I am amazed sometimes at how insensitive people can be to one another, and I’m going to vent about it for a minute. I lost my son Knox a week ago, the pain is still very raw. I’ve had some “well meaning” people make some really hurtful comments that I feel like I have to address in some fashion…So here goes…
First: I don’t care if you have 0 or 50 children…it is never okay to say “well maybe that’s God’s way of telling you (the mother) that you have enough children or that you shouldn’t have any more”. I don’t understand why so many people (many of them proclaiming to be Christian) are so angry towards families with lots of children. (I thought of this especially after I saw Mrs. Duggar lost her 20th child during her 2nd trimester this week and saw the hurtful comments being posted toward her.)
Children are a blessing (Psalm 127:3) and a reward from God. Most believers don’t disagree with that…until you have “too many” or it becomes “inconvenient” or “too expensive” to have children. I’ve said before that we trust God for our family size, we don’t ask God to limit our blessings in any other area (financially, health wise or any where else), so we don’t ask Him and don’t believe we should interfere with His blessing. I know not all Christians feel this way, and I don’t expect them to, but I don’t know why there is this huge animosity towards families who chose to trust God with this area of their lives. Seriously. If my children are loved and well cared for…what do you care if I have 4 or 40? And losing a child isn’t a “sign” that I shouldn’t have any more…it’s not a punishment or judgment. You wouldn’t tell a mother who doesn’t have any children that her repeated miscarriages are just “God’s way” of telling her she shouldn’t have children, so don’t say it to me.
I have been told this last week that losing our baby was “God’s way of telling me my body just couldn’t handle another baby” and “Maybe you should just be happy with the 4 children you have”. I found those comments incredibly hurtful and offensive. I was speechless to be honest (and most of you know how rare that is). A. I don’t believe anyone knows God’s will for my life but God. I believe that if I trust Him and follow Him he will guide my steps. B. I am delighted by the 4 wonderful boys I have, and I desire more children, because I view them as a blessing. I desire more because of how much I love and delight in the children I have. To insinuate that I’m not happy with the 4 children I have really irks me and is way off base.
Second: Do not tell me that it was better to lose a baby now than if it were at full term. While I (Praise God) have never lost a baby at full term, just because Knox was only 16 weeks doesn’t mean that I loved him any less than if I were 40 weeks pregnant. While physically it may be a little “easier” to give birth to a 16 week old baby and the physical recovery may be shorter…emotionally it sucks. I loved my baby from the moment I found out he was on his way. I started planning and dreaming about what kind of baby he would be. I was excited, I was delighted that I was pregnant and I was thrilled with the anticipation of another child. I grieve the death of my son. I can’t imagine the hurt a mother must feel who loses a child she has had the chance to know and hold. It is not easy to lose a child ever. Please don’t tell me it’s “easier” at any point, because it’s not.
Third: Please don’t say “He’s in a better place”. While I believe Knox is in Heaven, as a mother I can’t help but feel at times that the best place for him to be is in my arms. I rest in the fact that I will be able to see him again and I trust that God has a purpose for taking my son before he was born, but my arms still ache for him. I am selfish. I want my baby with me and I don’t understand why this happened, but I am leaning on the promises of my God. While Knox is in Heaven…and while it’s “technically” a better place than this sinful earth…it doesn’t make it hurt any less. It doesn’t make me long for him any less and it doesn’t make me feel better. So please don’t tell me he’s in a better place…he’s my son and I want him here with me. Period.
Fourth: Please don’t ask me “how long is it going to take to get over it” The answer is I don’t know. And please don’t expect me to “get over it” on your time table or anyone else’s. I know it’s uncomfortable for you…it’s uncomfortable for me too, but don’t act like I should get over this quickly. Grief is messy, it’s not a neat package deal, it takes a real friend willing to “get dirty” to help me get through it.
There will always be a hole where Knox should be in our family. I will always wonder what kind of child he would have been and I think I will always feel like something is missing. I can’t pretend like this didn’t happen, I can’t and won’t pretend like he didn’t exist. He is my son, he always will be. The grief may get less intense, but I don’t think you “get over” losing a baby.
Okay…I think that’s all for my venting. It just seems to have piled up and finally gotten to me today. And for those keeping track…I think this begins my “anger” stage of grieving.
** As a side note…I wrote this post yesterday evening after I’d had a particularly difficult and angry kind of day. I feel much better today (read…not quite so angry), but still felt it necessary to post.