The Club Nobody Wants To Be In (Part 2)–They are Still Fathers…

This is a link to an older article which does a “Where Are they Now?” type of thing on David Smith–Susan Smith’s ex…

http://www.hlntv.com/slideshow/2013/10/09/david-smith-susan-smith-killed-sons-where-are-they-now

Having lost a child, this is a common thing to happen–where he talks about having more good days than bad,  but still having those days that bring a person to the knees…I still have them, but my son’s twin wasn’t murdered…The baby died early in the pregnancy and they insisted at the doctor’s office that I was no longer pregnant…When I went back  later with the ever-present morning, noon and night sickness that went on for weeks after losing the baby, they discovered there was another baby in the other sac.

I simply do not understand why society expects men to be what I can only describe as “unattached” to their own grief.  This is something we as a society need to move away from. Those who push this mentality need to be strongly addressed.  Men are every bit as emotional as women are, and they may not always show it in the way society has demanded, but society and it’s expectations should not rule how an individual would handle this issue–ever…Quite frankly, I am surprised at how many experts on grief, as a general rule, think that they are qualified to address the issue of  how to handle losing a child. This is especially true of those who never experienced such a loss.

Losing a child in any way is hell, but losing two in the way that Smith’s were lost would break even the strongest of men. However this man, despite those bad days, still drives on.  For that I admire him.  Nobody likes this little club that anyone who has lost a child is in, but I would like to see society lay off of the men…They can hurt like everyone else. Let them grieve because they also lost a child or (as in this case) more…

And for those who lost a child like I did, the men are still fathers just as assuredly as women who lost a child are still mothers.  People need to understand this, so please think before commenting and be just as considerate of the fathers as you should be of the mothers. That lost child (or those lost children) will remain a part of them forever.

 

A Club Nobody Wants to Join…

I have been down for the past 2 days.  Depression over losing a child 28 years ago set in and it will pass, but what brought it on should not surprise anyone.  A friend of mine lost her daughter two days ago. She was waiting for a heart transplant. It is quite different to lose an older child but the pain is the same for us both.  We will never get to see our children’s “what might have been” and there will always be an empty space at the table.

For a while people seem empathetic and will listen to us. They will allow us to cry on their shoulders for a bit, but if they have never been in this unique club, there comes a day when they stop listening and we are left to deal with the wreckage alone. They do not know how to deal with our pain so they say things like, “You need to get over it.” or “You need to come back to the living.’  Well god forbid they ever have to join the membership of this club because then they will know the reality of the situation. Some even go so far as to say “You can have another child.” OR “You have other children.” Excuse me, but NO CHILD replaces a lost child. One can have 10 more children after and they still mourn the one that is lost. Believe me…I KNOW this for a fact.

Every would-have-been birthday is greeted with the utmost dread.  Every Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc…is greeted with thoughts of “what might have been”. In short, losing a child is a pain we never recover from–we just learn to deal with it in our own way.  To this day I cannot attend funerals of children/babies.  It literally tears me to fucking  pieces and nobody understands why. It is simple–it brings up my pain that I am still dealing with after 28 years and I feel so bad for the other parent(s) because having been a long-standing member of this god forsaken club, I know what they are in for in the long run.

If you want to help or understand a grieving parent, try not saying anything. Just listen. Wipe our tears when they come. Whatever you do, don’t say things like those mentioned above. While well-meaning they actually cut like a bloody knife.  I apologize for my language earlier but I am NOT having a good day today. I don’t know if I will have a better one tomorrow either, but at least I have a pillow to cry on and can be there for my friend as she needs me.

 

That’s How You Left Me

Everything fades into a blindness

from lights within my mind

and all I can see is what is left here

memories of our time

with mourning shades the cloud

lingers on and still I wait here…

Not that you would care

but all I see is all that is dead

but you’re still there…

And yet wonder why it is you left me waiting

for a sign that never comes

And all I know is that I’m empty

A space is all that remains

of where my heart should be

It’s been that way

that’s how you left me…

The pictures will fade in time from my memory

as I grow old alone

and all I do know is that I once had a place

That I dared call my home.

But all that remains are faded pictures

since that’s now turned to dust

And all I can see there is

what has come of love and trust.

