I can hear that Beatles song playing, “Come together…” My husband and I went to a Mumford & Sons concert, last summer and they played that song. It was great. Anyhow, I write that as the subject line, for what I am going to discuss. But, before I go there, I have something else. Our generation of mothers have been at war for many years. Who has it better, or who has it harder? Who is stronger and “chose the right path”, whatever it may be, and who didn’t. If you haven’t guessed, I am talking about a stay-at-home mother, which I strongly dislike the name even to this day, and the career mother. The ones that “do not give up their careers”. I like working mother for both, because we both work hard every day. Why does it have to be such a dispute? Why not look at it like, we both chose different paths for different reasons, and it works for you and me.
The same goes for our losses. Who has it worse than someone else? It doesn’t matter. You lost a baby. Or babies. How about the mother that is elated to be pregnant, only to find out that she has an ectopic pregnancy? For those of you that do not know what this is, it is when the baby has implanted in your fallopian tubes, and requires an emergency surgery. It leaves the mother risking her own life if she continues in this pregnancy because her tube will rupture. And she will die. So, she has to have surgery to get this baby out. Or the couple that has been trying for years, and finally gets that positive pregnancy test. Only to have continual bleeding come on at five weeks. And then as they are rushed into the ER, they are told that they are losing their babies. Can you imagine being in either of these situations? Or going into your anatomy appointment at 20-22 weeks, excited to find out the gender of your baby, to be told that your baby does not have a heartbeat? Or to finally go into labor, have the bags packed, excited to be meeting your new baby, to deliver your baby. But they died in the last minutes? Or to have your baby delivered, and wanting to share in this joyful moment, but the doctors sense that something is not right within minutes of delivery? Or to find one of your babies not breathing after they went down for a nap? All of these situations are so different, yet the same. By the way, all of these are true stories of bereaved parents that I know in the Cleveland, OH area, that I learned of their stories in the past year. Again, very different, but the same. They all lost their babies.
A bereaved mother I met, through losing Emily taught me a good way of looking at things. Analogies. This is a story that she told me to help explain that we should try not to compare our losses to say that one is harder than the other. Say that a couple has been married for years. They love each other, but you wouldn’t call them soul mates. But they care deeply for one another. Then there is this madly in love couple that finishes each other’s sentences. They waited years to find one another. Well, the women in each of these stories, are friends and get into the same car. But there is a terrible accident. And they both die. Could you say, that the man that was married longer to his wife will have a harder time? And that he has a harder time ahead of him grieving the loss of his wife? They both are probably going to have a very hard and difficult road ahead of them. Do you get my point here? Try and think about how this relates to when you lose a baby. How long you have had your baby to carry. Either there is love there or not. And in most cases when a mother loses that baby, no matter when, her heart is broken.
And you could look at someone that hasn’t lost and say, “You have it so much easier than me.” But they have their own struggles. Some may have more later in life. And as our pastor said, “Some have more struggles in life than others, and I do not know why.” He said this to us after our second loss, Michael. But, the thing that we can get from one another is not to judge. But understand. I don’t seek pity, I seek understanding. I was guilty of this before, “When will they get over this loss?” You don’t. It is hard to be around. Sometimes, you just don’t want to be around it. Believe me, I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all go away. I wish my babies were both here. I really do. I am sure that it is hard sometimes to watch, and be around. And not know what to say. But try to again, understand and not judge.
I am getting a little off-topic. But, trying to make a point with all involved. Let’s not play the comparison game, if we have or haven’t lost. Or if we have lost, when it happened. Also, let’s not judge if a bereaved parent is just having a hard day. Because there are going to be many. Seek to understand where they are. If you truly love and care about this person, be with them. Let them know you are there. We’ve just got to come together, right now…