Anyone who has had an inside look at the baby loss world knows that a common complaint is how secluded it is. It all feels very hush hush and non supportive. Brushed aside by the world.
I have my own experience to draw from, but in dealing with Angel Blankets I have personally talked to hundreds of women, all who have dealt with at least one loss, many of them with multiple losses.
You know what? I agree with the majority.
In the days immediately following Landyn's death I had support. There were a few visits from the people who thought they could handle it, there were meals and flowers from church, there were cards and flowers from various others. Quickly, I'd say about two weeks, there was almost no one. To give credit where credit is due, there has definitely been a very few, precious people, who continue to say her name and listen to me when I need to deal with a rush of grief. Most, though, have long forgotten or are just too busy. I've had people say to me that you can't expect people to stay with you in your grief. Others have their own problems to deal with. Yeeeeesss. That is true....to a degree. I certainly don't expect the world to stop because I hurt, and I really don't expect all the focus to be on me.
When I first started keeping this blog I just desperately needed to get thoughts and words out of my head. I needed to organize the pain as best I could, put it into words, and just be rid of it. It helped me sleep. In a way I was reaching out, asking for just anyone to know what was swirling madly in my confused head. In the beginning, this blog got a lot of attention. People who knew me were curious, wondering what exactly had happened. It really didn't take long before the interest began to fall. Less and less people would read what I wrote. Over time, I basically just stopped trying. It began to be more hurtful than helpful. I joined the others who know that to protect yourself you just keep quiet. You learn to have amazing control over your emotions. You learn to smile when your heart aches because that is all the world can accept from you. You learn who you can say those things to that make even you wonder if you are going completely crazy.
So why write all this now you might ask. Well, it's because I've done a massive amount of thinking on this very thing over the summer and fall. Yes, the baby loss group is definitely un-noticed. When it comes down to it, though, just about everyone has some type of major issue they hurt over and struggle with. What about the widow who goes home to a dark, quiet house and doesn't have the desire to cook food for just one? What about the twice divorced mom who wonders what is wrong with her, why no one wants her? I could "what about" for a long time. When did it become such a horrible thing to be honest with one another? Why don't we have time to really listen to each other? Why can't we love people the way they need to be loved? Why do we all have to be so busy that we can't even help someone else?
I struggle with the idea of church as a family as I ask myself these questions. I know, for certain, I am not the only person who sits in the pews and feels absolutely alone all the while surrounded by people. I've questioned friendships. I've mentally gone through lists of close and extended family...I know exactly who has or hasn't been involved. I've done some serious looking at myself. I am trying to figure out practical ways to take my own hurt and turn it into something good for someone else. This whole thing is certainly a process, a massive learning experience. Half the time I'm not sure I'm doing it right. Don't give me too much credit...I have my moments of wanting to just disappear in the black fog. In general, I just move forward one day at a time, quietly observing the world around me, fighting my own thoughts sometimes, and just hoping I'm doing something well.