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Sunday, May 15, 2011


This is a duplicate post...sort of.  I know that I posted it once because several ladies commented on it.  It seems, however, that it fell victim to Blo.gger's issues, and somehow reverted back to a saved draft with some content missing.  So here is my second attempt...

We each have our own way of processing our losses, but as a BLM, we each eventually accept that our hearts automatically causes our brains to form thought attachments.  We simply accept that our brains will, for a very long time, attach thoughts of our dead babies to so many of our daily routines, activities and conversations.  For me, it's just one of the bullet points listed under 'new normal.'

Eventually we begin to care less and less about the fact that expressing those thought attachments might make someone else uncomfortable, and we start to throw them into daily conversation here and there.  We watch people squirm a little bit and sometimes we can actually see them mentally searching for the 'right' words with which to respond.  And then, one day, just when we think there are none left, another bomb drops.  It stops you mid-sentence and mid-step, and might actually cause you to be momentarily lost for words.

That bomb dropped for me today.  Again, it's not necessarily the bomb itself that stings, but having to remind myself that people forget.  Quickly.  I was talking with one of my per-diem employees today, and I said something that included the phrase "...since Gracie died..."  -  "Who?"  - "Gracie."  - "Gracie who?"  "Our Gracie, our baby."  -  "Oh."   Now, this woman was our back-up labor coach for Gracie's birth, and she walks with us on our M.o.D. team, so she's not exactly unfamiliar with I was stupified by this entire conversation (which lasted only 5-10 seconds).  It's just reinforcing proof that it's absolutely not burned into the minds of everyone around us...and certainly not in the front of the minds of those who are still supportive of our journey even years after our losses.

The entire encounter made me think about my grandmother today.  She is 91 and in a skilled nursing facility with substantial Alzheimer's Disease.  She has 3 living children and 1 dead baby.  All I know about my Uncle David is that he died when he was a baby.  I don't know where he fell in the birth order, I don't know if he was stillborn or died after birth, and I don't know why he died.  I do know that I have heard people talk about him only twice in my 34 years and that he was not listed in my grandfather's obituary (as having predeceased his father).  It all makes me wonder about how my Grandmother has really felt all these years.  Was she able to push it from her mind and move on with her life (because that's what was forced upon her) or did she think of my Uncle David often and just keep it to herself?   I wonder if, amongst her Alzheimer's, she thinks of him now.  Oh, how I would love to talk with my grandmother about this, but the Alzheimer's makes this an off limits conversation.  Sadly, I don't know what she would be able to remember, or how accurate it would be, and she also does not know about my little Gracie. 


JenJen said...

First, I'm sorry about what happened today. Huge ((hugs))

Second, my inlaws had a baby die during childbirth due to a cord accident. She wasn't allowed to hold him or see him. They didn't name him and his tiny gravemarker only says "Baby boy N..." My fil told her to stop crying about the baby because she should be happy that they baby is in Heaven and that crying for him was selfish. Could you imagine?

We have, of course, dealt with our grief of losing Lily in an entirely different matter. She's talked about, we have pictures of her around the house, her urn is near my bedside, and this totally freaks my inlaws out. They don't seem to understand that FOR US it would hurt more to act as if she never existed...

Thinking of you and your girls, always...

Dawn Brown said...

I hate those conversations. I've had a couple mentioning Brayden, and some people didn't even know his name...people who should have.

My grandmother lost her only daughter at birth. I didn't know that until we lost our son. She said it just wasn't talked about back then. She opened up a little bit about it, but it's been so long and was such a taboo subject that it was difficult for her. The woman who runs the craft shop in town opened up to me about losing her daughter at birth 30 years ago, a woman I really don't know that well. Sometimes, we just need that connection when previously there were none.

She might remember more than you think, but it depends on if she can talk about it or not. It wouldn't hurt to broach the subject. Maybe she would have a few things to say that would help you and her.