Today, I had a woman in my office tell me, "You know, the same thing happened to my niece, and they just decided that it wasn't going to stop them." Presumably this was meant to encourage me to try another pregnancy. And I also presume that the follow-up, "I know it's just so heartbreaking," was intended as a means to make me feel better somehow. But I'm thinking something got lost in the translation from when she heard it in her head to what she actually said. Because what I heard was, "It's been almost a month...aren't you over it and ready to try again?" Followed by, "You're a freak...you're all alone...nobody understands." Yes, these are my own insecurities talking and I fully recognize that fact. But you have to admit that there is some kernel of truth in there.
I know Travis was a half-finished boy, but I can't help but feel like this is the only time when people see that as something lacking. I mean, if I had wanted to abort him, people would have said, "But he's half finished! You can't do that!" But he died on his own, so his half-finished status makes him...less? Less worthy of grief? Less worthy of love? You want me to try again? It took me MONTHS to get past the grief from losing Alex. Why would this grief take less than a month? Because Travis was only 20 weeks where Alex was 35 weeks? I'm confuzzled by all of this. Where do you draw the line? When is a boy a boy? When am I allowed to grieve his leaving me with nobody to give my love and hopes and dreams to? What's the cutoff date? Just decide that it's not going to stop me? How nice of a pep talk. I'll tell ya what...decide which of your children you would like to give up, and after they're dead I'll tell you to, "just decide that it shouldn't stop you."
And I have to be honest...if one more person says, "I can only imagine the pain you're going through," or, "It's so heartbreaking," I may just break down and weep at their feet [present blog company excluded]. When I lost Alex, I held onto my sanity by listening to the voices who simply said, "You are not alone." Now...there are so few people willing to stop gawking at the horror of it all and offer that very simple reassurance. I know people can only imagine. I know it's heartbreaking. I know we are alone in navigating this nightmare. I don't expect you to understand. But I sure do appreciate it if you're just able to hold my hand. You don't have to have magic words to fix things...they're unfixable...we all know that. But you can let me know that I'm not alone...and that's enough. Besides which, there are NO appropriate responses when someone is standing in front of you telling you how they think your life is like a freak show. At least in the blogosphere, I've got fellow freaks telling me what a freak show my life is...and that lessens the sting and the need for a polite response. :o)
So now I have my own little cheering section. I'm apparently supposed to be inspired by women who try, try again. Maybe I will be. But it's just too early for that. In fact, I may never be ready for that. Right now, it's just too early to forget my little half-finished boy. Whether you can appreciate it or not, I love him...he is my son...and I grieve over his death. Stop cheering for a moment and just hold my hand...offer a hug...something other than the incessant chatter that's going to be misinterpreted through my fog of sadness anyway.