Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I Don't Care

About your advice, that is. Actually, the readers of this blog have offered nothing but great advice via comments or email. Unfortunately, not everyone is as sensible as you, my dear readers. I need to let go of some of the anger I've felt today so here goes...

  • I don't care that you think we're young and have 'plenty of time' for kids therefore we should just 'relax' and let things happen. Remind me again when you did your reproductive endocrinology residency?

  • I don't care that you think I should resume my class schedule and/or increase it so I 'keep busy.'

  • I don't care that you think it's probably better that Sarah died because 'it would be so difficult' for us to have a special needs child. Furthermore, I didn't realize you were in possession of a crystal ball allowing you to see into the future and know that Sarah was going to have special needs.

  • I don't care that you think it's time we consider adoption.

Bottom line, unless we ask your opinion or you have something genuinely kind, considerate, or useful to say, just keep it to yourself because I don't care what you think. The thing is, some people have offered very useful advice. Today, for instance, I received an email from a friend who suggested I start running (which is a great idea and something I've actually considered so I talked to my trainer--who's also a runner--and she's going to incorporate it into my workouts). The difference between her advice/suggestion is that she took a cue from me--that I was going to begin working out again--and elaborated on it. Had I said I was going to lay on the couch every day, her suggestion of running might not have been so well received. Maybe I'm being too sensitive? Oh well, I think I'm entitled...

Please understand that I know everyone means well. I just wish everyone knew that when someone is hurting there's a better than even chance they don't expect anyone to say something profound that will instantly remove the pain. I remember many years ago I was on a business trip with a colleague who, in the middle of the night, received word that her father had passed away. We had just celebrated her birthday the evening before and I was just heartbroken for her. I sent her a card but I couldn't think of anything to write in the card so I wrote something like, "I don't have anything to say that will make this better but I'm praying for you and I'm sorry." Later she told me how much that meant to her. We've had so many people send similar messages to us and it means so much to us, too.


Rachel said...

I'm so sorry that you are getting so much unsolicited advice. I know it doesn't make it easier to listen to dumb and highly private suggestions about your family planning, but my guess is that all of these people are just trying to say 'I wish it was different and I wish there was something you or I could do to improve the situation' even if they don't know how to do so eloquently. I really hope that you do not feel rushed into any decisions.

The Major's Wife said...

Here's my unsolicited advice, you are doing great,

Soapchick said...

Unfortunately most people don't know what to say, so instead they say stupid things. Also until someone goes through something similar to what you are experiencing, they don't have a clue how to treat a grieving person - especially a greiving mother and father. Losing a baby is something most people cannot comprehend and although they want to help, they don't know how. My thoughts and prayers are with you Rachel and also with TOIAW and with your beautiful Sarah.

Tracy said...

I agree with Kelly. People just don't know what to say, so they say what they think would make THEM feel better. The unfortunate thing is that NOBODY can truly understand how we feel unless they've walked our path.

I am so sorry for what you are going through Rachel. Nobody will know what is right for you except you, and I expect along the way even you will not know the best path.

But I'm so glad you have your faith to guide you and give you strength. I am praying for you and your family...

You are doing as well as you can given the circumstances.

mrsmuelly said...

I am so very sorry. When it comes to losing a baby, there really is nothing anyone can say. Try as they may to make you feel better, many of them will fail miserably. I found myself expending a lot of energy in the first months after my losses to try and make these people feel better when they couldn't help me. I just didn't want to be that sad person that they had to cheer up all the time. It was completely exhausting.

What I have learned so far is that you and TOIAW need to focus on yourselves. The rest of the world will continue on and will understand eventually that you need your time and space. The grief of losing a child is so very different from a "normal" grief process...and everyone has a different way to approach it.

I can tell you that everything you are feeling is normal - at least in comparison to me and those I know. I found that sometimes it helped just to know that I wasn't crazy, and that others felt the same way. If you ever want to talk, email, whatever...feel free to contact me at mattandwindy at yahoo dot com.

Anonymous said...

I understand.
I totally agree with mrsmuelly, grief is exhausting and trying protect other people b/c they may feel uncomfortable is tiring. I have lost(IRL) and gained friends (especially bloggy friends) after the loss of Beckett and Amelianna, it has been a true test of friendship.
Please take care of yourself and TOIAW. Please know that we are here. I am so sorry that you dont have Sarah in your arms, it shouldnt happen to anyone.
One more thing I have learned, there is no normal, our lives have forever changed.