I get it, Ricki Lake thinks that because she had a part with the successful Independent film "The Business of Being Born" she is now an expert on all things baby and child related. Unfortunately, her show proves otherwise. After recently receiving backlash for a show she did on infertility, she did a show on mourning the loss of a child. Something she has not experienced. Not only did she not speak from personal experience, she made absolutely no effort to learn anything about the experience, other than to have a doctor on the show who did nothing to help a grieving family. A doctor who is best known for his work on Diet Rehab. Because dieting and child loss are so similar. Not.
Rikki Lake Mourning the Loss of a Child
The above link will show you the segment they did. Ricki was concerned because after 5 months, the couple was still saddened by the loss of their child shortly after birth. She was concerned that they were visibly sad and their 4 year old daughter was able to see them being sad after 5 whole months had already passed. The doctor explained that they should "fake it til they make it" and put on that big happy face for the world and their daughter to see. Ricki expressed that she felt it was unacceptable that they relieved their child's death every day.
We have had a 4 year old. We had a nearly 3 year old who lost her baby brother. I can assure you, we were still visibly sad at 5 months. There are times we are still visibly sad, 5 years later. There are days that she is still saddened by his loss. It was her brother, it was a baby she loved and cared for. A 3 year old can comprehend that. They may not understand death and loss on the same level as an adult, but they do get it on their level.
We cried in front of Kaitlyn, we were honest with her, we never faked any emotion around her, we explained that it was ok for her to be sad, for her to be happy, for her to live her life, for her to miss him and for her to talk to him. She's 8 now. A dramatic diva, a well balanced child who aspires to be a pop star or a chef at Taco Bell during the summers she's not teaching.
Just a couple of short generations ago, parents were encouraged to get over it immediately. They were never shown their stillborn babies. They never got to see what their sweet faces looked like. They never got to wrap their little one's fingers around theirs. They never had the opportunity to feel the weight of that baby in their arms, to keep a lock of their hair, to dress them, to have proper services for them or to grieve in public. Miscarriages were never spoken of. No one ever talked to those mothers or fathers about what they were going through. You just got over it.
We are a society so quick to blame the desensitizing of our youth on violent movies or video games. We argue that children do not understand the permanence or effect death has on family and friends. Yet, we are expected to quickly get over the loss of a child that we created, the most innocent of lives gone. Only 5 months later, we should not be showing that sadness to the world or our surviving children. We should be strong. We should move on. We should look for that silver lining at all times.
What does that teach our children? What effect does that have on showing our children that each and every life is important and treasured? How does that teach our children how very important our family is to us?
Ricki Lake has two children. Two living sons. Do you know what the difference between her living sons and our deceased son is? (Aside from the quantity part) They are living and ours is not. That's it. Just because Matthew died does not mean he is any less our son or any less a part of our family. He is thought of each and every single day. He is missed every day. When we hold our children, we miss out on holding him. There are times you can see a part of him in them, especially in Charlotte. Him dying does not make his life any less important than the life of the child of anyone else. We love him just as much, we care for him just the same.
Ricki Lake, I hope that you realize what a disservice you have done to all those parents who continue to grieve the loss of their child. I wish you would have put forth the tiniest of effort to do any research prior to your show and actually educated society on the reality of losing a child.