hollydoodle—wife, mommy, daughter, sister, friend…and any other hat i can wear

What Not to Say… September 29, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — hollydoodle00 @ 8:17 pm

This blog is going to be a debbie downer…but it is important to me that I share my thoughts on this topic.  As you all know…Zeb and I had a miscarriage in 2007.  We aren’t sure whether I was 9  weeks or 15weeks along…but that doesn’t really matter.  We lost our little baby.  We lost a child.  In helping cope with our loss, we decided to name the little one Keelan.  We both felt like he was a boy, but we didn’t have testing done to be sure. 

Anyway, I guess the reason I am thinking about this so much (which first let me say that I think about Keelan everyday)…is because this weekend, we had two friends that lost their children late in pregnancy.  I found out Saturday morning about my first friend…and it broke my heart when I read the email.  I found out about my second friend on Sunday night…and it truly broke my heart as if it were my own family.  This couple experienced their first miscarriage right after Zeb and I did.  It sucks so bad.   I am deeply saddened by this tragedy.  I know that God has some reason for allowing or causing this to happen. ..but it doesn’t make it easier.

Well, I was talking about it this weekend to some people…and it was as if I was re-living the days and weeks following losing Keelan.  The things people say are ridiculous.  Let me tell you WHAT NOT TO SAY TO SOMEONE who has had a miscarriage or stillbirth.

1.  God is good.  (Yes, we know this..if we are Christians.  However, that does not make us feel much better at the moment.)

2. There was something wrong with your baby.  (And?  I would still want my baby no matter what was wrong with him…PERIOD.)

3.  This is better for you.  (Shut up…you don’t know what is best for me.)

4.  You can always try for another one.  (Maybe…maybe not.  We do know the innocence and excitement are often times lost when you experience the first one…muchless more than one loss.)

5.  Maybe you just weren’t ready to have a child.  (Excuse me?  Is that for you to decide?  Nope.)

6.  You must have done something wrong…otherwise God wouldn’t have done this.  (That’s just stupid…it’s not our fault.)

7.  It’s because you drank too much caffeine.  (Yes, some people are idiots and think that this is what you need to hear….since you aren’t ALREADY TELLING YOURSELF ALL OF THE THINGS YOU SHOULD HAVE DONE DIFFERENTLY.)

8.  It is just meant to be.  (Look, this isn’t a romantic comedy…and this DOES NOT MAKE US FEEL BETTER.)

9.  It’s not like it was a real baby.  (Okay, you’re an idiot again….even if you don’t believe in life at conception….don’t say this to someone who has just lost a little one…EVER. )

10.  At least it was early on.  (SHUT UP….it doesn’t matter how early…you already go into “parent” mode.  You love that child no matter what.  If you have ever been pregnant, then you understand.  If you have ever started an adoption, then you understand. )

Those are many of my personal examples of things people said.  You wanna know what made me feel better?  When people talked about my baby.  When people say Keelan’s name.  Yes, I may cry…and that’s ok.  Don’t ignore it!  Maybe send a card.  Say “wow, that sucks so bad”.  You can even send a card and say the whole “May the Lord give you peace during this time.”  Acknowledge what happened.  Don’t be ignorant or try to use church-y phrases….they don’t work in these instances.  To be honest, the only thing that was comforting to me during that time…was God’s peace.  Zeb and I felt this overwhelming peace the night after we found out Keelan had no heartbeat…and the night before we went in for the D&C.  If you are close to the person, maybe just be there to let them cry….or see if they want to get out of the house.  Don’t push…but don’t forget them. 

I’m good at dates (usually).  This is a good thing, and it’s a bad thing.  That means that every year…I know the date I found out I was pregnant with Keelan, the date we didn’t hear the heartbeat, the date I actually had the miscarriage & D&C, the date he was due.  I have a box of stuff that was given to us when we found out we were pregnant with him.  I look in it on those dates…and sometimes at other times.  Sometimes, I lose control of myself and sob into the soft white blanket.  That’s okay.  This past July 18th (the 2nd anniversary date of the D&C), I sat in our office floor that morning reading the cards that people sent to us for the first time since we received them.  I didn’t remember most of them I think because I was on pain killers, and from what I understand…you sometimes don’t remember stuff when you experience trauma.  It was very  nice, though…to see how loving some of our friends (well, and some people we didn’t even know) were.  Thank you, by the way, to all of you were there for us.

I know now that God really did answer our prayers.  We prayed that Keelan would never have to feel heartache.  He won’t.  We prayed that he would know the Lord at an early age.  He does.  He truly will walk with God all of his days.  I often think about him playing in Heaven.  Zeb and I have funny little mental images of him…he’s our little cricket.  (Long story.)  He’s better off than we are…and I really do know that.  It still doesn’t take away the ache that I have in my heart when I want to know what he would look like or sound like.  I know others feel the same way.  I don’t think that will ever go away.  In fact, I hope it doesn’t.  I love that kid…and as weird as it sounds…sometimes the pain makes me feel closer to him. 

You know what, though, losing him made me that much more appreciate and thankful for Zoe.  I truly know what a gift she is.  She didn’t take Keelan’s place.  No one ever will.  Zoe has her own place in our hearts.  I don’t think Keelan would have it any other way if he knew better.  To be honest, if I’m not selfish…I don’t think I would either.  I’ll see Keelan in heaven.  Right now he’s probably off playing with some friends or crawling in Jesus’ lap asking Him a gazillion questions.  (So, yeah, I don’t know how theologically sound that is…but honestly, I’m totally ok with that.)

