Lydia Grace

Lydia Grace
Our first child, Lydia Grace

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Hurtful Words

             People can say such hurtful things. 

Do not tell me I am young and can have other children.

And yes, I am still "really shaken up by it [Lydia's death]". You are surprised? Hold your dead child in your arms then let me ask you 7 1/2 weeks later if you are still "really shaken up". 

Do not tell me that this is "a terrible thing that has happened, but..." 
  There is no but. Nothing that can follow that statement means anything to me. This is a terrible, awful, painful tragedy. Period. End of statement. You are not God. Do not pretend to give me an answer. Do not tell me how it will help me grow personally or in my marriage. In comparison to the death of my baby, I can conceive nothing worth the cost of her life. 

And how can people be so insensitive? I know I am just self-centered right now in what I am going through, but do people have any awareness of the feelings of others?
A mother tonight was talking about how she home schools her children and laughingly stated she was thankful no one has died yet. I know that it meant nothing, but really? Do you have to say things like that? 

I hate hearing people complaining about their children constantly calling for them and their attention. YOU HAVE A CHILD! Be thankful. I would give anything to hear Lydia say my name a thousand times. ( I hope some of these feelings and changes in perspective continue my entire life).

There is the stupid things people say, then there is those that just ignore or do not know how to talk to me.
  An awkwardness seems to exist in so many of the relationships and conversations my husband and I have had with friends and acquaintances who know of our loss. Many people seem to avoid the topic; they tip-toe around us, discussing trivial matters and keeping conversations short. Whether it is not wanting to hurt me or being uncomfortable with it themselves, I am not sure. Yet I am expected to listen to stories about their children. 
   Why can I not talk about my baby? Is it that hard for others to listen? Is it the depth of pain and lack of answers that makes it difficult? Are they afraid that bringing it up or asking how I am doing will...what?...make me cry? make me angry? hurt me? As if my heart isn't broken, part of myself gone? As if I do not cry driving in the car, grocery shopping, taking a shower, eating dinner, washing dishes, lying in bed? A song brings me to tears . A thought. A kind gesture. There is no confinement to my grief. When I am not crying it does not mean I am not hurting, not grieving, and to ask about it would suddenly make things worse. Nor does my lack of tears, my smile or laughter, my occupation with other things mean I am "over it".  It does not feel overwhelming and consuming at all times, but it's always present. 


  1. Again, it is good to hear your heart....first I don't think people really think about the weight words carry...
    Speaking on my own behalf, not in defense of what you wrote as much as to actually try to connect my thoughts after being privileged enoug to read yours....I have felt an awkwardness, not because I don't want to think of Lydia, or the pain you and Drew are feeling (although the mere thought of your pain makes my heart ache and I know not the depths of your pain) For me I actually have been proceeding with caution waiting for something from you before I would return conversation etc...silly I know because that is not how our relationship has been...but i think the caution comes from not knowing, not understanding, and in love not wanting to say or do the wrong in this fear then i dare not even ask the questions my mind has in order to figure out how to i end up in the silly dance....until reading your words tonite, i did not even realize how crazy my actions or inactions were.....i think again it goes to that lack of knowing what is "appropriate" and as you said....who am i to think anything that i say or do not say would change the depth of your heartache.....i don't know why we do this sometimes...on april 6, 2009 when my mentor/colleague/friend lost her one and only son in a car that situation i felt awkward, tiptoed around or even avoided talking to her because of the same time i noticed it seemed to help her to talk about Chris and so i would listen and even engage her in conversation about him. We talked about death tonite in our small group. Crazy i know but the series we are doing, Crazy Love, dares us to consider today could be our last. The author Francis Chan referred to Ecclesiastes 7:2-4. He dared us to consider this and discuss our own mortality. I admit, though in my profession it is something I am very aware of, it is something i sweep under the rug and try to avoid thinking of until i have to....i don't know why we humans get so awkward about death in general....but i think what makes this more so than any other death, is the fragile circumstances. Your first child was stillborn. Every mother dares not even imagine the loss of child, it hurts us in that most vulnerable place and yet here you are my dear sister, living it out the pain and grief no one wants to imagine.
    *end of part 1 of 2

  2. *part 2*

    What I have seen through Lydia's passing is this:
    The peace of the Lord that sustains you is amazing. Your trust in the Lord is inspiring. I have prayed like I have never prayed before since this has happened. And though her life did not carry on outside your womb, her story and life has touched many lives already. I know as a mother in this world, that is not enough, it would not be enough for me. Sadly as I read your emotions put to words this is what you have left of her until you see her again. And though my pain for the loss of my niece pales in comparison to what you feel as her mother, what I hold onto that gives me hope is this: Your daughter, my neice will never know pain, suffering or fear. She is with our Lord. We will see her again. And as Mary Beth and Steven Curtis Chapman were told by a dear friend about their Maria.....Lydia is now more of a part of our future than she was our past....I know this does not ease the pain, I know there will always be an emptiness until you see her again....but this side of heaven, the hope is what we hold onto....of course already I am wondering if i said too much, was too bold, shared too much....but as i can be privileged to read your thoughts, i can be open in sharing mine ...knowing that if ever i cross a line, go too far, that you will tell me and you will know my intent is not ill willed....but i cannot understand what you feel but out of my love for you and my dear brother....i want so much to help and yet i accept the only help i can offer aside from listening is praying, for the Lord only can offer that peace that sustains you.....
    In all my love i share this in such candor to you my beloved sister in law and in Christ.....

  3. Been thinking of you a lot prayers are always with you....and I want you to know what a privilege it is to read your thoughts and emotions put to words....

  4. Rachel,

    I am so pleased to read your posts! Once again I feel like I can vicariously grieve through your posts. I want to make time to eternalize our daughter through things such as this (somewhat envious of your efforts but also grateful). Reading your blog has been great for me!

    I enjoyed reading this blog to hear your words of anger as they resonated with me. It angers me as well when good-intentioned comments are used as a way to justify the death of our daughter. Our daughter's death (and life) will only ever be justified through our the Lord.