And yet I’ll wonder why it is you left me waiting

for a sign that never comes

And all I’ll  know is that I’m empty

with the rising of the sun

while I embrace the stars

that’s how you left me.

And all that’s left are dreams.

26 Years After Losing a Child, I Still Wonder…

It was 26–almost 27 years ago that I miscarried. I remember the sac and such.  I was told I wasn’t pregnant anymore, yet two weeks later I still had morning sickness and such.  Then that doctor said, “It’s psychological and was going to send me to a “counselor”.”  After ranting for about 20 minutes about how having a kid is like riding a bicycle, they decided to do an ultrasound and another pregnancy test.

When the test came back “positive” my doctor was baffled.  Then they did the ultrasound. Sure enough, there was another sac with a fetus inside of it–with a heartbeat.  That was my son, Brian.  The doctor looked at me and said, “It is very rare to lose one and keep the other but it has happened before.  Most of the time these pregnancies are difficult and still result in loss…” and I stopped listening at that point.

The pregnancy was difficult. I spent the last few weeks in bed. Brian was 6 lbs. 8 ounces when he was born and was still estimated to have been born 6-8 weeks early.  He had reflux and had to sleep at an angle after he almost died at 2 months.  His stomach valve wasn’t fully developed and this caused his milk to go to this lungs when he spit up.

To this day I wonder what his twin might have been like. Boy? Girl? Red haired and blue-eyed like him, or more like me–dark hair and green/hazel eyes…I can say this, no child replaces another. I still mourn the loss of the one. It is very insensitive to tell a mother who has lost a baby via miscarriage or stillbirth anything such as “Well at least you can have another one.” or as in my case, “You don’t need any more children anyway. You already have one.”   I never spoke to that “friend” again either.

I also want to add losing a child does not mean one is not a mother or a father. They still are. They still grieve and mourn and go through the gamut of emotions that go with any death of a loved one.  The fathers go through the experience as well so it is not fair to expect them to be any less traumatized or hurt. Guys, if you have a male friend whose girlfriend or wife went through this, let him grieve and listen. At least then you are being a true friend to him. The same goes for the women who have never experienced it. There is NO right thing to say, but just listening helps.  So do hugs and allowing the person their grief.  This “being stoic” thing is bullshit.  Don’t expect that. We are human. We feel. We cry. We mourn.  Deal with it or just keep  quiet.

We do make our way back eventually, in our own time and in our own way.

 

31 August 1997 and 14 September 1982…Nana Wonders Who Can Remember…

 

Have you been asked where you were on that fateful night?  I have been asked and I remember it clearly, as if it happened yesterday.  I was standing in line at the checkout at Wal~Mart in Big Spring, TX when it was announced over the intercom that the woman we will always call “Princess Diana” was in a car accident.  A few hours later, her death would be announced.

Her death was not just a blow to her family and friends, but to an entire generation who could now look up to the monarchy in a different light than they had before.  When Charles and Diana married–a lot of us got up early or stayed up all  night to not miss it.  When the two princes were born, we welcomed them into our world as well as their family did.

Diana was also cool and could relate to a lot of our generation as well.  After all, she did get into a lot of the acts that were part of Live-Aid–including Duran Duran. It was through her that most realized that the monarchy are not politicians but they are people. They have feelings, desires, hurts like the rest of us.  I cut them slack then–but still avoided going to theaters and such.  I knew at that time that things were changing with the tide–slowly.

Many a girl wanted to grow up and live the fairy tale life that Diana seemed to have, until it came to an end not too long before she was so cruelly taken from the world.  Was it the paparazzi that was to blame? Evidently even though only in part.  After her death, the reality of her existence was brought to light in an ugly fashion–and then a lot of us realized that while she inspired and motivated us to do good and to try to bring change around ourselves, we were grateful for what we had and we handled our own paths in our own way–which she was able to do before the end.

Perhaps the greatest legacy she leaves is that the monarchy is now more open with the public, and as a result has become more acceptable to it again.  Her brother was right–she will always be “the People’s Princess”…Only Princess Grace of Monaco inspired so many prior to her–this girl included.

