Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Won't Ignore My Daughter's Life

You know, I won't ignore that my daughter lived. I won't remain silent when someone asks, "Do you have any children?" "Yes, she lives in heaven." And, I'm pretty comfortable with that. And on this journey, I have also encountered those who upon hearing me speak of my daughter get quiet, change the subject, or walk away--sometimes they actually walk away from me and sometimes they walk away electronically.

I will answer honestly with "It's been hard this past year and a half, because I'm surviving the death of my child," when someone from another life, another world, another time "finds" and "friends" me and cheerily wants to know how I am. I am more interested in honoring the life and death of my child, then worrying about whether I shocked the person into their own silence. I'm not happy about educating others about how to speak to a bereaved mother, but I'm not exactly shying away from my imposed task. And, if I could have spoken in person, I would have wanted to say, "It's OK to say 'I'm sorry.' Those two words show some empathy and compassion."

Here's my ridiculous question, that I know has no answer. "Why can people spew so much hate and find so many phrases and labels to hurt others, but can't find the air to whisper, 'I'm sorry'"? Why can some discuss whether I've moved on, lost weight, or am still sad, but can't find the time to mention, "I was thinking about you and your daughter today."?

Well, no matter. I am OK. I have plenty of family and friends and strangers too, who love me and do say those things. And so, because I have received what I need to survive, I thought I ought to pass it on. To my fellow bereaved mommies I say:

I am so sorry. I think about you and your children frequently and send you hope for some strength and healing.


  1. Thank you, Caitsmom. I am so sorry that you lost your daughter as well. I too pray for you and for all of us who hurt.

  2. Thank you, I think of you and Caitlin often.

    Your questions are valid, wish there were an answer to each of them.

    Thinking of you and all my babyloss mama's (and daddys) out there.

  3. Thank you for the compassion with which you write.I was deeply touched and felt very blessed by your last two sentences.It was what this grieving mum's heart needed to hear tonight.
    Remembering your precious Caitlin with you tonight,
    your fellow MISSister.

  4. Thank you. As always, your words ring true to me. I am sorry, and I think of you, your daughter, and send hope your way as well.

  5. ..."but can't find the air to whisper, 'I'm sorry'"
    Powerful words!

  6. I just feel such a connection with you. I was at the National Share training this last week where our kids were expected, talked about with respect, and real in every sense. It was such a safe space. Then, I had to back in the real world where one mention of Emma's name and they recoil.

    I have three kids!

  7. I'm sorry too that your daughter is not here with you.

  8. I'm sorry. I DO think about you and Caitlin often. I pray for you knowing that for the rest of your life you'll have her on your heart and mind. And that's okay.

    You are a beautiful woman with an amazing heart. Your posts inspire me.

  9. ((hugs)) I think about you and your children, too. How strange that we can have support and friends on the internet that we can get nowhere else. Whatever did bereaved moms do before internet?

    Thanks for your comments on my Stepping Stones blog

  10. There is a certain awkwardness for others. Like they are embarresed at what they just whinged about prior to speaking about our babes.

    I think we all get that.... that slight moment of silence, then a quick change of subject or "I'm just gonna walk away now"

    I am so thankful that we all have this place in blog land to let it all out and to receive much needed support from those who really do understand and genuinely care.

    You daughter is loved and remembered.


  11. i'm proud of you for talking about your daughter. of course you should, she is your daughter and she died. what else is important? why should that have to be kept secret? other people need to get comfortable with us babylost parents and know the truth. i hear you about not wanting to teach people how to treat a bereaved mother, but unfortunately it does seem like something we all have to do. people are just plain stupid sometimes and so uncomfortable with death, especially the death of a baby.

    i'm with you and you can talk about your grief and your daughter any time, all the time.

  12. I love that you talk about Caitlin. She is so real to me, through your writings on this blog.
    My precious Benjamin died over 16 months ago, and I still have yet to gracefully answer the question, "How many children do you have?" It is so hard!
    I love this post because of the courage and love behind it.