There is this small place inside of me. A quiet place meant for only me. Inside this space, I am free to think about all of the horrible things I would never admit to if asked.
Like how much I want to punch Susie for bragging about how the nurses begged her to come back to give birth again as her delivery ran so smoothly.
Or, how I hate when loss parents, regular parents, pretty much anybody tries to compare scars with me.
“Well, you didn’t lose all your children, so you’re lucky.”
“Can you imagine how hard that must have been, I mean she lost her child AT delivery.”
“At least you never had to watch him suffer.”
The smartass responses to all of these people come long after the interaction is over.
I have long drawn out conversations with the soap dispenser in the shower. Peppering my Pantene Pro-V with snarky answers, I would never dream of implementing in real life.
We all hear, all too often, how we should and should not interact with the grieving.
Even inside the walls of what is deemed appropriate comes the grey area in which a person takes your words and filters them through their lived experiences and comes to a conclusion that either a) you’re a jerk or b) you’re well-intentioned, and I’m just sensitive.
The truth is that loss does not define me.
My two miscarriages and the loss of my third son to stillbirth did redefine me, though.
I may be sensitive; I may hear a regular interaction and only hear the prickle in the words because they sting me personally.
It’s not easy to walk around with an aching heart and to also be tough and unaffected by the words of others.
I’ve stopped attempting to tell people what I need of them – people are who they are.
Someone will always rank my loss in their minds, deciding for themselves if I have suffered more or less than the woman standing next to me.
Someone will always want me to see the bright side even if I already feel as if I am living optimistically.
And yes, that damn Susie is going to keep popping out kids, effortlessly leaving the hospital baby in hand and a pat on the back.
It’s my duty as a person (with the added stress of being a loss mom) to filter through the noise, to behave like water on a duck. Not only in the way it repels it from its feathers (letting the crappy things people say roll off of me so to speak), but also in the way that it keeps pedaling frantically underwater, efforts going unnoticed by those who dare to glimpse (maintain calm while simultaneously maneuvering life in grief).
I’m not sure if many women feel the same way, feel the eyes of those around them scanning them every so often to ensure all is well during a crowded baby shower.
Or if they feel judged and measured against someone else’s pain.
All I know is I seek to live a life well lived and to do that; I need to quiet the noise.
I think a logical idea would be to try to rid myself of the small space in me that houses all the words I wish I said in defense of myself, of my child, of the choices I have made in grief.
Or perhaps, I will just be honest here in this post, allowing everyone to see the place that hardly ever lives in the daylight to help maybe other loss moms feel less alone.
– I hate that I was happily smiling on the drive into the hospital before I lost my son.
– I will always be jealous or envious when I hear about smooth/uncomplicated deliveries.
– I believe in my heart that there is no suffering that can be measured and I hate when people try to compare my loss to any other scenario.
– I get angry when I think about the fact that I will live my entire life missing my son.
Do you have any secret thoughts that need sharing instead of taking up permanent residence in your quiet place?
Morgan McLaverty, a world traveler that has taken roots in southern New Jersey where her husband Sean was born and raised. Now, a stay at home mother, she cares for her three living boys; Gavin Cole(5), Rowan Grey(3) and Holden Nash (1). She also is a mother to Lennon Rhys. Lennon was born still at thirty one weeks and five days. His loss spurred on a need in Morgan to write her feelings, share her grief and help others in the process. She hopes her words will help shed the silence and taboo nature of discussing pregnancy and child loss.