"Life is a challenge, you are capable of managing North American society". Words out of my mouth today at counseling, they hit me for so many reason. We were talking about how I do not want to feel like a victim, I'm tired of life feeling unfair, I don't want peoples pity. I need to dig deep and find strength because I do not see myself as strong.
As a baby loss mom, I have had numerous bullshit said to me. Common phrases include: it was meant to be, God needed angels (the usual) but also you should be thankful that, you should be happy that, there are others worse off than you. I have always viewed those statements as grief downers. What do I mean by that? When you downplay my grief, when you say I should be grateful or thankful for such and such you are telling me the death of Ty and Jacob do not matter because there is worse in the world. Nobody has the right to tell me I should be thankful or happy for this or that. I buried my first two children, trust me, there are times I'm not grateful or happy and you know what, that's okay.
Stop downplaying peoples grief by saying those statements. It also got us to talking about how you start to feel immense guilt because people keep saying these things to you and you start to feel like maybe they have a point, but you know what, they don't.
I live in North American, things are vastly different here than in the Middle East. My counselor was telling me that instead of always focusing on appreciation and gratitude, which seems to be the thing to do, allow yourself to feel ungrateful that your children died. If you don't feel happy you don't have to, you shouldn't because your children died. Not to say to always be negative as we focus on positive energy but when you feel the guilt, worry and fear from those statements it counteracts the ability to focus on positive thoughts.
Sure, I don't have to worry about bombs, guns, violence, abuse etc like they do in other parts of the world but that doesn't make me "grateful" that doesn't make me "happy" those are a different life that I do not know (of which I am very thankful for). The life I know is in North America. These are the standards I am held to and these are the standards that matter. If your child walked into traffic, was struck and killed by a car would you feel happy that you get to go home to a roof over your head, food on your table, blankets to keep you warm? No you'd be depressed, sad and angry that your child died.
Life is a challenge and I'm going to stop the comparisons, I'm going to stop the guilt about not feeling happy or grateful for everything we have or own because at the end of the day, there will always be two children missing. Two missed first days of school, two missed graduations, two missed marriages, two missed extended families, two missed lives. Do not downplay my grief by telling me I should be thankful or happy because so and so, no, until you have walked in my shoes, you don't have a right to tell me how to feel. Only do I have the right to tell myself how to feel and I'm tired of feeling guilty because I don't always feel grateful or happy.
I may have a roof over my head and food on my plate, but my life is a challenge and the only thing I have to work on is being capable of managing North American society.
P.S. Don't forget to send in your questions for my blog series. Seriously, anything you want to ask, get as personal as you would like.