Monday, March 23, 2015


Do you know how bad it hurts to write the word “Deceased” on a piece of paper as it refers to your child?  I didn’t.  And I hope and pray that you never do.  Unfortunately, I have had to write it and say it over and over as his bills still continue to come in --today, is seven months later. Probably because some had been returned in our rather untimely gathering of his mail.

Like "suicide", "murder" or "autopsy",  it too, is an ugly, hideous word that makes me want to scream every time I have to write it.  

Speaking of words – it never ceases to amaze me at the things people say.

When Paxton’s name was mentioned in a conversation just recently – someone actually said to me:

“He sure was spoiled.”  

I won’t argue that point here but suffice it to say that I certainly do not agree with it. My issue lies with "that" being the only thing someone can think of to say to me about the baby I loved and lost.  Seriously? 

Those are not words that have a warm fuzzy feeling attached to them – “spoiled” invokes visions of smelly food left out on the counter too long or brown mushy bananas or soured milk thick and molded to the bottom of a week-old baby bottle that mysteriously appeared from under the car seat.

That is not a word that I would ever attach to that beautiful little boy with the quick smile and the laughing brown eyes. 

But even if you didn't love him or even know him - why would you think this was an appropriate thing to say about the baby that we just lost?  Really, why?  This would be pushing it if he were alive and well and standing in my living room.  And then as if to justify that it was not meant to be a negative statement about me or my son – they actually qualified it with “Well his mama spoiled him.” And this somehow made it better – how? Now you have just said something with negative conotations about my baby and the daughter in law I loved and also lost?

His mama loved him.  His mama appreciated the gift she had been given when she thought she would never be able to have a baby. His mama treasured every precious moment and celebrated every little milestone and his mama enjoyed his sweet and fleeting baby days.  His mama - did exactly what she was supposed to do - she loved him.  We all loved him.

I was left speechless, devastated and literally sick to my stomach.  Tears are always so close to the surface and the stinging words left me afraid to say much of anything afraid if I started I might not stop...crying or cussing.  But after I’d regained my composure I thought perhaps I should have said: “Let me ask for just a moment, that you put yourself in my shoes.  Not a good place to be I assure you but, close your eyes and imagine for just a moment that the child that has died here is your child instead. Feel the heartache and pain of that loss for just a moment.  Imagine now that the child you loved has been "cremated" (another really hateful word) and all you have left of the beautiful little life she was -- is a few static toys that you cling desperately to and a sprinkling of her ashes tucked into the bale of a small necklace.  But her laughter, her smile, her soft baby hair, her sweetness and her joy is gone forever from your life.  You could never imagine your life without her.  And you do not, in fact, even want a life without her…and now what would you say to the person that at the mention of her precious name, says to you about this child: “She sure was spoiled.” ?

Now open your eyes and go enjoy your child because you still can and please be a little more aware of the effect your words can have on someone.  I know this was not said to hurt me - but it so did.


After several months of not knowing how to tell anyone that did not already know about my children, I finally got up the nerve or whatever you call it to write a letter and as carefully and succinctly as possible, tell a long-time friend that lives in Minnesota as much as we knew about what had happened.  I related the story as gently as I could and also let her know about my sister’s leukemia.  Bear in mind, nothing was ever mentioned about feeling suicidal or anything emotional like that just saying that I apologized for not telling her sooner and I just wanted her to know.

Imagine my surprise at her response to me: 

“Why don’t you just go ahead and kill yourself!  All you are thinking about here is yourself.  You have a responsibility to your sister and others and you need to be strong and stop feeling sorry for yourself.”   Then she follows that up the next day with a second email telling me that I need to “grow up” and "You are going to have to stop telling all your problems to me." (???) "This mess has kept me up all night long and I need my sleep!"   

I'm sure I do not need to add here that she has never had children...

Seriously – I need some new friends.

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