Friday, September 2, 2011

Love and Grief

I have been thinking about some things that have been said to me in the past, as well as peoples reactions to my grief.
I would like to start by saying that the amount of love i have for my child, has nothing to do with how long i carried them, how big they were, or whether a pregnancy is planned or not. I wanted and loved, every one of my children, the same, as soon as i saw two pink lines. THAT is when my life with them started. Not once they were born. I did not love my child that i carried the longest, weighed over 8 lbs, anymore than my child that was carried a week less and weighed jut over 6 lbs. The size of my child doesnt matter. I also do not love my 10 year old, more than my 2 year old. Love is not quantified by size, or time spent. I can honestly say that i love all 10 of my kids equally. I do not feel that i should have less pain, when a child dies inutero, because the child did not breathe, smile, giggle, or walk on this earth, than I should if my child took 1 or 1000 breaths. The fact that i never held my breathing child, is actually something i mourn. I am not grateful that they didnt live a while so i would be attached, then have them die. I WAS attached. Emotionally and Physically. I would have given anything to see my child breathe, hear my child cry, and to hold a soft warm body.
I know that many people think i dont have a right to grieve. I know this because i have been told this. I was told i am "sick" for grieving the loss of a child that never lived outside of my body, and i am pretty certain by the reaction of other loved ones, they feel the same way, but chose not to use the words.
I find it interesting, even within the grief community, how judgements are made, and support is given. It seems some people who are also grieving parents, maybe dont "count" my kids as being my kids. maybe dont think that i should grieve them, because they were so small, or didnt live outside of my body. I even think sometimes, that because i dont talk about it all the time, that people feel i have moved on, or I am over it, and dont need that extra hug. I do not spend time in group anymore, because of some personal feelings, that does not mean i dont love, and miss my kids, it just means my situation has changed.
My entire life is not surrounding the deaths of my 6 children. I actually do live "normal" life, taking care of what i need to do, enjoying my life and activities. However, there are 5 days a year, i celebrate my children that died. I celebrate Rachel and Rebecca on September 1, Brock on May 22, Erik on October 25, Joe on Feb 11, and Noah on June 25. I celebrate that I am their mother, and while i dont know why they were taken from me, the fact remains, they are mine. I do not consider myself to be obsessed with the deaths of my children, but I remember them. I think about them everyday. When someone asks me "how many children do you have?", it pulls at my heart. There will always be an emptiness in my heart. There will always be the need for someone to mention their names, or to ask about them.
I also know there will always be judgements, and people will likely always think it is time to forget or get over it. There will be people who dont offer support, or roll their eyes if i say i am having a hard day. I am working on being OK with these experiences, and knowing that luckily, most of the world doesnt truly get the lifelong suffering after the death of a child. I will even be ok when these judgements and feelings come from within the grief community.
Like i have said before. My grief is my grief. This is my journey to walk, and mine alone, because no other mother lost, Rachel, Rebecca, Brock, Erik, Joe, and Noah. But I hope that people keep in mind that Love and Grief are not quantified by the size of the person who was taken from us, or how long this person was on the Earth. As Dr Seuss says, "A person is a person, no matter how small"
I am grateful for the support i have received over the years. I am grateful for the people who dont judge me, who love me as i am, and that are kind to me. I am grateful to be the mom to 10 beautiful children. I am grateful for my good days, as well as my bad as having bad days, reminds me i am still human. I will love them forever, miss them for always. I am their mom.

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