October 6th What Not To Say

11:48 am


October 6th What Not To Say, originally uploaded by indiaeden.

I doubt there is a babylost parent out there that hasn't had a stupid or thoughtless comment made to them at some time.
I like to believe that most thoughless comments are the result of fear, and mouths springing into action before the brain is properly focused, or has had time to consider the impact of the words falling from the mouth.
I've had lots of the usual things said to me, been told I'm brave and often, the same person will also say how they couldn't be as brave if it happened to them...I do wonder what exactly they would do instead? And although I'm sure they don't mean this, but are they implying they love their children so much more than I do because they couldn't possibly go on?
I have had one person tell me it was time I moved on, and focused on my living children. That enraged me, but I simply walked away, when really what I wanted to do was ask her which one of her children she could move on from so quickly? And had she any idea how much I had been focussing on my older children and supporting them through their grief?
Two days after Florence died, I had a phone call from someone telling me she knew just how I felt because her happy healthy living daughter had spent some time in hospital as a baby, and then she cried and told me every detail of her child's hospital stay. She didn't just do this once, but several times over that summer.
The photo though shows something that was said to me after I told someone that my youngest daughter had died.
I was incredulous at her response, I almost laughed as I replied, "She was 9lbs 3.5oz, she was born alive."
Really though, what hurts the most is when nothing is said, when Florence is not mentioned or acknowleged.

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7 comments

  1. Oh love, I am bawling. How can human beings be so incredible incapable of sensitivity and compassion?

    My heart hurts that you've had to hear these things. (((()))

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  2. I would never compare the loss of my brother to what you have gone through, but, yes, it's the people who haven't mentioned it or who haven't even bothered to ask me how I am that I've been most disappointed with. 'Not knowing what to say' isn't a good enough excuse. I've sometimes felt that some people think dead brothers are contagious. I'm sorry that you've had to deal with such insensitivity. x

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  3. I have perfected the art of deep slow breathing in response to the what can be said......My daughters death can not be equated to the death of a family goldfish , neither will I ever be 'over' her .I am touched by your transparency and honesty to this project. It honours your lovely Florence

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  4. These people need to "move on" from their insensitivity! Loads of love x

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  5. Oh Jeanette. I'm so sorry my dear.

    Like you, I do try to give people the benefit of the doubt. With emphasis on the try.

    I just think that people don't think these glib little comments through to their bitter conclusion. As you rightly say, WHICH of your children would you move on from so quickly then?

    Your dear Florence xo



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  6. Oh J., YES, I feel it too. What a horrible thing for someone to say. I am sure people have thought the same when I have told them about Henry. People are just so CONFUSED as to how a baby dies. How can that happen? Why? Where? What a sanitized existence so many people lead, how nice for them not to know what it's like to hold your dying child in your arms. It makes me so angry, but then so sad for them, in a way I feel like we were given a few gifts out of this horribleness (not that I wouldn't give them back in a moment to have our babies back, dont get me wrong!!!) -- the gift of understanding incredible loss and grief, the gift of cherishing life and every moment with our living children. As always, in love,
    M

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  7. I've not been able to do this meme, or even to look at many of them. Sigh. Maybe another time.

    I love that you presented this in this way, it makes it almost beautiful. Silly people, silly silly silly.

    Hugs as ever.

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