mandella0021 asked…Here is the long and short of my answer. I am not going to Friends only this response because I think it’s important that the world know and understand, no matter who it might offend.
The questions was: In the book An Exact Replica of a Figment of my Imagination, the author talkes about the death of her child. Here are some the of things she mentions.
Which is to say: it makes me crazy, too, when I feel like someone is going over what I did wrong. What they’re looking for, of course, is evidence of their own luck and safety. I’m sure I did such things too, Before.
She clearly missed the part about how in addition to guilt, babyloss mothers grapple mightily with cosmic questions of luck and fate. Circumstances be damned.
It seems people whose social lives are untouched are exceptions to the rule, and most women find their social circles change rather drastically and not infrequently there’s a dramatic falling out with friends or family members.
***i find this very intriguing. definitely happened to me, and i didn’t quite realize it happened to most others. loss mamas, on my FL, please share your experience with this, b/c i am curious. Wow! Now that is a loaded question and one I could also write a book on. I was one of the most spiritual people I knew before this happened, spiritual down to my very core and a strong believer in God, fate and karma and that ultimately when we can’t take care of ourselves God will be there to do it for us..I have struggled back and forth and back and forth with this since Evan’s death.
Did lossing him make me a better person? I don’t think so. I was already a REALLY REALLY TRULY good person. Could have gone the other way at any point in my life, but my faith kept me on the right path. The belief that I have to live my life the way I want to become or be and that if I do, things will work out. The drive to not be like my dad who was a hefty drug addict who would stoop so low as to do lines of coke with his own son, and died from drugs at 45. The drive to not be like my mom, who although sweet is an insecure person deeply and painfully due to her being abused and rejected over and over by parents and spouses. Willing to sacrifice so much happiness just to have a man in her life. I went to University on my own dime, I now am 40K in debt but doing something I am passionate about for a living, helping others everyday..I moved away from my hometown and surrounded myself by positive and academic people at age 17. I knew if I wanted to become the person I dreamed of becoming I needed to make these sacrafices. I chose to go into a field that allows me to give back, to help people and to not be paid very well to do it, why? Because I have always known that money is not the root of all hapiness and that material things mean nothing in the end, relationships and love are worth a million dollars or more.
Did it make me stronger? I don’t know, I have already lived through so very much in my short 30 years. I am done with all this stronger crap, enough please! It’s all just made me more anxious and more aware that anyone can die at any moment, oh wait, maybe that is because I have buried half my family in 30 years, 5 in the last 12 months. Dave and I both lost our Dad’s at a young age. We both had to grow up so fast in this lifetime.
Did it make me more spiritual? Not yet, no certainly not yet, it’s still too close, I am still too angry and sad and hurt and confused and devastated. I was already spiritual, this just made me heartbroken and soul shattered.
Did I lose faith? I did rage at God, so did my husband, we both wrote God off for a while, but ultimately no, I have to believe there is a God and I have to believe Evan is taken care of, and that I can pray and beg to live through this and to have more children, and to find the strength and courage to do those things and believe that someone is listening and that it all matters…Karma/Fate-Fuck it. I know, harsh right. I can’t help it. Maybe someday I will understand, but for now. No I don’t understand it, can’t beleive in it. Like Maria said why? Why is it always the good people? Why is it that my husband can have a friend die, hit by a train right in front of him when he is a child and have to live with that image his whole life, so blatently aware of human mortality and the knowledge that anyone could die any moment. Why was he born to a mother and father that could not take care of him, be placed in foster care for the first 3 months of his life then adopted by a father who was also adopted, just so his own adopted father can develop Schizophrenia and die from a seizure when his son is just 15. Why so much loss and pain at such a young age. Why did Dave’s grandmother, the best person I have ever known, a nurse in the war, married to a solider who’s life she helped save, who ‘s husband then had a lifelong affliction with Post Traumatic Stress disorder, who was mean and aggressive to this wife, who then, when her husband finally passed away, re-married for true love to the best man I have ever know, only to then develop cancer and die slowly and painfully?… Why do I keep doing good, good, good, survive all these obstacles put before me, poverty, alcoholism, sexual assault, eating disorders….Take control of my own life, decided that rather then just give in and crack, I will instead do everything I can to overcome and be better and when finally for the first time life is going so well, I am happy, content, comfortable, my first child dies.. the first son of a husband who is the adopted son of an adopted son…So much misery around such good people, so I need to really be convinced how any of us earned this or needed this. I mean really.All I can say is that I better be getting a real good break in my next life.
Now for the friends and social circle…When I found out I was pregnant, I was living in Toronto. I did not want to raise my child in Toronto, so we packed everything we owned, quit my cushy Government Job that paid 50K and moved to a more peaceful and safe place for a child to be raised. Lost my medical benefits, my high end mental health counseling job which I loved, all my best and closest friends and Dave’s entire family. Moved to a city where we knew no one, well ok, 2 people, we knew 2 people. We had no friends and no network. We were building our life again from the ground up. Also because I quit my job and lost my medical benefits I had to pay for a midwife out of pocket, cause it’s not covered by provincial health care. I could have just gone to an OB but because I wanted a perfect, beautiful and peaceful birth, I paid $1500 for a midwife and a homebirth. I worked in a job I hated in a call centre helping people with their phone bills, I did this cause I didn’t want to deal with the stress of my mental health clients while pregnant, so I took a low paying monotonous and sometimes humiliating job for Evan’s sake. It was nice however that I had 4 pregnant co-workers so we could support each other and plan play dates with our babies. As a couple Dave and I were very poor, isolated, depressed but hopeful, we had a baby on the way. On Evan’s due date we got robbed and they cleaned us out, Dave is a self employed carpenter, they stole 5k worth of all his tools. I had been up all night the night before with mad contractions and the midwife was sure labor was begining, however, the stress from the robbery we theorized pushed labor to a hault, apparently a women if left to her own devices will not deliver if her body feels unsafe or threatened. I was planning a home birth and my home no longer felt like a safe haven. Anyhow, back to the friends thing. We were good friends with one couple and hung out all the time. I also made friends with a bunch of mom’s from my midwife group that had just had or were having babies. Then Evan died in labour and our world was turned on it’s head.
The one couple are no longer our friends really… In fact I believe the exact wording was that I was to hard to be around, I was depressing and negative and I made her need to drink everytime we hang out and I should consider anti-depressants, this was at 6 months post partum. The midwife group was a right off. The 4 other pregnant co-workers have all had their babies, even the young one I lectured about smoking and drinking Orange Crush all day in pregnancy and how Orange crush was not doing anything to help with her out of control Gestational Diabetes. That girl had a beautiful son a week before Evan died. When I told her about Evan she told me God has a plan for everyone and that the plan meant Evan had to die. However, I was young and strong and would have more babies. I wondered silently if she would feel the same if it were her child that died. We never spoke again after that. In fact the only good thing I can see that has come out of Evan’s death is my new friends, online and in real life. I went to a support group at the hospital and met lots of nice mom’s and dad’s one of which has since become like a soul sister to me, a best friend, a person I love to have in my life. Now her story, that is like another freaking novel about sadness and unfairness in life.
I could go on and on but I will end it here.