It’s early Christmas morning and I can’t sleep. All I can think about is Reason not being her to celebrate her first one with us. This week has been one of the hardest since her death and funeral. It has been full of breakdowns, fighting and tears. This has been a week to realize how weak we are despite everyone telling us the contrary.
This week has been very revealing when it comes to friendships and the expectations that are put on the bereaved. I’ve had friends tell me how I need to fix the way I’m acting and feeling, like I have any control over that, like this is as simple as having a bad day. I’ve had multiple people tell me the know exactly how we’re feeling or what we’re going through when they have no idea.
Unless, you’ve been woken up by your significant other panicking in the middle of the night because your child isn’t breathing you don’t have a clue.
Unless you held your limp child in your arms while screaming there name and asking them to wake up over and over you don’t know. Until you yell at the man you love to call 911 as you try to breath life back into your baby and hope you learned enough during childbirth classes to save her, you cannot relate. If you haven’t listened to a 911 operator try to walk your boyfriend through saving your your child while waiting for help to arrive you cannot relate.
Did you stand screaming “Please save my baby, just save my baby over and over until the paramedics finally took her? No? Then shut the fuck up about how you know what Frank and I are going through. You didn’t have to change your pants because you were so scared you wet them before you could race to the hospital in the front seat of the cop car, you didn’t ask your boyfriend to get her diaperbag “just in case”. You didn’t beg a god you don’t believe in to save your daughter all the way to the hospital. You aren’t the one who walked through the doors desperately clinging to the hope that they were able to bring her back only to hear, “The baby isn’t going to make it.” As soon as you saw the doctor. You didn’t fall to the ground as your entire life collapsed around you. You didn’t have to be held up as you walked into that cold white room where you child’s body lay with a sheet pulled up to her chest. You aren’t the ones who asked if you could hold your baby girl one last time. You didn’t clutch her to your chest as she grew colder. You didn’t give all of the people who loved her and came to support your family the chance to hold her one last time even though you didn’t want to let her go for a second.
You don’t live with flashbacks of that night or struggle daily with the knowledge that you will never see your child again. I really wish you could see how ignorant and insensitive you sound when you pretend know what truly losing a child is like. You’re equally ignorant if you think our struggles as a couple trying to come to terms with our daughters death and the effects of these emotions on our relationship can be compared to getting dumped because your relationship made both of you unhappy. You have no idea how difficult it can be to maintain a relationship between two people going insane with grief. You don’t know anything about the amount of love, courage and strength it takes just to get to the next day.
We need everyone to stop telling us what we should or shouldn’t be doing. Stop telling us how we should be feeling. Stop holding us to the same standard as everyone else. Let us be weak for a while, understand that this grief is making us crazy. Realize that we need compassion when our grief gets out of hand. The last thing we need is to be criticized for not acting “appropriately”. Instead of being ashamed of us for not having the right manners or having a house that’s a complete wreck, maybe you should realize how much harder waking up in the morning is for us. You really expect us to be productive normal members of society right now? You think putting us down about our out of control emotions is the least bit helpful? We need people to realize that it’s normal for grief to make you weak, and unstable mentally, physically, and emotionally. We need people who are can be strong for us, and can support us when we have nothing good to offer.