Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Youth: The Cure-All

Let me just put this out there: people are really, really nice. And there are no great words to say to us right now, I completely understand. Were I on the outside of my situation looking in, the best I'd be able to come up with is "I'm sorry," which-- believe me--is perfect.

Here's the BUT: But why have I been "consoled" the past 2 days with "You're young."

HUH?! I'm--gulp--YOUNG?! What the hell does that have to do with anything?

First of all, I'm not young--not in my 20's anyway, which, I suppose, is prime Fertile Myrtle time. But second of all, WHA?!?! It's OK to give birth to a baby who's not alive if you're young, and thank god I'm not OLD?!

Now, I know. I know. I'm being a bitch. I'm reading too much into a comment that's meant to be kind. Christopher tells me it's a generational thing--the older ladies have been there, done that, bought the stillborn T-shirt a million times over in their day.

But really, come on. It's not about me being young and, yippee, I might have a few more grains of sand in my child-bearing hourglass. We lost our BABY--and telling me I'm young and can try again--though possibly a valid point--completely discounts our sense of loss and cheatedness.

I'd never go to a funeral for someone's Grandpa and say, "Well, at least he was good and old," would you?

Arrrgh, I'm so being a bitch. No one has the right words, no one can undo what's happened. People are being kind and wonderful to us, more than I could have ever imagined people to be. I'm the one who needs to get a grip and realize words are sometimes hard to come by. No one means us any ill will or emotional distress.

And yes, it does help to hear stories of others that have happy endings despite the screamingly horrible middle. So maybe that's what the ladies are saying: have hope, young girl. Despite the sadness and tears always have hope.

We do.


  1. I think you're right - of course it's well-intentioned but saying "you're young" is, however unintentionally, saying something BAD about women who have babies when they're OLD (you know, over 35, like I plan to do - not saying I'm neutral in this or anything :p). After all, what would they say to you if you were 40 right now? Sucks to be you? Your comparison to saying "well at least he was old" at a funeral is exactly apt.

    Somehow a lot of people feel like "I'm sorry" isn't enough, when in fact it is and attempts to say other things, such as this, either don't help or just make things worse. But, such is life and grieving I guess, and you have a very healthy and inspiring way of dealing with it in this blog, which is the best anyone can do.

    I once heard a comedian say she finally got tired of having the little old laides point at her and say "you're next!" at weddings so she started saying it to them at funerals. That tasteless bit always makes me smile so I hope it does the same for you. Keep doing what you're doing - find the good intentions in the inappropriate phrasing, find the hope in the despair, and do what feels right. We're all here reading, thinking of you.

  2. MB, you're not being a bitch and I think you actually know that people are well intentioned. An event as deeply sad as yours makes people feel incredibly powerless to offer comfort, so sometimes they try and "fix" things, like showing you that there is time for future pregnancies and happiness. Just validating and acknowledging the place you are at right now seems to be not enough. People want to "help", myself included. But we cant really, except to be there for you and with you as you grieve. love from your Aunt Diana

    Keep writing though. You are a fantastic writer

  3. I am in my twenties and when people would say this, I found it exceptionally hurtful. Like having another baby would suddenly cure the grief for the one I've lost? Like it'd be so much worse if I were older? ugh! People are so dumb!