I looked at Steve yesterday while we watched the latest news about the discovery of Jessie Davis' nine months pregnant body and said something I was sure would sound horrible. I'm still not sure it comes out with the exact inflection necessary to get my point across. But Steve understood, so I'm going to try to type it into words and see how it looks in print.
First let me say how horrible the situation is and how sad I feel for that family. This, in no way, is intended to be a comment on their loss or the sadness they must feel. I've lost two babies but I have no idea what pain it must be to lose a grown child and a baby at the same time. My heart aches for them. At the same time, I have a question that I would really love answered.
I have watched the news reports (how could I not...it is the lead of our local newscast every night). I know that the unborn baby had a name...Chloe. I have grown ever more resentful, as people have expressed how sad they were over Chloe's death. They talk about her lost potential. They talk about how loved Chloe was/is.
Yet when people talk with me, they are shocked if/when I mention the names of my sons. People seem perplexed at my feelings over our loss. There is a definite discomfort with recognizing my dead children as actual children...loved...lost potential...dearly missed even though we never really got to know them.
Nobody tells John Walsh to "get over it." Everyone remembers Laci Peterson and Baby Conner. But tens of thousands of mothers are told to "move on" every years. TENS of THOUSANDS. What is that?
Steve says he thinks that a good tragedy unites people. I think he might be right. If there is enough moral outrage at the WAY a baby died, then it becomes socially acceptable to mourn that loss. But if your baby just dies as the result of something so mundane as a bacterial infection, then there is a time limit on the acceptability of the grief. It's as if people need a vehicle with which to justify their grief feelings.
But what is weird to me is that women like myself, who have the vehicle of medical breach of care, are seen as grasping at straws...as somehow desperate. It is an odd thing. And as I said, I'm not sure I've expressed myself clearly. Just something I'm turning around in my brain for now. As often happens with these thoughts, clarity may or may not come later.