Wednesday, December 7, 2011

18 years

A couple nights ago my friend Jackie and I met someone who lost her daughter (I think her first child), eighteen years ago.

Her baby lived for 17 hours and then died of Group B strep, that was before they commonly tested for it. She said that a year later, they made it a routine test.

So she beamed at us and said that now she feels so lucky and glad to have an angel. And grinned at us like we were in this secret, really cool club.

And I might have unintentionally gave her my "are you smoking crack?" look because it was so over the top and I was so caught off guard and dumbfounded by it.

I was telling Joe about it yesterday when we were driving to the Angel of Hope statue and he was also flabbergasted.

This isn't to say that there aren't good things that have happened as a result of Olivia's death. I have  new, fantastic, friends, that I wouldn't have if Olivia were here. I'm probably a better person overall. I'm definitely a better mom to Lucas because of Olivia. I will have a new career. Etc. I mean, I'd still trade that all to have her back, but since she isn't coming back, I can at least recognize that some good has come of it.

But I really can't imagine ever being so dang happy about it and acting like I'm glad that I have "an angel" instead of a living daughter. As I was trying to explain it to Joe, I said, "It was like she was saying that she was glad or happy that her daughter died. " I will never be glad or happy that Olivia died, I can't fathom that or what it takes to get to that point. Self- preservation, maybe? I don't know. But I would like to think that 18 (er, 16) years from now, I won't be *happy* about it.

Like Brooke says, all sorts of people lose babies, even tacky and crazy and weird people. (Some people are probably crazy and weird and tacky before they lose babies and some people maybe it's an after effect. I'm sure I've had my share of crazy and weird days, but some of the things you hear are just way way beyond that .) I think maybe we can chalk this up to another person who is just out there, maybe.


Brooke said...

I honestly think that different generations deal with grief a lot differently, as well. The kind of faith that I have (especially in regard to death and loss and bad things that happen) is SO different from the way David's grandparents think about it, for example. I think people look for different ways to accept and accommodate loss, and that's why you'll hear people say, "I guess it was her time," even if they're talking about someone who was tragically killed because her car got hit by a drunk driver or something. People want so desperately to make sense of tragedy that they'll weave it into a story they can live with. I, personally, would rather live with and try to learn from the sorrow and the anger than rewrite it to make it all seem okay. I would have definitely given that lady the WTF are you crazy look, too.

How 'bout some Lucas pics? I'd like to see some more of those sweet chubby cheeks.

Kim said...

Maybe it can be chalked up to everyone deals differently, but I agree I can't ever see myself being glad I lost my daughters. That is a crazy thought to me. I wanted to let you know that I gave you the Leibster blog award. You can read more about it on my blog. I appreciate you reaching out to me and offering to meet me for the support group (which I still intend to do). I'm really glad you found my blog:)

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