Thursday, January 26, 2012

I HATE the term

Baby Loss Mom.  Or Mother.  Or Mama.  Or BLM.

I think because it emphasizes so much on the word Baby.  Or, maybe it's just in my head that it does.

To me, I don't think it matters how old your child was when they passed away.  The pain is still enough to make you feel as though someone cut through your chest with the dullest of spoons, ripped out your heart, stomped on it, put it through a paper shredder, then grabbed a couple of those pieces up, shoved them back in your chest cavity, stitched you up with a rusted needle and sent you your way to see if you survive it or not.

Sometimes, I think that when people find out we had a son that passed away, they find it less heartbreaking to find out that he was "just a baby" and that someone makes it a little more Ok?  Because after all, we didn't have as much time to get to know him, or to bond with him, or to become attached.


I mean seriously?

And I get it.  I think there are different pains depending on how old your child is when you are forced into making their final arrangements.  Whether your child was born still, or passed as an infant, a toddler, a child, a teenager or a grown adult with their own family, the pain is just as intense.  It is still such a raw feeling that makes you want to puke.

You miss different things.  You either miss the things they would do or you miss not knowing the things they would have done.  You either see them in their own children or you see them in their siblings.  You either get to reflect on the years you created memories together or you spend those years wondering what memories you would have created.  You either miss them and their quirky ways or you miss them and learning about their personality traits.

I just do not understand how we got to a point where we started differentiating.  Where we started almost justifying it.  As though if you had decades with your child, that made the pain less unbearable or if you didn't have a chance to find out what their favorite color was somehow the pain isn't as terrible.  After all, you didn't even know them or you had that time together.

And I do know that the term isn't used to be hurtful or differentiate necessarily.  I get that.  I respect that.  I respect those that feel comfortable using it, I respect those that want a community like feeling and get that when they can classify themselves with others.  I mean, after all, there are terms for widows and orphans, yet there has yet to be a term to describe the horrific feeling of being a parent forever separated from your child.  There is no term imaginable that can sum up what it is like to continue living when your child does not.  But, regardless of the child's age, the parents are left with that pain.

At the end of the day, I wish there was a term.  A term that can just sum up a sentence when asked how many kids you have and where the missing one is as quickly as the term widow and orphan.  And I'm surprised that with how unfortunately common it is in today's world and how we are working on grieving and accepting and growing as a community we don't have one.

One day.


LauraJane said...

I don't take issue with the term BLM, because I do feel like it "unites" us mothers as a community. There really isn't a better word or phrase to describe it, so for now it'll do.

I do, however, agree 100% with your thoughts on people trying to justify or downplay a loss because the person was an infant/baby/fetus/whatever. At the end of the day, it's just as heartbreaking to think of the "never was" as it is to think back on the things that you did with that infant/baby/fetus... I had someone tell me shortly after our little man died that we were "lucky" he died before we really knew him. A friend of his had lost a toddler, and somehow that was more horrific because they knew and cared for that child in a way I couldn't possibly know because we never made it that far... It makes no sense to me, because I would LOVE to have more memories to miss, you know?

Anyways, just want you to know you're not alone.

Denise said...

I think, for me, being united makes me feel more separated. I appreciate the idea of being joined as a community of mothers that have lost children, but to me, it feels as though we separate ourselves into three categories: Those who lose during pregnancy, those who lose babies and everyone else. I think that leads to a lot of misunderstandings and a broken community. But, I also don't think of myself as just losing a baby, I think of it as losing my would be 4 1/2 year old son 4 years ago. Does that make sense?

Bobbi said...

As a mother who has suffered through the loss of two children.. a beautiful daughter that was 6 and an awesome son who reached the age of 26, I tell people that ask, that I am the incomplete parent of 10 children. They usually ask, " Incomplete?" and I answer, "Yes, two of my adored children are no longer living , seven are still with me , and that makes me still a parent, but an incomplete one.
That answer seems to make the most sense to me, and has served me well.

Denise said...

I think that is a perfect way to put it Bobbi.

Youngins said...

Beautiful words! It so ture, we need to stop comaring what stage we lost our children, and just be compassionate for those that have to endure this pain! Thanks for sharing!

I also like incomplete parent! I'm going to use that!

Lori said...

I've never loved the term either. I mean, yes, I use it...because it pretty much is the 'accepted' common term...but I don't love it. I don't love the 'loss' part. He died. I didn't lose him. I won't find him again here on this earth. He died. Died. I guess DeadBabyMother doesn't really cut it for many.

We went to a retreat for couples who have lost children...the ages ranged from right after birth-27 years old. There was a man who lost his wife as she was giving birth to twin boys (she had a connective blood tissue disorder). He was left then with his 5 year old son and 2 newborn boys. 17 years later, his son fell dead, on the FSU field, due to the same disorder (genetic). Six months later? One of the twin boys. 8 months later? He was diagnosed with blood cancer.

Anyway...the point is that after all families shared their stories, John and I walked away thinking, "Dear GOD...thank you for that pain not being OURS." How could we bear it? And you know what? The next morning, he came to us...crying...telling us he was so saddened we only had 9 hours with Matthew...that he was so grateful for the time with his boys and so heartbroken for what we'd never get. Like you's different what we miss or will miss...but it's ALL PAIN we are left with. We couldn't believe he was so saddened for US, when we were so saddened for HIM...but it just goes to show...there's no comparison. Or should be. It's all just so heartbreaking.

Also...the stranger near Kaitlyn's school? SCARY!