbreaking days and weeks and months after, but despite staring into the eyes of our sweet little kids on Earth, we’re still trying desperately to understand the reason behind our losses.  We tell ourselves that our new baby might have the cure to cancer or bring about world peace, but then we begin to wonder what the world lost when our others passed -or does that mean that their life wouldn’t have amounted to as much?

See, each pregnancy starts off the same: you see the “+” sign and you realize you’re carrying another life.  If its happy news, you start imagining what he (or she!) will look like, who they’ll be, what kind of addition they’ll make to your family, how your life will change-

And that’s where -I think- our little club has it a little worse in some ways.  Our babies never even had a chance.  We never got to experience their personalities; they never found their nitch in our family tree; and, if you lost them early on, there’s even a question about who they looked like.  The only question you got the answer to was how your life would change, but now you have a lifetime’s worth of “what ifs” to replace that one question.

I think its time that people recognize any loss of life as a loss equal to any other.  It shouldn’t be made light of simply because the rest of the world never met our babies.  The fact of the matter is, WE did.  We had hopes and dreams for them and visions of their futures; we grew physically and emotionally with the anticipation of what was to come; we saw them squiggle and squirm on the ultrasound and joked about paying them back for all the heartburn and nausea; we felt them kick and just KNEW they’d have a lucrative career in soccer.

Shouldn’t that count for something?

Shouldn’t it be normal to acknowledge their due date or the date we had to let them go?

Shouldn’t we be able to count and celebrate their Heavenly birthdays without being told with words and looks that we should move on?

We ARE moving on.  We know time hasn’t stood still, as much as we might have wanted it to.  We go to work, we take care of our other kids, live our lives, and keep moving forward; just, sometimes, we want to take a day to remember and count a life that was so extraordinarily important that they left a mark on our lives without living in them; who’s tiny footprints never touched the ground but they touched our hearts; who’s soul purpose was to come into our lives to teach us that sometimes love means letting go and trusting that God not only knows what He’s doing, but that He’ll fill that hole that was left.

Shouldn’t a life that important be counted?