I spent a wonderful Saturday night with some dear girl friends. The kind you don't see every day, but when you do, you laugh from that genuine place in your gut. I love them with all their faults & they mine.
Most of us are part of an online parenting board where moms & dads can post questions, look for recommendations reassurance. It is meant to be a safe & mutual place for discussion and at times debate. A number of weeks ago, a mother posted that her 21 month old daughter had died suddenly. She didn't know what to do or how to carry on. Her first few words did not provide warning of the heart wrenching reality she was introducing to the group. She received almost 300 replies, most of which provided sympathies and horror at what this mother was facing. A few posted they had similar experiences, inviting her to contact privately.
Our conversation on Saturday evening touched on this post. I did not bring it up, it took me almost a week to be able to open this page up. Reading her post & all the messages sent me onto my own roller coaster of emotions. The topic came about as we were talking about some of the stories that we had all read & sharing our takes on them. The sentiments began as a post we had all seen, it quickly became something shocking, I shared that I thought it was incredibly brave and then one shared that she felt it was inappropriate. Her comment was, "shouldn't she have something else to do then post online on the day her daughter died?". I quickly jumped in and asked what she should do sitting alone in a house that is silent and without the sounds of her child? She sat for a minute and acknowledged she hadn't thought of that, but still felt like it was wrong. It became clear at that point that the others were uncomfortable with the topic & my sensitivity to it. The topic changed before I really had a chance to take it further or say anything else.
While I am still upset by such a narrow minded and thoughtless comment, they all know we lost James and even after my sharing that I was very affected by the post, the comment was made. I keep coming back to the place where I know this is out of ignorance & I would hope she would never be put in a position to really understand, but how privileged she is to not have to understand. I am hurt if I have to be honest.
How ironic, 2 Saturdays in a row, one with women I hardly knew, some with similar experiences & the next with women I know well & hold very dear & a conversation that felt like a little salt in the wound. I guess I am lucky to be able to live a world where James exists, especially in social conversation. I just wish it still didn't burn & sting quite so much to remember only to have the doors of conversation slammed shut when the heart & mind are pouring & I have to pretend like I am not still in the middle of that conversation.
Missing you angel. Love, Mommy