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A life lesson

March 11, 2010

(Guest written by Melanie, Josh’s Mom)
I will never forget when my good friend Lu called me one morning in a panic. She’s the most laid-back friend I have so I couldn’t imagine what it could be. She told me one of her friends from growing up just had a preemie, a 24-weeker, and she was on her way to the hospital to see her. She asked me, “What should I say? I have no idea what to say.”

A flood of memories rushed through me to that fateful day when I delivered Josh only 23 weeks into my pregnancy. Our family and friends acted like something absolutely horrible happened. Well, it did, but that was the last thing I needed to hear. All except one of our friends who said something very magical. “Congratulations! You had a baby!!!” Debi said in her everyday cheery voice. As if we had Josh when he was supposed to be born and was healthy. The thought was fleeting as I was knocked right back to our harsh reality, but her words were brilliant and Lee and I will never forget them. Especially now when my friend is looking for advice for another friend who was going through the exact same thing.

“Tell her congratulations,” I said. “She had a baby and you should congratulate her.” Lu thought that was wonderful. She sounded calmer. “Then what?” she asked. “Then you can tell her Josh’s story,” I said. She said she could totally do that. I should have left it at that but I added one more thing. “Tell her he’s going to be okay.”

Not two weeks later Lu called me with even more horrible news. Her friend’s baby passed away. I burst into tears and told her I was so sorry I said he would be okay. How could I do that? Because I believed he would be. But sometimes it doesn’t work that way. And just like any traumatic experience that isn’t remotely fair, you need to accept and move on. Lee and I learned that asking why? doesn’t solve anything. Usually there aren’t any good reasons anyways. We understand now that everything happens for a reason, no matter what that reason is, and while it may not seem logical at the time, we must keep moving and eventually it will reveal itself.

This goes for anything in life.

Lu’s friend is doing okay now. She said she learned a lot and she’s ready to conquer the world.

One Comment leave one →
  1. April 22, 2010 7:55 am

    It’s only been over 30 days. Trust me, she’s not doing ‘okay’. She says that because that’s what she thinks people want to hear. It will be AGES before she is truly ready to ‘conquer the world.’ And it will be a very, very long time before she ‘moves on.’ This woman just lost a child.

    I always tell people that (and the grief books will tell you this) that you should give yourself at least 5 years for things to start to get back to ‘normal’ and even then it’s a different kind of ‘normal.’

    Please tell your friend to not ‘rush’ this woman into ‘feeling better.’ She’s needs to feel what she feels to be able to finally ‘move on.’

    I’ve never heard anyone tell a parent who has lost a grown child to move on and know ‘there’s a reason.’ But for some reason people always think they can say that to someone who has lost a baby and all it does is make a mother and father feel that since their child was a baby then it really wasn’t significant.

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