Today I am taking part in Bereaved and Blessed’s Time Warp Tuesday. The gist of Time Warp Tuesday is to revisit and share some of our favorite blog entries from our archives, as well as others’, and reflect on our journeys since we wrote or read them. This month’s topic is decisions.
Back in November I wrote a post about what I say when people ask me if I have any children.
It is a question that can be quite tricky for any parent who has lost a child to answer. You have to make the decision about whether or not to include your dead child when answering. Do include them in the number you have? If your dead child is your only child, like in my case, do you say yes? What do you say when people ask about how old they are?
Early on in my grief I found it difficult. It is a natural question for people to ask if they’re just meeting you for the first time. I am of a certain age now where people are having families, and it is a popular topic of discussion.
In my post in November I said that I would target my answer to whom I was speaking; if it was someone I was likely to see again, I would tell the truth, as over time they will get to know me, but if it was just someone I would meet once I would usually say no and leave it at that.
Now that I’m a bit further on in my grief, and I can tell my story without completely breaking down every time, I always want to talk about Finley. My pregnancy and his life were just as real as any other child who is still living, and my experiences are just as important and just as much a part of me as any mother who has living children.
People are still shocked when they find out. I know that outwardly I don’t wear it for people to see, and so for them to find out I have a dead child, it is surprising. I go to work like anybody else, I seem to function like anybody else. And yet I carry a massive loss with me at all times.
I get the looks of pity, the changes of subject when people are uncomfortable or just don’t know what to say. But usually I get the question about if it’s okay to ask what happened, which is the option I love the most. I get to talk about my son, about his life and my pregnancy. And that brings so much joy to my heart.
Have you ever had to make the decision about whether or not to include your own dead child when asked this question? If so, how do you normally answer? Please let me know in the comments.