Wednesday, September 22, 2010

When friends don't like your blog.

I'm writing a blog post about how I'm not supposed to write blog posts. It's hard to even know where to begin.

I've shared my feelings this entire journey because it helped me. It helped others. I talked a few times about feeling abandoned, alone. Never mentioning names. Never mentioning individual circumstances. Being respectful of my friends and family's privacy and taking individual problems privately.

But, I tossed and turned and woke up like ever ten minutes last night so upset.

It became obvious one friend wasn't even going to attempt to try to see where I was coming from. Had decided to view my journey through a selfish lense.

I've talked to the friend maybe a handful of times since Cora died. Partly because the phone is hard since she died.

Of all conversations to share, sharing that one is perhaps that most uncomfortable. But, I feel drawn to talk about it. He told me that he didn't think my blogging was appropriate. Didn't agree with how I'd shared things online.

I'm writing to make something super clear. Unless I'm seriously hurting myself? Don't tell me how I chose to grieve, my doing so very publicly, is wrong.

And, to make something very clear. No one except Ben and I has any say about how I chose to remember Cora.

No one will tell me something I'm doing for her is inappropriate. Or not right, or even that they don't agree with it. I can't tell people not to form opinions, but wish I could, because I'd tell them they couldn't even form an opinion about rather I'm remembering her the right way.

I also share this to share something another blogger told me about the loss of friendships that happens so often after loss:

"Grieving exposes other fault lines." 

It's quite true. Probably why the divorce rate is high for baby loss parents. If there's a problem in your relationship? It's going to become a giant hole after going through this. 

I take solace in that, knowing that the sudden falling out, isn't so sudden. It's like an earthquake rattled my life. The relationships that were strong as cement survived, the ones built less strongly crumbled. 

And, yes, I know, this is the blog post I'm not even supposed to be writing.

But, I blog when I need to. And, today I needed to. Another loss. I can't understand why people refuse to sit back, listen, and even do some research to understand what I'm going through. Had my friend, he'd seen that blogging after loss is ridiculously normal, that I'm being normal, and that telling someone how to remember their dead child is well, just unreasonable, rude, and something I can't tolerate.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Are you afraid of me? How to approach a grieving mom.

I get a lot of notes from people wondering if they should do or say x or y for their grieving friend. They tell me they're so afraid of hurting their friend's feelings. That they just don't know what is right.

Especially in communities like the congenital heart defect community where sadly so many of us lost a child, others feel so scared to say something.

And for good reason, they see my rants about so and so saying such and such. Or they read other rants, which are different than mine. Or they read that something they thought could never offend someone offended a mother.

I've never in my life been so sensitive to words. Not nearly this sensitive.

I can understand the fear in approaching someone that lost a child, the fear of saying the wrong thing.

I think it's important to remember this, there is no right thing to say, so stop searching for it.

You will never find the words to take away the pain. I'm comforted and honored that you reached out, but there is no right or wrong thing to say. Because, nothing is right. Nothing someone can say to me can make this better. So, remember that and don't try to say those magical words to make it all better.

It's also hard because we're all different. Everyone that lost a child feels differently. And how I feel changes.

I know it's not easy to deal with grieving mothers. I can understand why you might just think it's better to avoid them altogether, but I will tell you this, if you approach me with love and compassion and an open heart? I'm never really offended.

Going through this, I can tell the compassionate people. The people that truly care in an instant. And, I can tell people that are more self centered as well. The second bunch usually isn't that big of a deal for me, but it's from those people the real hurt is caused.

So, if you're afraid of approaching a grieving mom?

Just approach her with an open heart and caring soul and lots of love.

And, please do reach out to her even if you fear hurting her. As long as you're thinking about her compassionately, you'll help so much.

Don't be afraid. I'm stronger than I was before this, you can't break me.

We don't have to live in fear of each other.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

The internet can be a sad place.

I've decided that whenever the internet makes me cry, I'm going to take some time away. And, from a combination of situations, all unrelated, I feel pretty beat up this week.

That's my new strategy. I've gone over in my head just shutting up shop, but I'm afraid then it will undo all the work I've done. I've tried to grow thicker skin, and that isn't happening.

