I’m The Lady With The Dead Baby

norman-toth-171216-unsplash.jpg

I’m the lady with the dead baby.

It’s okay, I’m allowed to be so blunt because it’s my truth.  I am the lady whose baby died. One day my baby was living and the next day she died.  That is what happened.  It doesn’t offend me if you acknowledge this.

It offends me when you don’t.

You see, I know that my baby died.  I will not forget this.  So, when you whisper about it like it’s a secret that feels shameful.  It makes me feel like you’re embarrassed for me. I’m not embarrassed about my baby and I’m not embarrassed that she died.  I’m sad that she died. It’s different.

I am allowed to be sad that my baby died.  Please stop trying to cheer me up.  When you respond by trying to cheer me up, it feels dismissive.  Being supportive does not mean making me happy, it means sticking around even when I’m not.  When you honor my emotions, you honor my child.

When I say my daughter’s name and you not-so-subtly change the subject, you are not doing so to “protect me.”  You are avoiding the subject of my child because you are uncomfortable.  If you were talking about your own loved one and I stopped meeting your gaze or frantically switched topics, you would be upset with me.  Same.

My baby is not an awkward topic.  She is a person.  She is my daughter.  I don’t feel awkward about that, so why do you?

Please understand, I believe that when you do these things it is with the best intentions, but I need you to know that your intentions have a painful impact.  So, while you get to stroll away with your good intentions, I am left with the hurtful impact you left behind.

I may be the lady whose baby died but you can still talk to me like you did when I was the lady who was going to have a baby.  You can still say my child’s name and let me know that you care.  You can still ask me how I’m doing and wait around to hear my answer.

Please don’t ignore my truth, especially when I am so strongly committed to sharing it.  I have not made my baby’s death a secret, so I don’t need your help in hiding her.  That’s where the struggle comes from.  I have to keep talking about her and saying her name because she can’t.  I can’t stop because then she will disappear.

I know you want to change what happened to me.  But, you can’t.  I will always be the lady whose baby died.  I will always be the woman who is living without her child.  I am okay talking about that.  Are you?

Photo by Norman Toth on Unsplash

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23 thoughts on “I’m The Lady With The Dead Baby

  1. So sorry we have to be in the worst club I could imagine. Sorry for your loss. This is especially hurtful when it is the few family members who were able to meet my son who deny his existence and quickly change the subject.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry for your loss. It is definitely hardest when it’s family because your child is their family too. So, how can they deny them? I have accepted that this is how some family members are but I will never understand it. It always hurts. Thank you for taking the time to read and then to reach out. It means so much. ❤

