You're Lucky You have Other Children

I consider myself as the mother of 8, although only 3 of my babies survived. My 3 living ‘kids’ are adults now, and I have two energetic grandchildren. So my life is very full and I do feel blessed.

What many people didn’t understand, over the years, was the depth of the grief I went through. You see, my first child survived: so whenever we lost a baby, people kept saying: “You’re lucky, because you have little Tom.”

And they were right, of course. And yes, I’m very grateful for Tom, as well as for my two other surviving children that came after him.

But it really doesn’t make the pain any less. And it's okay: I can't expect people to understand if they haven't ‘been there’. I know they mean well, and are just trying really hard to 'say the right thing.'

How can I give you something to compare this grief with? Okay. If you own two dogs and one of them passes away, does having a surviving dog stop your tears? No, it doesn’t: loss is loss, ‘any way you cut it’. You’d miss that dog, because you loved him or her. But yes, you’re lucky you have another dog to hug at the time, and I imagine you’d squeeze that dog tightly. Also, it’s likely that your love for each dog is equal too.

Babies are very different from dogs, of course, but maybe this gives you a ‘rough idea’. Whenever I lost a baby, I’d hold Tom tightly – through the tears I was so very grateful that I had my little boy. But I loved the baby I’d just lost just as much as I loved Tom. And I actually still love all 8 equally. If you’ve lost pets, grandparents, etc I’m guessing you still love them equally too.

So if your friend or family member has lost a baby but also has a living child, please don’t tell them they’re lucky. You see, they simply don’t feel that way. Instead, please just tell them you’re sorry for their loss and give them a hug. That’s the best thing to do. Thanks.

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