I think people forget I work with mothers and pregnant ladies at a time very sensitive to me. I often work with them one on one. Also, I do it all for free. I don't come from a rich family. We're actually quite poor. But, without children, I figure we don't need much. We're okay.

I've given a lot of time into this. Cried for a lot of dead babies. Cried for a lot of live babies. Saved babies in Haiti. Saved babies in hospitals.

I took a break just a few weeks ago because I felt overwhelmed by the negative. I've had my account hacked, been called names, and been told I'm doing an awful job. Well, I'm doing a free job, so if I save one baby, my job is done.

I refuse to wallow in the negativity. Let it really impact my life, so I'll take these breaks whenever I need. 

I'm stepping out into the light.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The work of a sick woman.

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you've put up with my whining for three days, and I thank you. I'm suffering through some nasty UTI/kidney infection thing and feel just awful.

But, this has meant you've seen a lot of me. In fact, I'm sure some of you are quite sick of me. Highlights from this week, I wrote a guest post about congenital heart defects on, on the new group blog Band Back Together, I wrote about what Twitter, blogging and Facebook meant to me after Cora died,  and Growing Your Baby wrote a post asking why pulse oximetry screening isn't routinely done.

I've been writing nonstop about pulse oximetry screening this week trying to make sure accurate information is getting out there.

I started a 365 Project I'm excited to see how it turns out.

So, I've been a productive sick. Even though I've been sleeping most of the day and most of the rest of the time is spent doubled over in pain.

Since I've been feeling yucky, I've barely left the house. Yesterday morning, I decided a trip out was so needed. The sunken gardens at Garfield Park are less than a half mile from me and oh so pretty. So after a few minutes I felt like walking death, it was still nice to go and get out of the house.

I took pictures as you can see, this garden is just gorgeous. And, remembered the theme for You Capture on I Should Be Folding Laundry, signs. Decided to link up after looking through my pictures.

Of course this is a sign...

 But, so is this... a sign of fall...

But, this is another sign, that summer is still here...

Thursday, September 9, 2010

My favorite. Do you have one?

I usually don't like to pick favorites, but I have a favorite month.

September in Indiana is beautiful.

When I think of September I think of someone coming along and casting a beautiful gold hue to everything. A touch of gold. The September sun is so beautiful.

Even my backyard seems like a new and magical place in September.

In September I appreciate the rose blooms even more, knowing they're almost gone for the year. I stop to photograph them.

Just as summer ends, I'm always surprised as brand new plants and flowers pop up for the first time right before all dies and hibernates for the winter.
All summer, I've hurried through the yard to and from the car to escape the heat. But, September brings relief, and I linger, enjoying wildflowers planted months ago.

September in Indiana is my favorite place to be.

Do you have a favorite month where you live?

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Turns out, I'm a country girl....

I grew up in a small town. Okay, super tiny town. And, not even really in that town, about two miles outside of it right in the middle of fields.

I scoffed at the small town. The way people were scared to try new things. Be different.

When I was 18, I went off to college, in a not huge town, but in a bona fide town non the less. After a few years there, I moved to a city. A real city.

I even stayed a summer in New York City and found my way around and did just fine before moving back to the city.

Two years ago, I was living in this city and financially hit rock bottom. I had to eat my words about never going back and move back to the tiny town. I said only for a year. Then I got pregnant. So, I stayed another year.

We moved in May. Back to the city.

The domestic disputes at all hours of the night, loud music, dirty neighborhoods, and sad news stories just aren't for me.

Turns out, I've been fighting what I am all along. I'm a country girl.

I want a house in the middle of fields and a big garden and a nice yard to let the dog run free in.

Who would have thought?

I know I'll need to visit the city often. I love seeing new things. And, love city people. I need them.

But, country people? Aren't as bad as I thought. Quite the opposite. Some of them are wonderful. I often think about how things would have been if Cora died in the city. I know people wouldn't have been the same.

So, if you'll have my tiny city, I'd like to move back.

This is a picture of a painting. The painting is of the house I lived in until five. My great grandma painted this. She lived there. As did my grandpa, and then my dad with me. I have roots in the tiny city.
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