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  2. Thank you for sharing. This is so true and one of the hardest things for people who have never lost a child to understand. Although sometimes it is painful to talk about the loss of your child it is even more painful to never speak of them and go about life never mentioning them or their existence. I have this problem a lot especially on holidays no one wants to ask or speak of my daughter because it’s either uncomfortable or they are afraid of hurting or upsetting me because I have always been someone who wears their heart on their sleeve. I am also a very blunt person and honest person so I loved your line I am the lady who lost a child. I feel I become even more blunt and honest as time passes because I am so passionate to keep my daughter Chloe memory alive because she was our first child
    and although she was only with us for twenty four weeks, the joy of being her parents and seeing her grow will always be something we cherish and never forget. So sorry for your loss and will be praying for you.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. My daughter died nearly 6 and a half years ago. She lived for about half an hour before she passed. I know exactly what you are writing about. I want her memory to live on and it’s hard when sometimes it feels as if everyone else seems to have moved on. Her name was Lyla Faye. She was my angel. I am sorry for your loss. You are not alone in your grief ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  4. i had the same feelings, thoughts and impressions as you. I want to talk about the death of my son because I want to give to him a place on earth,not only in my mind. In Spain, the baby need to be alive after the birth 48h, if not, you cannot inscribe them at the civil registration, neither give a name. It is consider an abortion not a baby.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Reblogged this on Dealing with My Grief and commented:
    WOW. Yes. Reading this brought me to my knees. Remembering feeling these exact words, this description is spot on. My heart feels/felt what this mother and all mothers who lose/lost a child do. I remember describing it as an invisible field around me where people literally formed a distance pathway for me to walk through alone, just far away that they never had to make eye contact. It has been 6 years and 5 months since my 7 week old baby died. People, still act different after they find out. The akward Ness fades faster, as I have become better at comforting this unexpected news to them. I also remember the relief I felt the first time I went away, to a city where no one knew me and was spoken to as the old me, the person that wasn’t the lady who’s baby died. But today, at least I am not invisible anymore. Enough time has past, the whispers and quiet shame is long gone. I still talk openly about my loss, but the select few who I bring her up to matter more to me. Whereas before, I wanted to shout from the roof, look at me. I guess that is the evolution of grief. It stays forever. But changes constantly.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. First, i’m so sorry that you, too, are a member of this club. But i want to say a few words, too, as the nana to a child lost at 33 days. My heart hurts, and it hurts a LOT; still, we do have to go on, too. That doesn’t mean never mentioning or remembering Chase, our precious little one. However, he cannot be the only topic, which is sort of where my sweet daughter is two years later. That hurts as much as the loss.
    My goes out to all who are members of this club – it’s the worst. The.worst. Am i wrong?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reaching out. It’s a terrible club to be in. My heart goes out to you and your family after the loss of your sweet Chase. It’s been a little over 2 years for me and I want to talk about my baby every day. I don’t know your daughter, but I’m not sure if she wants Chase to be the only topic of conversation but I’m sure she feels comfort from talking about him since she is not able to parent him in the way that she imagined she would. I encourage you to keep talking to your daughter and most importantly, don’t put a timeline on grief. It is a lifelong experience. It will ebb and flow and like I said in the piece, we don’t need people to cheer us up or help us “move on”, we need them to love us when we are hard to love and love us wherever we are in our grief. Sending lots of love to your family and remembering Chase.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It is the worst. As a grandparent you lose a grandchild, but you also feel helpless as a parent when our children are hurting so much. Our angel is Claire Elizabeth. Thank you for sharing. God bless your family and Chase.

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  7. Thank you for writing the words in my heart. We lost our daughter Lily, on the 6th December 2009. We have since had two beautiful boys, but not a day goes by that I don’t think of my daughter. I talk about her all the time. I speak her name whenever I need to. I still allow myself to stroll through the girls sections at the shops and wonder what she would be into as an 8 year old. On most days I will be ok, I will browse the girls things and allow myself a fleeting moment of longing… on other days I allow myself to really feel the pain I still have. And that’s ok. It never goes away and I don’t want it to. It’s all I have of her, and I’ll hold it tight. It becomes part of who you are, it keeps them close and a part of your everyday. I am still a happy, fully functioning, brilliant mother to my boys. I am a better mother to them, because of her. I am just a little bit broken. I always will be. And I want to tell you that it’s ok. We are ok.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This resonates with me deeply. We lost our son and daughter 11 years, and in January 2018 I lost my husband very suddenly and I unexpectedly. I feel as described all the time. You can replace child for spouse because it feels the same. Isolating and filled with a loneliness I have never known. It is another blow on top of a mountain of grief that we are trying to survive. Acknowledgement of the pain and allowing it to exist is so important. It validates your feelings and the gravity of the loss. Thank you for articulating it so beautifully.

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    1. But what can you say when you are the Nana and all you do is burst into tears if you try to talk about her and feel guilty when you don’t talk about the sweet angel because of information like this. I want to put my daughter in law and son’s feelings first, but I’m not talking about her because I literally feel sick every time I think about her. I hurt beyond words and I’m not sure my daughter in law understands that though I’ve tried to express it. I know the pain of a grandparent does not even closely measure up to the pain of the parents that have lost their child, but it is pretty traumatic for grandparents, too, because our child is hurting and we have lost our grandchild. I’m just not sure how to handle any of this. I would like to know your thoughts. Thank you in advance.

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      1. Have you let them know why you’re struggling to talk about their child? Perhaps you could write it in a letter. Your grief is real and it is valid. No one knows how to do this and we have a lifetime to figure it out together. Let them know you’re thinking of your sweet grandchild this holiday season by doing something in their memory. Sending lots of love to you. Please feel free to email me if you would like some additional resources or support.

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  9. This blog is the reason I started writing again. It’s not a fun club to be a part of but I’m so glad thatit feels less lonely. This was so blunt and so in your face and so real. Such comfort is felt every time I read your words. Thank you.

    Like

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