On January 18th, I wrote a post titled, ““This is No Time to be Selfish”. The post explained that often parents who are grieving the loss of a child feel pressure to be unselfish. They feel the need to be concerned and try to help with the pain and needs of others, sometimes considering those needs ahead of their own. We know that when we lost Bug, it affected all who loved her. We cherish that love. It comforts me to know that even though she was only here a short time, she touched a lot of lives and created a lot of love.
We know everyone who sees us suffering wants to help. Seeing someone in pain like this, makes everyone feel helpless and uncomfortable. So, they start trying to help. We have been supported by so many people and in so many ways that it amazes me. From small gestures just to show we are in their thoughts to daily support with difficult tasks, it all clearly shows the love and support that is out there for us. I don’t know how losing her didn’t destroy me completely. I honestly don’t know how we have made it this far living in a world without her. I do know that we couldn’t have made it at all without all that love and support we have received.
So what does this have to do with grieving parents being selfish? The people who want to help do all that they can, anything they can think of to try and help. Sometimes, suggestions are made or concerns are voiced and as I listen, patiently with an open mind. I often find myself thinking, Is this for their benefit or for mine?
Why don’t you go to the mall and spend some money. That always makes me feel better.
Maybe you should get away for a while. Go away for the weekend.
What about a nice dinner out together? Wouldn’t that be nice?
Want to come over and watch the game? It’ll be good for you.
You really need to…
Have you thought about…
I have a friend who…
If it were only that easy!
You don’t get it. You can’t get it. Wherever I go, it is with me. Things won’t ever go back to normal. EVER. You don’t know anything about how to deal with this. Neither do I. So why should I listen to you? That is the honest truth. It’s not anger. It’s reality. My baby is dead. I try every second of every day to try and understand, accept, and live in that reality. You and I are no longer living in the same world.
I feel I am coming to a realization that those around us will never comprehend this pain. I know they can’t understand it, because if they did they would never do some of the things they do or say some of the things they say. You can’t tell me that Elbow has forgotten all about her twin sister Bug and not expect that to knock me down, hard. You can’t tell me that I am doing it wrong. You can’t tell me to suck it up.
I don’t blame them. They just don’t know. They truly want to help. But the truth is, there is no answer. This is how it is right now. You can never understand this. I don’t want you to. I am living what people call their worst nightmare. Don’t even try and imagine it. It’s too awful. But that is my reality. You and I will never again think the same way. I will never again be the same person. My perspective is different. I don’t know anything about the future or how it should, could, or will happen. And neither do you. Let’s all just accept that.