Society wants to be able to put a positive spin on anything bad that happens. I am guilty of it too when it comes to some things, BUT there is NOTHING positive about a baby dying and you trying to add a positive comment after telling me how sorry you are just adds insult to injury. If you can think of nothing else to say just say you are sorry and leave it at that.
I have seen a couple moms post this list and I couldn't agree more. Here are 10 things you shouldn't say and why.
1. Your child is in a better place. Then shouldn't we all be there?!? There is no better place for her to be than with her family that loves and aches for her.
2. At least she wasn't older. Because I would love her more if I had spent more time with her??? I loved her from the moment I saw that positive pregnancy test. I dreamed of Addison my whole life and had a lifetime of dreams for her. Just because she didn't get to experience any of those plans I had for her doesn't make her less loved. What I would had given for a day, a week, a month, a year with her. None of it would have ever been enough, but she grew in me and moved in me. She was loved, she is loved.
3. You're not the same. You’re right I am not. A part of me died the day we lost Addison and I will never be old me again. I know how cruel the world can be and I learned the "life isn't fair" rule in the worst way. It's still hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that following all the rules and being ready isn't always enough when there are people who do everything wrong and things work out for them...life really isn't fair.
4. God needed another angel. God doesn't need anything. I don't believe God goes around killing babies. I believe Addison is in Heaven because that is where our souls go, but not because God needed her. I especially hate this one. Don't ever say it to me.
5.She's no longer suffering/her death saved her from something worse. Addison wasn't hurting or suffering, there was nothing wrong with her. Her death saved her from nothing. She was being born to a family who loved and wanted her more than anything. I don't believe that she was taken from us at birth because something worse like cancer or terrible accident would have happened down the line. If so why aren't other parents saved from those horrible circumstances? Don't try and make YOURSELF feel better by telling me that.
6. It's time to move on. I will never move on. We try and move forward every day, but she will always be missing from our lives and that will never be ok. Every holiday, every function, every family photo, every moment she should be here and the fact that she is missing never gets easier.
7. Are you trying again/planning to have more children? We do plan to have more children, but a second, 3rd, 4th, 15th child will never replace her and we will always be sad our future children are missing out on their sibling and that we are missing out on our first born daughter.
8. I know what you're going through. Each loss is a loss, but child loss is very unique and it is hurtful to have our losses compared. Unless you have lost a child, you don't know. You may be able to imagine the pain, but you can't understand the day to day struggle us baby loss parents face. Even if you are a parent who has lost a child I never want to hear the phrase "I know EXACTLY how you feel" no one knows exactly how I feel, I don't know exactly how you feel. I have an idea, but out losses are unique to us.
9. My pet died. Don't ever compare the loss of your pet to the loss of my child. Again I can understand the sadness of losing a well loved pet, but it is not the same and it is an insult to hear you compare my child to an animal. I myself have pets who I love, but I can promise when I lose them it will be Disneyland compared to losing Addison. You could have all my pets if it meant getting Addison back.
10. Everything happens for the reason. This is the number one thing said to me and the one I hate most of all. No, actually not everything happens for a reason. Sometimes shit happens and there is no reason for it, we just have to do the best we can to navigate through. I can promise you that no matter what "lesson" I get out of this (more compassion, the ability to empathize with others, to know that every day is a gift and to take nothing for granted etc.). None of those lessons are worth the cost of losing your child. Period.
What should you say to me?
*I'm so sorry this happened to you and your family.
*This just sucks and it isn't fair.
*I'm thinking of you guys and I will remember Addison.
*Let us know it's ok to talk about Addison with you and that she isn't a taboo subject around you.
*For God's sake say her name, say Addison. I never get to hear her name and it is such a gift to hear words like Addison or "your daughter" in a sentence, I ache for them. And remember do NOT add a positive spin after your comment; it takes away from anything nice you just offered.