Wow, I didn’t mean for this post to be so long.  I guess I just needed to get some of that off my chest.  To my friends who have recently lost children, I am so so sorry for your loss.  I am praying for you.  I know that this time is so very painful.  To my friends who have lost a child at any point…I am so sorry for your loss as well.  The pain never stops…sometimes it is dull and other times it feels as if it just happened.  We are in a club that bonds us…but that none of us wishes in which we had been inducted.  Then there is another special group of people…the ones who haven’t been able to have children.  I am so sorry for the pain that you experience each day with this.  I don’t even know what to say…other than I’m sorry.  (That’s a whole different soap box of things NOT to say, though….and I”m sure I’ve said a few of the stupid things myself.)

Well, now that I have been a complete downer…I want you to know that I am not angry or upset about what has happened.  I truly am thankful and okay with what happened.  I have hard days.  I have days that are very confusing to me…especially when I hear of friends that have experienced this.  I really do know that God is a good God.  I know that He loves us.  I know that He also knows what it is like to lose a Child.  He’s not safe, but He is good.  He is the Healer.  He is my Peace.


10 Responses to “What Not to Say…”

  1. Ashley Says:

    1. my jaw dropped reading what people have said! that is unbelievable!!!!

    2. this post made me cry. that’s all i can say right now.

  2. ryansamantha Says:

    I have no words, though I wish I did… What an unimaginable, unspeakable pain you guys bear…

    • hollydoodle00 Says:

      Thanks, Sam. There really are no words. Yes, it is very painful…but also, it has given me a totally different perspective and awareness of my God…my Father…my Comfort. If we had to go through this just so we could comfort others, then so be it. That isn’t easy to say either. Because I still hesistate just a little when I think about going through it again…then I remember Keelan is already playing with God…and that is super amazing to me.

  3. Rebecca Mclaughlin Says:

    Thank You for this post. You have put into words what I couldn’t say.

    Recently the thing that bugs me most, is people coming up to me telling me about others who just found out they are pregnant…I think the count is up to 9 in our church, two of which are Sister in-laws. I am happy for all those around me who are pregnant, but please don’t tell me they’re pregnant just to anaylse my reaction!

    On another personal note…One never knows how someone griefs…Due to all the “we’re expecting knews” the other night I had a melt down. I went to my husband wanting a hug and ended up in an argument and even more tears. (Insert a variation of 4, 9, and 10) I never saw my husband hurting while I was in surgery so after the words that were said I totally was questioning some deep issues. However what I didn’t realize in his statement “Just don’t dwell on it, move on” was maybe he was hurting more than I realized, maybe he just doesn’t know how to deal with his grief so he surpress it…You just never can fully understand someones inner feelings and therefor it is better to just leave it with the One who does!

    One last thing in this super long comment…Don’t forget those who have suffered loss, On a recent Ladies outting they were counting all the pregnant ladies in our church..then one turned to me and asked if I was expecting (I’m hopping because I am in the same age group and not because how I look =) Anyway while fighting back tears all I could say was
    “I was” what made things even more difficult was I had to explain what an ectopic pregnacny is. Even family seems to act like it never really happend, which hurts because I know it did.

    So I agree send a card maybe not even right away…maybe 3,6, or 9 mos later!

    Again thank you for your post and for me to be able to express my thoughts. To your other readers, I’m sorry this comment is so long and so personal.

    • hollydoodle00 Says:

      Rebecca…thank you for sharing your story as well. Yes, a pregnancy is a pregnancy…no matter what. I understand how you felt about not wanting to be around other pregnant people or talk about it…I was that way even when I got pregnant with Zoe. That didn’t change the way I felt. In fact, I had a cousin that was due the same date that Keelan was due…and when she was born, I fell apart again. It was actually what I consider the 2nd worst day of my life after we lost Keelan…it was when it really hit me that he was never going to be here with me. I still have a hard time around her. It’s sad, but true.

      I am so sorry for your loss. I am thankful that you shared, though. Please feel free to do so at any time. Did you guys name your little one?

      On the note about your husband, yes, other’s grieve differently…especially guys. I knew Zeb was hurting…and bad. However, I didn’t really understand that until I walked into the living room one night when he was lying in the living room floor sobbing. He felt like he needed to be strong for me for a while…I think that was actually a couple of months after we lost Keelan. It helped me finally see that from him. Now we are able to talk about him more…and grieve together.

      Finally, yes, sometimes it is the worst with family. I think it is because maybe they just don’t understand…or they don’t want to cause you more pain by discussing it. I’ve finally gotten the courage to just talk about Keelan every chance I get. We even have a stocking at Christmas for him. Some people thinks that is weird, but I don’t care anymore. He was my son…and that helps in my healing process while remembering him.

  4. […] Holly’s written a post this week that is better than this and offers more thoughtful insight to the pain that comes with such tragedy. Click here for her post. […]

  5. Joy George Says:

    Thanks for writing this Holly. I went home yesterday and gave Breeson extra hugs and kisses. On the days that he frustrates us with crying and screaming…it’s a good reminder that we still have him and shouldn’t take it for granted. Although I still cannot fully understand what it’s like to lose a child, having had a baby helps me know how hard it would be to lose him.

  6. beth davis Says:

    wow holly! i never knew about keelan! thankyou for being so honest in your blog and saying what so many people want to say but never do! i had a lot of complications with madeline and was hospitalized early on and was on alert for a miscarriage for about 3weeks. the worry that i felt was overwhelming, but God gave me a huge amount of peace through it, which i never could have attained on my own! i thought it was so beautiful when you said, ” God knows what its like to loose a child, b/c He lost a child”! it truly does make us so much more appreciative of our little ones and that through sadness He brings joy!!

  7. Carol Snyder Says:

    I cannot express how sorry I am for your loss, or even pretend to be able to comprehend it. I follow a blog, audreycaroline.blogspot.com, and you might want read it today. It could bring you comfort. I hope it does. You are not alone, and have a multitude of people who share your grief. With Love, Carol

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