And it's probably my best advice I could give anyone reading my blog.
And this can apply to a ton of situations, but I'm specifically talking about when you come across someone (friend, family, random person you're Facebook friends with, etc...) who has experienced a loss. Miscarriage, pregnancy/stillbirth, young child, mother, father, grandparent -- WHATEVER. When the loss of a life happens, whoever it is: SAY SOMETHING.
The absolute worst thing you can do is stay quiet and say nothing.
I am barely 6 weeks into this loss journey and I can tell you that those who have reached out, even in the simplest "Thinking of you" text, email messages, or even a comment on a social media post have helped SO MUCH to know that we aren't alone, we aren't grieving silently and that people are thinking about us. It really takes about 30 seconds to send this message in an email or text...and the impact will be so so so needed.
However, there are people that we haven't heard from...and we notice. And you know what? It hurts. Because irrationally my brain thinks I did something wrong and offended them (even though I don't care if my sharings/posts have offended anyone)...and even though I KNOW this is an irrational thought, it's still where my mind goes. And I hate that. I hate that I feel this way towards them and hate that the loss of our son makes people uncomfortable and I'd love to do all that I can to change that. So for now friends, I give you some insight:
Three little words
-- THINKING OF YOU --
can go such a long LONG way.
DO NOT think you are bothering someone who has experienced a loss. The excuse "Oh I didn't want to bother you..." is one I've heard farrrrr too much. It's never a bother to just send a simple message. We may not respond right away (or at all), but we see and hear you. And gosh, we feel it. I promise we do. And it helps a lot...the simplest of things.
Because what I will tell you is that I have spent more time than I'd like to admit being so angry at the lack of support (and heck, even acknowledgment) from some people I thought were very close to me. And that really stings. And I know I shouldn't be focusing on that...focusing on the good that people have done and the support we have gotten...but still, I cannot help my brain from "Hey so-and-so hasn't said anything since Clark was born..." creeping into my head all of the time.
I know it's uncomfortable for SO MANY to talk about loss. I get it. I've been guilty of seeing a sad post on Facebook in the past and scrolling rightttttt past it. But I will NEVER EVER do that again. Now I take time to comment on all of these that I come across just to offer even a bit of virtual support in a tough time for people. And I hope it helps them as much as those comments have helped us in our grief.
You don't have to go crazy and send a novel written in a card or make a meal or send a gift or anything like that...just say something when you see someone that you know is grieving and dealing with a loss. It'll mean the absolute world to them. Because remaining silent and not acknowledging what they've been (and continue to go) through is hurtful and damaging. And I promise they notice.
I cannot tell you where we'd be right now if it wasn't for all of the wonderful support of friends, family, pocket friends (internet buddies!), and even complete strangers who have reached out to us in the biggest and teeniest of ways. We see them all and cannot thank them enough for what they've provided for us.
Okay. Off my Friday soapbox. Reach out to those people you love and care about and let them know that. I promise it's worth the small hassle of it. PROMISE.