Every year, 26,000 babies are stillborn in America. In 2003, one of them was my son.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

The Baby Loss Meme

Msfitzita at the Baby Loss Directory blog put up this meme a few weeks ago, and since I'm new to blogging, I thought I'd post it here and answer some of the questions.

1. What do you want people to know about the child (or children) you have lost?

Ben was beautiful, perfect, and he was real. I sometimes think that people believe stillborn child aren't real people, that somehow they don't count because, if they didn't see him, he didn't exist. And I want to scream at the world: He was real. He was here, he was ready to go, but he died.

2. What names did you give (or plan to give) your children and why? His full name was Benjamin Thomas - names we just loved because they were gentle but strong. I always wanted a Ben. He was going to be my Benjamin Bear; I'd planned it before he was born. My older daughter was already the Bunny.

3. What rituals or ways of memorializing your children seem to best help you cope with their loss?

Writing in my journal, talking about him with friends, holding the bear given to me to remember him.

4. What are the kindest and/or most helpful things people have said to you? What are the worst?

The best thing said to me was 'I don't know what to say" and "I'm so sorry" - because, unless you've been through it, you don't know what to say. So much better than all the other things I heard, like "You'll have another child," or "Try to move on," or, God help me, the woman who asked me FIVE times where my baby was, and every time I told her "He's dead."

5. Who is your hero? Who helps you make it through the dark days better than anyone else on the planet?

One of my heroes is Elizabeth, who died in 2005 from breast cancer. She always believed in me and always loved me, and even when she didn't know what to say, she found something comforting to say, or simply offered me a hug. Her spirit lives on in my heart.

My other heroes: my husband, who has loved me through the best and the absolute worst, when I've been awful and I haven't deserved his love. He has always been there and I am so lucky to have him.

6. Is there anything you need to say or want to say but haven't been able to? Can you say it now?

I don't know. I think what I need to say now is this: I'm through the hardest part of the grief, but I still grieve. To everyone who thinks I'm "over it" - I'm not. I will spend the rest of my life wanting Ben back.

7. How are you doing? How are you really doing?

I'm ok. I still don't always believe this happened to me, and the sadness hits me at different times, unexpectedly, but I no longer care who sees me cry. This is who I am now. I don't know that I've "accepted" Ben's death - I know he's gone, I can't change that, but I am going on with my life now. It took a long time to get here.

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