Yes, it’s been two months since I’ve blogged here. I’ve written a few posts for Thirty-One:10 and HDYDI, but not here. I’ve been slacking, not because I don’t have anything to write about, but because I’ve been busting it trying to get my first eBook out.But today – today I have a reason to blog that I just can’t ignore. It has to do with loss. More so, how people respond to it. My second eBook deals with helping friends and family whose loved one has lost a child know what to do and say, how to act, how to help, and so on.
And it’s a necessary book.
Because you’d be amazed at what people say when someone loses a child. Or maybe you wouldn’t.
People aren’t trying to be mean (well, not most). They come from a place of love. And ignorance. And I don’t mean that they are stupid; rather, they just don’t know.
I hope to change that.
That desire has been renewed today. Today, my new friend Stacey Skrysak is struggling. You may already know her story, but I’ll tell it again because it’s worth sharing.
Stacey struggled with infertility. When she and her hubby finally got pregnant, they were surprised – with triplets! But then, Stacey had the babies at 22 weeks and 5 days – unheard of for survival, as the typical age is 24 weeks, and even then it’s rocky. Unfortunately, baby Abby only lived a few hours. Parker and Peyton have made it five weeks though. Five weeks. They are JUST NOW at the place where my babies were when they were born. And, my babies struggled. I struggled. Carter didn’t make it. And Braden and Tenley barely did. Craig and I barely did.
Look at how cute they are! Ignorance. Why are you always at the hospital? Ignorance. Why can’t I see them? I’ve held a baby before. Ignorance.
And now, in the midst of it all, she is enduring the NICU roller coaster. It’s not a ride you want to be on. Trust me. It’s a cold, dark place. It’s hard. It’s draining. It’s life-altering. It SUCKS. And it isn’t always over once you’re home.
Most days, you don’t know which way is up. You sit by their bed side and talk. Cry. Read. Wait. You listen as doctor’s tell you that your baby may not survive. Or that they’ll survive, but have severe disabilities. Or that it’s time to make some tough decisions.
You’re lucky to still have the other two babies. Ignorance. You were blessed to have the time you had with him. Ignorance. It’s better it happened now. Ignorance.
I don’t know if it was better or worse that Craig and I got the final say in when we let Carter go. I’m sure God would have eventually taken him, but instead, he gave us a peace about it so that we could say goodbye when he was in a better state. This allowed us to have a chance to hold him. We never held him until that moment. What a bittersweet two hours that was.
He didn’t look alive. It was a very surreal experience to hold him while he took his last breath. While his heart beat its last beat. It was an experience I never want to repeat.
He’s in a better place. Ignorance. It was his time. Ignorance. He’s watching over his siblings. Ignorance.
It was also beautiful, the NICU. The loss. Beautiful in a way that it transformed me from the inside out. Gave me a purpose, a voice that I never knew I had. It showed me how strong I was, how strong my marriage was. It brought me closer to my faith. Closer to my family and friends. It brought me to you – to tell this story – to help others going through this same thing.
So that you will know what to say if it happens to someone you love. That it will be full of love. But not ignorance. Because you’ll have learned. You’ll know. You’ll understand.
Have you had a tough situation that has ended up a lesson you’ve been able to share with others? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to read your story!
Oh, Angela, you write so beautifully. I’ve never known what to say, except “I’m sorry.” Not an “I’m sorry” of guilt, but one of compassion.
My parents’ poor parenting taught me how to be a good parent. Army life taught me how to survive as a divorced single mom. And the NICU taught me just about everything else.
Thank you, Sadia. I appreciate the compliment. I think that just the fact that you want to say something speaks volumes. Like I said, ignorance can be overcome. If the love is there, that’s all that matters. 🙂
Amanda Hoyt says
Carter….what a legacy of love you left behind.
Love to your momma & daddy.
Thank you for always remembering him. We love you for that. 🙂
Amanda Hoyt says
His name is etched on my heart.