Saturday, October 1, 2011

Things I've "Lost"

Ya know, I've been thinking.  I don't think I like the phrase, "I lost a son."  I didn't lose him.  His body's in Springboro Cemetery, right on top of my Popaw.  His soul's in Heaven. With my Popaw.  I know exactly where he is.  He died, I didn't "lose" him. 

That phrase never really bothered me too much, til the other day.  Someone in a store stopped to admire the girls, and started in on the questions... how many do I have, how old, etc, and I told her that I had lost my second son, who would be two now.  She proceeded to tell me that her daughter in law had lost several babies.  Now, I don't know if it's because my own mother in law is less than a joy, always wanting to make everything my fault, therefore I am not fond of mothers-in-law in general, or what, but that phrase, "Lost several babies."  rubbed me wrong.

In my life, I've lost lots of things.  I lose my keys on a regular basis.  I once lost my purse with all my identification and money. (well, more than once, actually).  In school I was always losing homework or books.  I don't know how many pacifiers I've lost in the last three years or so.  Now... think about it.  When I say, "I've lost my dang keys!"  doesn't that take your mind to my irresposibility, doesn't it put the blame squarely on me?  Yeah.  Well.  I don't like that in connection with my son.  With that child who I wanted more than anything in the world. 

The world wants answers so badly when babies die, that people are very quick to assign blame.  I even had a family member scream at me that I killed him.  I have another friend, who, after a second trimester miscarriage, got an email from a pregnant acquaintance, wanting to know what she had done, so this person wouldn't do it and lose HER baby. 

The truth is, while my body did cause the death of my boy, NO ONE knew that was going on.  There were no warning signs.  Yes, it could have been prevented, if that pregnancy had been followed as closely as the twins were,  but there was no reason TO follow it that closely.  I live with knowing that.

But back to the mother-in-law who told me about her son's wife, "losing" several babies. 

The tone of her voice.  "My daughter-in-law has lost several babies."  Just made me feel like ol' Mom was blaming the son's wife.  I don't know what term I'd prefer.  "My daughter in law has had several miscarriages." That sounds a little better.  Only, have you ever discussed miscarriage with someone?  It's like talking about dirty, kinky, perverted sex.  Their eyes drop, voices go quiet, some people even blush.  Why is miscarriage taboo?  Why is stillbirth taboo?  Why is infant death taboo? 

It shouldn't be.  It isn't taboo when 95 year old grandpa dies.  It isn't taboo when an adult woman dies of breast cancer.  It isn't even taboo when a hard core partier dies of an overdose.  WHY is it taboo when a person is under a year old, to mention their death? 

I have pictures in my house of my grandpa.  He's been dead for over ten years now.  I have pictures of Landon, who has been dead just over 2.  I have sensed people's discomfort when they see the ones of Landon.  Really?  Why?  I have pictures of the other 3 kids, why is it that his pictures make you uncomfortable??  He looked perfect, beautiful.  It's not like he was born with two heads or huge gaping holes in his body... and even if he had, he was my son, and I still would have thought he was beautiful, still would have hung his picture on my wall... still would have his picture on my facebook profile for the month of October. 

If you've "lost" a child, you know what I mean.  If you've never known that pain, please, go back and read this again.  Talk to me, talk to others about their dead children.  Nothing in the world means more to a bereaved parent than to have someone willingly talk to them about their babies.   If it were talked about more openly, instead of being the family secret, then it may lose its taboo status. 


  1. Love you so much, girl! I struggle with the "lost," too. I say it, but I do it only because I have a tough time with died. I agree, it should not be taboo.

    How ironic when I post pictures of drunk stuff or make silly comments a flood of people "like" it, but let me share a post from my blog for the first time-- a post dealing with baby loss-- and the people who read it are the same ones who would read anything I wrote and support me. Maybe I am Nikki, the baby loss vigilante?

  2. Oh I screamed and rebelled over the term "lost". Like I forgot him somewhere.

    We are the lost after the die, not the other way around.

  3. He is beautiful - then In your arms and now in heaven. You are a wonderful mom to all of your children.

  4. Your son Landon is a beautiful angel , so very handsome. I know what you mean, my oldest daughter was almost 18 years old when she became an angel. She has been gone just over 2 years now. Not a day goes by that I dont think of her and miss her dearly.

    What is from the heart will always remain in the heart. All children are precious, even the ones that couldn't stay.

  5. Landon was a beautiful, handsome man! I teared up at his newborn photos. He looks perfect. I've never used the term "lost" but my coworker had her son die during a VBAC labor. It was before I'd ever met her, but now I know (through a mutual friend) and never bring it up because she herself didn't tell me. I feel for her, but don't have the words I need. The worst is I found out her son would be the EXACT same age as mine, had he lived.