She was beautiful and is greatly missed…RIP

Even my three sons felt sad at Diana’s death and got up to watch her memorial service. Their hearts went out to William and Harry, who are very close in age to them. One night they thought that I was in an accident after that and saw a car like mine on the news. They ran up to me and hugged me and were saying, “Why didn’t you call us!? We thought you were in that wreck?!”, etc…This was another moment  I got some perspective and made sure I had a cell phone…

Both women learned to live on their own terms within the circles which they dealt with.  Both were taken much too soon.  On September 14th, that will mark the 3oth anniversary of the loss of Princess Grace…Ironically, I was watching TV when the program was interrupted to announce her death.  It seems that both were lost such a short time ago.  Time definitely does fly, but it has also enabled me to put things in perspective.

So many little girls looked up to Princess Grace…I always thought this was the most beautiful wedding gown I’d ever seen…

Life is too short and precious.  We should be living as these women did live–on their own terms.  That was the greatest inspiration given to me by both being that we still live in an age where in some areas, the desire to do this can make life difficult. I will live the rest of my life on my own terms.

I am grateful to have lived during a time where I was familiar with both princesses.

I think now there is another Queen girls look up to even though she isn’t spoken of much and that would be Queen Rania of  Jordan. This is a woman who actively and tirelessly works to ensure  that there are equal educational opportunities for boys and girls alike.  This often gets risky for her and her husband, King Abdullah II.  However, in the eyes of the west, I believe that they will become icons in our time.

If you really want some inspiration go here:  http://www.queenrania.jo/  I have no clue why she is not covered more by the media in this country.  It is not Jordan that we are at war with.  The goals she supports should be supported by educational organizations throughout the entire world.  Like these other two princesses, she lives on her own terms and she is definitely living in an area where that can be a challenge.

On this day I would normally be reflecting and missing Princess Diana and Princess Grace so much, but not this year…This woman, Queen Rania is giving hope and is a ray of light.  I wish her every success possible, and I am almost certain that both Princess Grace and Princess Diana would be supporting her goals if they were still among us.

This is Queen Rania Abdullah of Jordan and her husband, His Majesty King Abdullah. If you go to their website, you’ll see the work she is doing, and there is also a gallery with beautiful pictures of her family there. Seeing the work she is doing is inspiring and worthy of recognition around the world.

That being said, we should look forward and not dwell so much on what we cannot change. Queen Rania, I think, is also going to impact generations not only in Jordan but around the world.

 

Farewell My Warrior

I stood up here again today.  I waited quietly for the sign or a word from you.  I felt so alone–isolated and unloved without you here.  I kept dwelling on why you were taken from me, weeping softly as the willow trees harmonized along with the wind.   It was then I felt the embrace of the South Wind.  The warmth of it made me aware of a presence I hadn’t noticed before.   I felt as if I were being embraced when I was asking why you were gone.  I looked to my right and saw a number of blue jays in a nearby try.  They didn’t move even if I moved closer, but kept watching me…

It was then I remembered something else–a story an old man in the village had told me about how the cardinals and blue jays watch over us at times.  I could almost hear you telling me that it was alright.  I could almost feel you wrap your arms around me in that wind.  Then the clouds started to blow in and a mist began to fall…I then heard the cry of the Eagle.  I knew the time to mourn would pass and that the Eagle would guide me to the point to where I could find you.

I began to walk further into the forest on that mountain and the rain began to fall.  I found a cave and went inside.  The storm grew worse, but I knew the Eagle guided me here for a reason. As the thunder roared and the rain quenched the thirst of the forest, I felt a slumber come over me.  I laid down on my jacket and closed my eyes.  I then walked through a field toward a magnificent lake.  The mountains there were much taller than here and had more green trees and beautiful flowers. It was there I saw the white stallion.  You once promised me that when I saw a white stallion, it would mean that I would go to another land, far away from the land of my tears.

I had little idea that when I arrived back home, a plane ticket to a place called Montana was waiting for me.  I guess that it is there that I will discover a new world–and a new life.  I did not know that I would be needed elsewhere, but you did.  You told me this long before I lost you.  I will go forth now and will shed no more tears.  This was meant to be.  What awaits me there, I am not sure, but I know that when you told me that I would leave here, I never thought that I would have to live this vision alone.  Until we meet again.  Farewell, my warrior.

The water behind the mountain ahead...