I’ve talked a few times before about my neighbor’s sister losing her baby several years ago. In the months that followed her son’s death, she seemed to be doing ok whenever I saw her. So I thought I shouldn’t bring it up or ask how she was doing, because that might ruin her mood or remind her about this awful thing. Or it might seem insensitive somehow.
Now, being on the other side of the experience, I can tell you that no matter how good of a mood I’m in or how ok I seem to be, I have not forgotten that Christian died – and asking me about him won’t make me feel bad. I’d much rather have you awkwardly ask how I feel or what I’ve been thinking than to completely ignore the topic.
I understand that we don’t talk about death much, so it’s uncomfortable at first. Let me break the ice, then: my baby, Christian, died about two months ago, an hour and a half after birth. I won’t feel bad if you use words like “death” and “dead” instead of euphemisms like “lost” and “passed away.” It might be easier for you to hesitantly tiptoe around the subject of Christian’s death, but I promise you won’t offend me by talking about it (as long as you aren’t trying to cheer me up with an “At least…” statement). I want Christian to be acknowledged. And I want my feelings to be acknowledged, too.
Jarom’s aunt gave us this lovely framed poem by James Whitcomb Riley. If I haven’t gotten the story mixed up, Jarom’s great-grandmother got the poem when her father passed away in the 1920s. In addition to the message, I’m smitten with the type! Isn’t is beautiful?
Away by James Whitcomb Riley
I cannot say, and I will not say
That he is dead, He is just away!
With a cheery smile and a wave of the hand
He has wandered into an unknown land
And left us dreaming how very fair
It must needs be, since he lingers there
And you – oh you, who the wildest yearn
For the old-time step and the glad return
Think of him faring on, as dear
In the love of There, as the love of Here,
Think of him still as the same, I say,
He is not dead – he is just away.
I’m curious who has been reading the blog since I started writing about Christian. If you don’t know me personally, would you be willing to leave a comment or send me an email letting me know how you came across my blog?
Also, I found this really helpful article today about helping a friend after the loss of their baby. I might even toss in a “Give her movie tickets” because I looooooooove seeing movies in the theater now . . . weekly date night is my favorite.
And finally, I’ve been trying to limit my donut intake for the past few weeks – it’s extremely sad. Yesterday I was at the grocery store when the donuts were 3/$1, so of course I got 3, but I learned that I don’t enjoy that third donut anymore. Is 2 donuts a week unreasonable, or can I keep that up?