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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Who Is To Blame?

I don't know if other loss moms feel this way too, but I have a list of things that I am ok talking about without getting overly emotional. I generally fall back on how horrible it is that everything costs so much money when you lose a loved one. That is something that I can discuss while detached from my emotions. Sometimes I talk about the headstone, how when it's FINALLY installed we will be doing a memorial or some kind. Other times, for new people, I give the brief story of what happened with Alexandra.
It's the list of safe topics, the topics that don't make me cry. Sometimes, I'll be talking about one of my safe topics and I realize it has taken me extremely close to the edge. When that happens, I stop talking or say "yeah" or "anyway." It probably appears like I lost my train of thought, I doubt very highly that anyone would be able to tell that I was about to cross the line into that dangerous territory where I will break down causing a scene.
The other day, while talking about one of my safe topics, I mentioned to a friend how so many people have said things that are hurtful to me. I told her a few stories as examples and she seemed as horrified as I was, but quickly added that I should tell her if she said anything that hurt me. I realized then that often, people probably don't know that what they said or what they did hurt me. And who is to blame in those instances? When someone says something that hits a nerve for me and I become hurt, is it my fault that I am allowing someones words to get to me? Is it their fault for saying something stupid? Are people supposed to think about each thing they say to me before they say it, just in case? I don't want people to be afraid to talk to me. One of the things I hate the most are those phrases that everyone uses on grieving friends or family. But, for them to break away from that, they have to first come beyond the fear of offending me...and how can they do that when I am so easily injured by their words?


  1. What people say is probably one of the hardest things to deal with. Some are well meaning, others just don't know, so they sometimes come out sounding stupid and thoughtless. I'm not sure there is anyone to blame. People just don't understand unless they've had a loss. I think the most helpful thing a person can say is, "I'm sorry" and leave it at that. I've tried to slip in a few notes/articles on Facebook directed towards some family, but I never know if they actually read them or not. I'm guessing no, but at least it's something. If you ever want to see any, check out my blog. I have a few posts about things to do or not do. Or there are some good sites out there too.

  2. I agree with Maggie. It is so hard dealing with people and their comments. When I went back to work after losing Jenna, one person told me she heard I had had a situation. She said, "I guess it will take you a while to get over it."

    I also have posted stuff on my blog and on facebook, but you know, I think people aren't really all that concerned with what not to say unless they've been there. Hugs to you.

  3. You're such an inspiration. Having been through what you have, and wearing your heart on your sleeve, raw and open for everyone to see is something you should be proud of. I'm sure you'd be shocked to know the number of people you've touched.

  4. I think it's just important to realize how sensitive we are right now. Losing a loved one, especially a baby leaves you with a gaping open wound, and sometime people don't realize that their 'kind words' are more like rubbing salt in that wound than actually doing anything to help you heal.
    Although I have been VERY lucky in that most people have been totally appropriate and very caring with the things they've said to me the one or two that I've gotten I've tried to see 'past' the actual words and get at what they really mean. For example the comment directed at Mrs. Mother above "I guess it will take you awhile to get over it". On the surface that seems very hurtful, and leaves one thinking "as if I'll ever be OVER my baby"... But, what the woman may have been trying to convey was just that she recognized the magnitude of the loss was larger than most and that she understood that the Mrs. Mother would be feeling very down for along time. She used the dreaded "over it" phrase which unfortunately canceled out the sentiment behind it. So, I guess what I'm trying to say is that as much as it is common to feel hurt when people say 'stupid' stuff, try to look behind their meaning. Of course if it's something truly terrible...don't be afraid to correct the person. In the above instance Mrs. Mother might have responded "actually, I don't know that I'll ever be 'over it'...but you are right that it will take me awhile to feel anything but overwhelmingly sad most of the time". Just my two cents. But don't be afraid to bitch and complain here about the ridiculous things that people sometimes say. It's a good place to let out the frustration. ;-)

  5. The worst thing I heard came from a close friend of mine. She said, "that sucks."
    I was pretty much crushed. But going through this experience helps me to understand and know how to help others through similiar situations.