I've had some encounters lately that make me realize how our society seems to discourage speaking of someone (especially a child) who has died. We went to a new fish market downtown and took the girls with us. Now that RSV season is over we're venturing out a bit more. Anyway, we had the girls in my Double Mountain Buggy and the owners of the shop asked if they were twins. I have resolved that I will always say "No, they are my surviving triplets." So I did and the wife went on to tell me that she lost her first son as an infant 17 years ago. We talked for a while, we connected, we shared, we even shed some tears. She said sometimes it feels like it was yesterday.
This past week I was in Florida for work and went art shopping with my client. The woman who was ringing us up saw my name and said "My daughter's name was Keira"...most people who have not lost a child would probably gloss over that one word "was" that lets you know that child is no longer here. Most people are afraid to go there...to ask about someone who has died out of fear for upsetting that person. But, I, needing every chance I get to talk about Zoe and figuring that she did too asked her "Was?...did she pass away?" She went on to tell me that her daughter died at 2 months of age due to SIDS, that was two years ago. We did the same...we talked, we shared, we cried a little...but it felt good to talk about our daughters. We needed to talk about our daughters. We exchanged emails and I hope we'll continue to correspond and support one another.
The bond you feel with mothers who have lost children is similar to that when you meet another micro-preemie mom or another high order multiple mom...there are just things in your existance that the "average" mom or person just can't relate to. I hate that I am now a part of this group...the bereaved mother's group...because it means Zoe is not here...but like I've found before, I have found a community of people who have lost their children. I have also found that, no matter the age at which the child dies or the circumstances, we all seem to need similar things...most importantly for our friends and family to acknowledge our loss, to understand that the pain will live on forever, and to talk about our children. Please, please talk about our children who have gone to Heaven. We have to talk about them, don't ever be afraid to upset us or be afraid of our tears...we will cry a day after, a month after, 20 years after the death of that child, don't ever be afraid to talk about our children, we desperately need to talk about them.
I want to share a few poems, one was sent to me by one of my readers (Kristy, thank you for sharing your story with me. I am honored that you are willing to share such an incredible and personal experience with me.) The second poem was posted in my e-newsletter from Compassionate Friends. I apologize that I do not know the names of the poets.
When God calls little children to dwell with him above,
we mortals sometimes question the wisdom of his love.
For no heartache compares with the death of one small child
who does so much to make our world seem wonderful and mild.
Perhaps God tires of calling the aged to His fold,
so He picks a rosebud before it can grow old.
God knows how much we need them, and so He takes but few,
Believing this is difficult, still somehow we must try.
The saddest word mankind knows will always be “Goodbye.”
So when a little child departs,
we who are left behind must realize God loves children,
angels are hard to find.
If Roses Grow in Heaven
If roses grow in Heaven,
Lord please pick a bunch for me,
Place them in my daughter's arms
and tell her they're from me.
Tell her I love her and miss her,
and when she turns to smile,
place a kiss upon her cheek
and hold her for awhile.
Because remembering her is easy,
I do it everyday,
but there's an ache within my heart
that will never go away.
And finally....some pictures of our incredibly strong survivors who are both walking and talking up a storm and even swimming! Yes, they are in swim survival classes which are going well. This program is incredible as it strives to reach all children to prevent drowning and gets us out of the house every day which is also very helpful. If you're interested go to http://www.infantswim.com/ to find a certified instructor in your area. The Today show will be doing a feature on the program on May 14th.
So that's it for now. I hope all my fellow blogging Mommies and readers had a wonderful Mother's Day.
Our trip to the Yellow River Game Ranch with Richard's sister and her family, my mom and Richard's mom was a huge hit. Everyone had a great time. The girls got to pet some bunnies, we fed sheep, goats, bears, even buffalo!!
Little Cinderella Lily