Friday, January 2, 2009

It's a toss up

I am still debating over what to post about. I have a couple of thoughts as I have been reading other peoples blogs, and I am not sure which one to do...

I guess I'll start with the...

OK, here is goes, my thought I will call Grieving 101...

Some of you know, we had a baby pass away eight and a half years ago. Which is crazy to say because I can't believe that it has been that long ago. I remember it like it was just yesturday, but then there are things that I can't remember that happened two days ago. But I think that has something more to do with the nature of the event, but anyway.

When this whole event took place, I could always tell those who had lost someone close to them and those who didn't. And for the sole reason that those who had never lost anyone said too much. And I realize that the things that were said were meant to be helpful, but some of the best intentions just came out plain mean. For example, those who would say, "I guess this was meant to be." Now I fully believe that there is a time and place for everything, but come on! Don't tell me that it was just meant to be like I should just get over it. Or one person who said, "Don't you feel lucky to have a child who doesn't have to go through the yucky stuff in life?" Yeah, I feel real lucky. There were MANY others, but these were to two most frequent and ones that made me feel the worst.

Those who had lost loved ones, simply said, "I'm sorry." Or "It sucks." Because that is right, it does suck and for someone to just acknowledge that it sucked, or felt bad that it had happened, made me feel better. I didn't need anyone to try to give me any meaning as to why it happened, or tell me that I was "lucky to have one of Heavenly Father's best spirits" come to me (on that same note, so do girls who have their babies at 14 years old and put them in a dumpster for them to die - I know that sounds callous, but when you just lost a baby, this is what comes to mind -what can I say? you're mad. Not to mention that it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with her.) You just need the simpathy.

Honestly all of the comfort and stuff comes from powers way outside of what a human can offer. So don't even go there. I will make one exception though, sometimes you may feel entirely inspired to do something, and then you should do it. However if you finding yourself saying, "Self, what should I say?" Then go to the simple "I'm sorry" or "It sucks" line.

Another thought I would pass on is that real plants and flowers stink because when they die, it sucks all over again, you kind of associate the plants dying with the person dying and well you get the picture. We did have some neighbors get us a tree to plant in our backyard, and one thing we really liked about it was that it bloomed every year on her birthday. That was always fun to see. And no, when we moved we didn't take it with us. And I am OK with that because I can still think about it blooming every year on her birthday. That and we plan on getting another one just like it and putting it in our backyard here.

But really, the main thing I would tell you when dealing with someone who has lost a loved one is just to offer the simpathy and then let them be. You know, send a card in the mail or take a treat over (I remember some really good friends of ours brought over this batch of orange rolls and one night Steve and I ate the whole thing and actually did felt a little better in fact, it is a fond memory of mine), but don't stay too long or insist on talking if they don't feel like it. It sucks that things like this happen and that people have to deal with this kind of stuff, but hopefully this helps out in the future, I'm just sayin'.

9 comments:

Lhone said...

That is all good to know. I never know what to say, so I usually just go over and cry a lot. Which I'm sure doesn't help because the last thing they probably want is to cry more. So, I just end up not doing anything. I'll have to work on that.

Heather said...

Thanks for the insight. I never know what to do, either.

Brett said...

I agree with Heather. I never know what to do. And now I am faced with a lot more situations that I simply don't know what to do. I think that it is good that you let people know what to say when they don't know what to say. Thanks again for letting us hang out at your place and have fun over Christmas.

bethudall said...

I agree Andrea. When we lost our baby girl, one lady said to me, "But you've still got 3 other kids - just focus on them." I felt like sayin, Well, let's send one of your kids away forever - you'll still have 3 left! It's all good! People just really don't know what to say. They tend to blabber. Don't take it personally. I have been feeling the loss this past week in light of events in our neighborhood. It's really sad sad.

Motherboard said...

I hated hearing "Oh its for the best" or "they're in a better place" or "at least you have the gospel" cause those seriously just pissed me off.

How is it better off that the baby (or loved one) not be with me? HOW? Please, fully explain that-- in a 10 page essay! And yea, the gospel helps, but that alone does not take the pain or grief away.

When Nate's Dad died, someone actually said to me: "How long is he going to be sad? I mean he has a testimony of the gospel, so why is he still mourning. It's been like 2 weeks." Yes they did. And yes I did yell at them. Just because you have a testimony of the gospel, doesn't mean that you will not grieve. Sometimes that grief is really really hard to get over.

Great post, as usual Andrea.

Judy said...

One of the nicest things I remember being done when my sister died was someone sent a ham. Flowers are nice, but they die, and I know that sounds silly, but during those times sometimes the first thing you forget to do is eat. I remember thinking how thoughtful it was and how grateful we were to have dinner that we didn't have to prepare or organize.

Sher said...

Thanks for talking about this. I honestly don't understand what it's like to lose a child. I can't possibly imagine. But I have lost family members, and no matter who it is, it's hard. I'm glad you said what you said, because, yeah, sometime it IS hard to know what to say.

twice as nice said...

I didn' realize that you had gone through that! I am truly sorry! I get that alot with ooohhh ya you only have 2 kids! People have no clue what others have been through! That sucks is my favorite cause really it does!

Dean and Cindy Hatch said...

Eight and a half years later, I'm still sorry and it does suck! Mom